Today, on September 1, 2023, the world observes World PCOS Day of Unity, a significant initiative launched by PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association in September 2018. This global event serves as a rallying point for individuals and organizations worldwide to come together in solidarity, raising awareness about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and offering support to the countless people affected by this common yet often misunderstood condition.
September is designated as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Month, making it a crucial time to focus on the latest research and evidence surrounding PCOS. This condition affects millions of individuals globally, with far-reaching implications for their physical and emotional well-being.
PCOS is characterized by three primary features:
1. Menstrual Cycle Problems: This includes irregular periods or the absence of periods, which indicates that the ovaries are not releasing eggs as they should.
2. High Levels of “Male” Hormones: PCOS can lead to elevated levels of “male” hormones, resulting in hirsutism (excessive hair growth) or increased levels of testosterone.
3. Polycystic Ovaries: Women with PCOS often have ovaries that contain numerous fluid-filled sacs, known as follicles, surrounding the eggs.
One of the critical factors that exacerbate the clinical features of PCOS is being overweight. These clinical features encompass various reproductive issues, such as irregular menstrual cycles, reduced ovulation frequency, decreased fertility, the presence of polycystic ovaries visible on ultrasound, and high levels of male hormones like testosterone. Elevated hormone levels can cause unwanted facial or body hair growth and acne. PCOS is also associated with metabolic features, including risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as high insulin levels or insulin resistance and abnormal cholesterol levels. Moreover, PCOS can significantly impact the quality of life and contribute to anxiety and depression, either due to its symptoms or the diagnosis of a chronic disease.
It is crucial to note that, as of now, there is no known cure for PCOS. However, there are treatments available to manage and alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition. Early diagnosis and proper medical management can make a substantial difference in the lives of those affected by PCOS.
World PCOS Day serves as a powerful platform for shedding light on PCOS, dispelling myths, and fostering a sense of community among those grappling with the condition. It also encourages open conversations about the challenges faced by PCOS warriors, as well as the need for more research, improved diagnostics, and effective treatments.
As we mark World PCOS Day, let us stand together in unity, lending our support to those living with PCOS and working towards a future where the burden of this condition is eased through increased awareness, research breakthroughs, and comprehensive care. In a world that often remains silent about women’s health issues, initiatives like World PCOS Day shine a vital spotlight on PCOS, advocating for better understanding, empathy, and support for the millions of individuals affected by this widespread condition.