My journey with PCOS

In August 2015, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I didn’t know anything about the condition– but it was not a surprise. I was having irregular or no periods over six months and I knew that something was not right.

PCOS is a hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects over 7 million women in the States alone. It is characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, excess hair growth and etc. PCOS can lead to other serious conditions including severe anxiety and depression, infertility, obesity, endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It affects about 1 in 10 women, yet very little people know or heard about it.

“PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects over 7 million women. That’s more than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus combined.” — Louise Chang, MD

According to PCOS Challenge, Inc., PCOS is one of the most critical, underserved, under-diagnosed and underfunded conditions affecting women’s health. About 50% of women and girls with PCOS are going undiagnosed. Additionally, it often takes women several years and up to seven doctors before they can find someone who can help them with the condition.

Despite being one of the most common human disorders and the serious health consequences, PCOS awareness and support organizations, receive less than 0.1% of the government, corporate, foundation, and community funding that other health conditions receive.

PCOS is something that greatly affects me both physically and emotionally. I know it’s going to be a long journey and I fight it everyday. Since the diagnosis, my life changed so much and even a little decision I make gets influenced by my health condition. I know how it feels like to suffer from PCOS. I know what it feels like to be around by people (including friends and family) who have no idea about the condition. I know how tough it can be. And I know I’m not the only one.

I will share my personal story later– but these are some areas that I’d like to focus on for my thesis project:

  • Raise public awareness about PCOS and help women with the condition overcome their symptoms and reduce their risk for life-threatening related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Start a networking community where women can support one another and share helpful tips, success and failure stories.
  • Create a (personal) platform to motivate women to maintain a healthy lifestyle and provide emotional support to fight PCOS symptoms.