by Mary Ray, MyHealthTeams Co-Founder & COO
I was diagnosed with PCOS back in 2012, before my husband and I had our son. Like many thousands of other women, my struggle with infertility was how my doctor finally came to my PCOS diagnosis. PCOS isn't a well-known condition, and finding others like me was difficult. At MyHealthTeams, we create social networks for people living with chronic conditions. I know from first-hand experience that there is immeasurable value from connecting with others who share your diagnosis. Earlier this year, I was thrilled when Megan Stewart, Founder of PCOSAA, reached out to me about the possibility of launching a social network dedicated to PCOS, and myPCOSteam.com was born out of our desire to connect women with PCOS online. myPCOSteam is the first online support group and social network for women living with PCOS. I'd love for you to join me on myPCOSteam and share your own story and daily ups and downs. In the meantime, meet Megan, the founder of PCOS Awareness Association:
What motivated you to reach out to MyHealthTeams to encourage them to start MyPCOSTeam?
Megan: When I first started PCOSAA, it was always a dream to have our own social network where we could offer women with PCOS a safe and empowering place to connect with each other, whether it was locally or worldwide. In the past we have tried many different avenues for this, but when I came across MyHealthTeams, I felt your platform was everything we were lacking in our previous attempts.
Why are connections to other women with PCOS important to you?
Megan: PCOS Awareness Association receives 10 to 20 questions a week via email, Facebook messenger and Instagram. What I have noticed is that most questions include the statement “I feel so alone." It's heartbreaking because I personally know the feeling. It was the very basis on which PCOS Awareness Association was started, because I felt alone. Women in general need to talk about health issues. Just because it may not be sexy, feminine, or considered PC does not make it any less important. You will be surprised how many times I have stepped out of my “society norm” shell and spoke to my ailments only to find out someone near to me was going through the things. All you need to know is that you are NOT alone!
What advice would you give to someone just diagnosed?
Megan: My first piece of advice would be BREATHE. It’s not a death sentence. Do your homework and become your own leading advocate. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and if you aren’t receiving clear answers or responses you have every right to search out a better response. Do not let anyone make you feel like you cannot do something, because miracles happen every day. You know your body better than anyone.
What do you hope PCOSAA will achieve in the next three years?
PCOS Awareness Association is a baby - only four years old - but has grown beyond my dreams. The path that we are on will allow us to reach more women and influence the medical community. PCOS touches many medical professions, and we need their support to be able to make a difference in the system. Within the next three years I hope that there is more government funding and more research on PCOS. We want to help with this, and I don’t see us taking a backseat anytime soon.
Thank you to Megan and the members of PCOSAA. We will work to continuously improve myPCOSteam based on your feedback. You can join myPCOSteam here.