If you’re living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for the condition — particularly in September, which is PCOS Awareness Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation, because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising awareness about PCOS is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
“A lot more women I know personally have it than I realized. No one has really ever been vocal about it until recently though,” wrote one myPCOSteam member.
Polycystic ovary (or ovarian) syndrome is a condition that develops in people of reproductive age. PCOS is a chronic condition that continues to affect people long after their childbearing years. PCOS can be treated, but there currently is no cure. Symptoms vary, but menstrual irregularity, unwanted facial and body hair, and infertility are common. Most people with PCOS lead normal lives without major complications and are able to minimize symptoms with a variety of treatments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 5 million women of reproductive age have PCOS in the U.S. PCOS is one of the leading causes of female infertility, and the condition can run in families.
After you’re armed with information about PCOS, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about PCOS, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness about PCOS.
To ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate PCOS-related hashtag, like #PCOS, #PCOSAwareness, or #PCOSAwarenessMonth. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for the condition, and it also allows other people with PCOS to realize they aren’t alone. Joining a social network for people with PCOS, such as myPCOSteam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about PCOS is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for PCOS, play bingo, host a silent auction or fundraiser, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about PCOS while having fun and raising money for the cause.
On September 25, there will be a PCOS Awareness Symposium in Philadelphia, which you can attend virtually. Presentations will cover topics such as creating a treatment plan, PCOS nutrition and exercise, and hair and skin treatment options.
Some myPCOSteam members already have plans to go. One member who lives in Philadelphia posted on myPCOSteam, “I'm so excited it’s going to be in my hometown of Philly this year!!! If anyone is coming in, let me know.”
As you explore PCOS awareness and advocacy, remember to engage in self-care. It is emotionally taxing to educate others about your lived experiences, so know your limits and accept when to put your mental well-being first.
On myPCOSteam, more than 68,000 people living with PCOS come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your PCOS journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.