Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS is a rapidly growing syndrome that affects at least 1 in 10 Indian women! According to statistics, 70% of women with PCOS aren’t diagnosed. Can you imagine suffering with a syndrome and not knowing how to deal with it? I definitely can’t. It must be truly difficult for these women because PCOS has quite a few symptoms. Irregular periods; excess growth of facial and body hair and excessive weight gain are just a few of them. Owing to the stigma surrounding periods in our society, a large number of women do not seek medical attention and often fail to consult specialist gynecologists.
Now that an overall picture’s been laid out, let’s talk about the relevance of PCOS among teenagers. According to Dr Hina Ali, a gynaecologist and IVF expert, adolescent PCOS is on the rise. She credits this to the overall change in lifestyle among teens, a lack of much-needed physical exercise and rising stress levels due to academic pressure. The issue is, PCOS cannot be cured. Owing to the nature of the syndrome, it can only be managed. Now, you might wonder if just ‘management’ of symptoms is enough. According to medicine, it’s not just enough, it’s highly beneficial.
Early diagnosis and treatment of PCOS can prevent long term problems caused by the disease. Depression, anxiety, heart complications, diabetes, ovarian, and breast cancer are a few of the multiple long term health complications that can be avoided via treatment. Symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and headaches may still be there however, these can be managed via regular exercise and a healthy diet.
The society we live in doesn’t openly talk about periods. It’s engulfed in taboo and this line of thought has passed on from generation to generation. The idea that periods are ‘bad’ takes form in the minds of young women as a fact. This leads to symptoms of period related disorders being disregarded as ‘drama’ or ‘not serious’. I want to remind you that periods are a very real, involuntary, regular occurrence in the lives of women. PCOS is as real as any other disease. It’s a difficult syndrome to deal with and the taboo surrounding periods is a big reason for the lack of its diagnosis. So let’s try to change that. Let’s not allow the women that surround us suffer in silence because that is not what they deserve. Talk about it, educate those around and eradicate the taboo!