What is PCOS?
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a hormonal disease which affects one in ten women and people with periods globally. It is among the leading causes of infertility and can increase chances of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, obstructive sleep apnea, anxiety, bipolar disorders, and depression.
Hear from our community:
LUÜNA community members, Shelby and Arwen share their experiences with PCOS.
"Most doctors only care about treating infertility - they didn't care how [PCOS] affects my daily life." - Shelby
Shelby was diagnosed with PCOS when she was 20. She decided to go see a doctor after picking up weight she couldn't get off, despite exercising and dieting. Besides increased weight, she also experienced irregular periods which were very heavy and painful. But mostly, Shelby says PCOS has had the biggest impact on her confidence.
Her diagnosis has led to changes in her habits such as regularly using makeup to make her face slimmer and hide where her hair is thinning out, and shopping online to avoid being judged by shopping assistants. These are the symptoms of PCOS that, from Shelby's experience, doctors seem to care less about.
"For some, the effects of PCOS (hirsutism and hair loss for myself) can cause negative impacts on their mental health." - Arwen
Arwen's symptoms caused her to feel ashamed of how she looked - and while the idea of infertility saddened her - for a long time it wasn't her biggest concern.
A few years after her diagnosis, she naturally fell pregnant after two months of trying. She was excited but also shocked that it'd happened so quickly. When she mentioned this surprise at her doctor's appointment, her doctors admitted to not knowing about PCOS.
September is PCOS Awareness Month - join us in learning about this topic so we can better support ourselves and those around us. We also provide bespoke training programmes to equip workplaces with the menstrual health resources, read more here.