How Common Is PCOS?
Understanding the prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is crucial for women who have been diagnosed with or are seeking information about this condition. In this blog post, we will delve into the prevalence of PCOS, aiming to provide practical advice and strategies that will help you take control of your health and well-being.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries and disrupts the regular menstrual cycle. This condition presents with a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and difficulty conceiving. Moreover, PCOS can have long-term health implications, such as insulin resistance, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.
A systematic review published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has shed light on the prevalence of PCOS . The findings reveal that PCOS affects approximately 10% of reproductive-aged women worldwide. This means that one in ten women may have PCOS, making it one of the most common hormonal disorders.
It is worth noting that the prevalence rates can vary across different populations and ethnicities. For instance, among South Asian women, the estimated prevalence of PCOS is higher at 18%. These variations can be attributed to genetic factors, lifestyle habits, and access to healthcare.
Diagnosis Challenges and Underreporting
Unfortunately, PCOS is often underdiagnosed, leaving many women unaware of their condition. The complexity of the disorder and its diverse symptoms can make the diagnostic process challenging. Additionally, misdiagnosis or delays in seeking medical help contribute to underreporting and an inaccurate representation of the true prevalence of PCOS.
The Importance of Self-Advocacy
In light of these challenges, self-advocacy plays a crucial role in managing PCOS. It is important for individuals to take an active role in advocating for their own health. If you suspect you may have PCOS, don't hesitate to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional experienced in this area. Openly discussing your symptoms and concerns is key to obtaining an accurate diagnosis.
For those already diagnosed with PCOS, self-education becomes a powerful tool. Educate yourself about the condition, its effects, and available treatment options. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider specialising in PCOS will ensure ongoing monitoring and adjustments to treatment plans as needed.
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. By understanding the prevalence of PCOS, individuals diagnosed with this condition can find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Awareness, support, and self-advocacy are crucial elements for managing PCOS effectively.
Seek out supportive communities, engage in open dialogue with healthcare professionals, and empower yourself through education. By doing so, you can navigate your PCOS journey with confidence, resilience, and better overall well-being.
Remember, you are not alone in this. Reach out, seek support, and be an advocate for your own health.
 Teede H, Misso M, Tassone EC, et al. Anti-Mullerian hormone in PCOS: a review informing international guidelines. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019;30(7):467-478. doi:10.1016/j.tem.2019.04.003