It’s no secret that Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects many people across the globe. Over the past few years, PCOS has taken the center stage in conversations about sexual and reproductive health of people who can develop the condition, but the conversation around it is extremely one-dimensional. So, what about the lesser seen effects of PCOS on our health? How does having PCOS affect our mental health? FII, in collaboration with Proactive For Her, takes a look!
1. How do we talk about PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder experienced by many people with uterus of the reproductive age, and it affects many people across the globe. The conversation on PCOS stays limited to the weight gain, the potential infertility, the acne, and the ‘excessive’ hair growth caused by the condition.
Also read: Understanding PCOS And Its Patriarchal Standards Of ‘Femininity’
2. PCOS and our mental health
These symptoms, often due to their visibility, get the limelight on any conversation related to PCOS. But what about the lesser seen effects of PCOS? People with PCOS are about three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than people without PCOS.
3. PCOS, beauty and femininity
Cultural standards of beauty expect people to conform to a certain ideal of femininity – that requires one to have fair, glowing, blemish-free skin, and a thin hairless body. People with PCOS are constantly reminded that they don’t meet these standards which leads to low self-esteem, low confidence, and feelings of self-hate and inadequacy etc.
4. PCOS and infertility
Since infertility is a potential consequence of PCOS, people with PCOS are often reminded how ‘unfortunate’ they are to not be able give ‘birth’ to a child. This not only adds to the stress that people with PCOS with infertility might experience, but also ignores that not every person with a uterus wants to be a mother.
5. The state of PCOS healthcare
For people with PCOS, navigating healthcare can also often be quite a distressing experience. Healthcare providers cannot often look beyond ‘weight-loss’ and ‘lifestyle changes’ as possible solutions for managing PCOS. People with PCOS not only require support for their physical health, but mental health as well.
6. The power of community support
As a condition that affects so many people, managing PCOS can ironically, be very isolating for many people with PCOS. Apart from medical support, there’s also a need for people with PCOS to have a community, a space full of empathy and kindness.
Also read: From Authority To Empathy: Patient-Centered Healthcare In India
7. Managing PCOS: A holistic approach
Solutions for managing PCOS need to take a more holistic approach, an approach that understands that the condition can manifest itself in many different ways. Such an approach may look like judgement-free, safe, empathy filled spaces for people with PCOS and healthcare providers that understand how multifaceted the condition can be.
8. Where can you find help?
Proactive For Her, a digital health platform, has started a judgement-free, holistic PCOS program designed to address not just the physical but the emotional and mental challenges of living with PCOS.
To know more and register for Proactive For Her’s PCOS Wellness Program, click here!
Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised and confidential health-care solutions. To know more about Proactive For Her, you can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow them on Instagram, or visit their website.