September is PCOS Awareness Month, a wonderful opportunity to educate the public about polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common hormonal disorder impacting women. According to the PCOS Awareness Association, PCOS affects seven million women in the United States, more than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus combined. Though millions of women have this syndrome, public awareness about it is not high and support organizations receive very little funding. As a consequence, it is estimated 50% of women are not diagnosed properly or may not learn they have it until they have problems trying to get pregnant.

While PCOS Awareness Month has been observed for many years among medical professionals and PCOS advocates, this year one of the leading PCOS advocacy organizations, PCOS Challenge, is taking awareness a step further. PCOS Challenge wants Congress to pass legislation (H. Res. 495) to officially designate September as PCOS Awareness Month. This law recognizes the seriousness of PCOS and the need for further research and treatment options and, potentially, a cure. This is a historic, bipartisan effort.

According to Sasha Ottey, executive director of PCOS Challenge, one of the goals of passing this bill would be to make PCOS a public health priority. Because it affects so many American women during their reproductive years and can have a long-term effect on their overall health, Ottey felt it was time for the discussion of PCOS to be elevated.

Contact your Member of Congress
PCOS Challenge is encouraging PCOS patients and medical professionals to contact their Congressional representatives to let them know the importance of the bill’s passage. If your Congressional representative is not already a sponsor, you can identify him or her at this link. Sponsors are listed here:

PCOS advocacy organizations
In addition to advocating for positive legislation, PCOS organizations play important roles in moving the conversation forward about how to help women with PCOS control their symptoms, prevent future disease complications like heart disease and diabetes, and combat infertility, if pregnancy is their goal. Two of the leading ones are PCOS Challenge and the PCOS Awareness Association.

PCOS Challenge, the group behind the passage of H. Res. 495, is one of the leading nonprofit support organizations advancing PCOS awareness and serves nearly 45,000 members. Its focus is education and raising public consciousness; it also provides ‘confidence’ grants to women for laser hair removal and other treatments to deal with body hair growth.

The PCOS Awareness Association is another not-for-profit providing resources and information to women with PCOS.

Find #cysterhood on social media
Help also can be found a few clicks away on social media where women can connect with #cysters, fellow females living with PCOS. The term ‘cysters’ reflects the cysts found on the ovaries of some women with PCOS.

There is a wealth of PCOS support on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where woman can meet and share experiences with each other. Though we encourage women to find answers to medical questions with their health care providers, social media support can be very helpful to make personal connections and friendships, as well as to swap tips and suggestions for leading a healthier lifestyle.

At HRC Fertility, we are committed to helping you live well with the diagnosis of PCOS and to assist you to get pregnant with proven treatments. Please let us know how we can support you.