Readers of my blog will quickly learn that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not only professionally important to me, since I specialize in treating women with the condition, but also personally important to me, since I have PCOS myself. However, raising awareness about PCOS is not just a self-indulgence.
ONE in TEN! This represents an enormous public health issue. And yet, so many people – including many medical and mental health professionals – are not familiar with PCOS. Heck, I’m willing to bet a majority of my readers who have PCOS, as well as their loved ones, had never even heard of it before they were diagnosed!
For example, the PCOS Awareness Association is presenting PCOS Awareness Month this September. For the entire month, they will be sponsoring a number of activities to promote awareness of PCOS and advocate for an increased focus on PCOS in the medical and mental health fields.
Women with PCOS know what it’s like to suffer from a condition that you don’t understand, especially when you are not connected to a community of other people dealing with a similar struggle. Nobody deserves to have to go it alone.
Furthermore, advocating for PCOS as an important public health priority can directly translate into increased funding for research, education, outreach, and treatment development. The gains can be huge! Remember the ice bucket challenge created to increase awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)? Well the ALS Association recently announced that a new ALS gene was found as a direct result of the influx of funding the ice bucket challenge created!
Would you believe that PCOS receives less than 10% of National Institute of Health (NIH) grant funding (compared to other diseases and conditions), yet it affects one in ten women?! That’s just not good enough.
So how can you help raise awareness of PCOS?
2. Don’t feel like biting into a lemon for science? No problem, you can help the PCOS Awareness Association spread the word about PCOS Awareness Month by helping start a thunderclap on social media!
3. If you’re more of a giver than a doer, you can donate directly to the PCOS Awareness Association and encourage others to do so as well!
With enough support and momentum, we CAN improve the lives of the many millions of women who struggle with PCOS. Join me, won’t you?
I’d love to hear what YOU are doing to increase awareness of and support for PCOS. Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.
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