Glassboro, NJ (PRWEB) August 23, 2006
Realizing real change has to come from more awareness, exposure and education for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), a petition drafted by PCOS Awareness Advocate Ashley Tabeling, is aiming to bring much needed attention to PCOS.
Although up to 10% of women worldwide have PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, it is estimated less than half know they have it.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal problem in women. It is also a metabolic disorder that affects several body systems and can cause significant long-term health consequences.
PCOS is frequently associated with decreased sensitivity to insulin (i.e., insulin resistance), which in turn may lead to an increased risk of adult on-set diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, if left untreated, PCOS can lead to complications such as endometrial cancer and hysterectomy of the ovaries and uterus. Additionally,PCOS increases a woman’s risk of heart attack and stroke because it increases cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also the leading cause of infertility in women.
It is estimated that approximately five to ten percent of women may have PCOS, with some researchers suggesting that the number is as high as ten percent.
So, if PCOS is so common, why is it so difficult to diagnose and where is the awareness for this serious condition?
"Part of the problem, then and now, is that the PCOS symptoms manifest themselves in different ways," says PCOS Awareness Advocate Ashley Tabeling. "In fact, not all affected women have polycystic ovaries."
Ashley’s desire to spread awareness stems from what she and many other women with PCOS have gone through, years without the proper diagnosis and not knowing what was truly wrong. Thousands of women from around the country have experienced the same lack of response from the medical community with little understanding of PCOS and the best way to treat it.
Many medical professionals still view the syndrome as a gynecological problem and only address the syndrome when issues of infertility arise. As a result, single women, older women and those not trying to get pregnant often still have little chance of being diagnosed.
Prior to a few years ago, PCOS had been largely misunderstood and rarely diagnosed. “The information to make a proper diagnosis just wasn't there," said Ashley. "Your concerns, in many cases, would have been dismissed. Now the medical community is realizing it is more than menstrual irregularities, it's a lifelong condition that can take years off of your life,” says Ashley.
Women with PCOS can have any combination of symptoms of varying severity. As a result of this, it is estimated less than half of the women who have PCOS, know they have it. It is because of this many feel PCOS Awareness has to happen now to ensure women and girls do not have to go through another day, month or year of silent suffering and to ensure they are educated on how to live a healthier life with this syndrome. "I hope and pray daily that doctors will get more aggressive with treatment, ladies will educate themselves better, and insurance companies will give preventative treatment instead of waiting until a woman needs drastic measures to regain her life," says Sarah Yocheved Goldstein from New York, a petition signer and PCOS Awareness Advocate.
The PCOS Treatment and Awareness Petition plans to empower the PCOS Community to speak very openly about their struggles, symptoms, and trials to overcome the illness, to help other women and girls understand the syndrome and seek the proper resources to help them manage their lives with PCOS. It hopes to be a driving force in changing the way the public, media and government view PCOS education, treatment and coverage for medical procedures, as a result of PCOS. Robin Brooks Radel, a woman living with PCOS agrees, "I’d like woman to know that PCOS exists and it can cause infertility, high blood pressure, heart disease, increased risk for some cancers, excess facial hair, hair loss, and diabetes I’d like woman to be educated and to pursue good health care. I’d like insurance companies to know that this is an endocrine disorder and therefore prevent them from denying treatment. I’d like my children to understand this disease, as it seems there is a hereditary link. I’d like doctors to understand that PCOS is not a fertility disorder, it is an endocrine disorder, and it can be treated. Maybe someday, it can be cured. Until that day, awareness is the most powerful weapon."
The online petition can be found at:
The petition has grown to over 2600 signatures, many with comments about the need for more awareness and how PCOS has personally affected their lives, their families and their friends. "It is my goal to reach a minimum of 1,000 signatures from each state.", says Mrs. Tabeling. " If each person passes this along to everyone they know and stresses the importance of awareness for this condition, we should be able to do this."
Whether they reach their goal or not, one thing is for certain, Mrs. Tabeling and the PCOS Community will continue to be vocal proponents for PCOS Awareness until it becomes a known acronym!
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