Our clinician-designed quiz helps you understand whether or not your symptoms are consistent with PCOS. If they are, we'll guide you towards next steps and make sure you have everything you need to pursue a diagnosis.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects between 5 to 10% of people with a uterus and ovaries. It is characterized by a combination of symptoms related to menstrual irregularity, excess androgen levels, and occasionally the presence of polycystic ovaries. PCOS is a complex condition with various underlying mechanisms, including insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and genetic factors. The exact cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The current diagnostic criteria for PCOS include the presence of at least two of the following: irregular menstrual cycles, excess androgen levels or signs of excess androgen (such as acne or excessive hair growth), and polycystic ovaries visualized through ultrasound. However, it's important to note that the diagnostic criteria have evolved over time, and there are ongoing discussions about potential revisions to improve accuracy and inclusivity.
PCOS can present with a wide range of symptoms. Some common symptoms of PCOS include:
It's important to note that not all people with PCOS will experience the same set of symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely. Additionally, the symptoms of PCOS can overlap with those of other conditions, making diagnosis challenging and emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive evaluation by a trusted healthcare provider.
Medical fatphobia refers to the discrimination, bias, and stigmatization of individuals based on their body size or weight within healthcare settings. Unfortunately, medical fatphobia can have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of PCOS. There are several ways in which this bias can manifest:
Addressing medical fatphobia in PCOS diagnosis and treatment is crucial for ensuring equitable and inclusive care. It is important for healthcare providers to adopt a size-inclusive approach that focuses on overall health and well-being rather than weight as the sole determinant of health.
A size-inclusive approach recognizes and respects the diversity of body sizes and focuses on improving health and well-being rather than treating weight loss as the primary goal. It acknowledges that health can be achieved and maintained at various body sizes and that weight is not the sole determinant of an individual's health status.
Key principles of size-inclusive care for PCOS include:
Implementing size-inclusive care for PCOS can improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce the harmful effects of weight stigma and bias in healthcare settings.
Finding inclusive doctors can be daunting, especially when managing conditions like PCOS. Many healthcare providers still adhere to weight-centric approaches, focusing on weight loss as the primary solution, which can disregard the diverse needs and experiences of patients. That’s why we built Iconic. Our care navigation service is designed to connect members with affirming doctors who are aligned with their specific needs. With Iconic, it’s finally possible to find doctors who prioritize holistic health, emphasize well-being over weight, and provide personalized care for conditions like PCOS.