- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects one in 10 women and is the main cause of infertility among them.
- The level of dissatisfaction among women suffering from PCOS is higher due to longer waiting time for consultation and diagnosis.
- The high prevalence of PCOS warrants the need for higher level of awareness among women and healthcare professionals.
- This awareness should be used to ensure speedy diagnosis and better health outcomes for women with PCOS.
Women who suffer from polycystic
ovarian syndrome or PCOS are dissatisfied with the amount of time they have
to wait and the number of health professionals they have to consult before
being diagnosed with the condition.
The research states that two among three women are affected by this waiting-time.
Polycystic Ovarian SyndromePolycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic health condition that affects one in 10 women in their child-bearing age.
It is characterized by metabolic and reproductive problems.
Women suffering from PCOS are at an increased risk of developing metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity. Around 40% of the women suffering from diabetes between the ages 20-50 years have PCOS.
PCOS causes reproductive issues like infertility and irregular menstruation. It is responsible for 70% of infertility-related problems.
Psychological problems like depression and anxiety are also triggered by PCOS.
Around 9% to 18% of the women in their child-bearing age suffer from PCOS, according to the currently accepted Rotterdam diagnosis, international prevalence studies and guidelines.
Less than 50% of the women are diagnosed with PCOS leaving the remaining undiagnosed.
"Given the prevalence of PCOS, it is important for women and healthcare professionals to be more aware of the condition," said one of the study's authors, Helena Teede, FRACP, PhD, of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. "Despite the misleading name, PCOS is not primarily an ovarian condition, but instead is a hormonal disturbance with diverse health effects that is largely inherited. The process of diagnosing PCOS needs to be improved, and the diverse set of metabolic, reproductive and psychological features need to be understood and addressed."
A Few Key Features of PCOS are:
- Having increased number of immature eggs in the ovaries, which is detected through ultrasound.
- Higher levels of testosterone characterized by clinical features like excess body hair.
- Irregular menstrual cycle or absences of menses.
SurveyResearchers conducted an international cross-sectional study. The initial studies were conducted in Australia and then the researchers approached two large international PCOS patient support groups - U.S based PCOS Challenge and U.K based Verity.
Questionnaires were distributed to the participants through their website.
Eligibility criteria for the study:
- Women should be over 18 years of age
- They should be diagnosed with PCOS
Initially 1550 women from 32 countries responded to the survey. But 165 participants were excluded because they did not fit into the eligibility criteria.
So a total of 1385 women were enrolled for the survey.
Response from Survey
Nearly half of the women surveyed internationally saw three or more healthcare providers before they were diagnosed.
For a third of the respondents, the diagnostic process took more than two years.
Some of the respondents reported waiting for months or years for a diagnosis. They also had to visit multiple healthcare professionals.
A wait of six months or longer for diagnosis increased the level of dissatisfaction among women compared to those who were diagnosed in a shorter period.
"Our findings show women are dissatisfied with the diagnosis experience and that there are clear opportunities to improve awareness, diagnosis and health outcomes for women with PCOS," Teede said.
Less than a quarter of the survey respondents were satisfied with the information they received about common treatments for PCOS, including lifestyle management and medications, when they were diagnosed with the condition.
More than half reported that they had not received any information about long-term PCOS complications or emotional counseling or support.
The survey results, along with new international guidelines and awareness education initiative, will be used to improve PCOS education and care.
The study titled "Delayed Diagnosis and a Lack of Information Associated with Dissatisfaction in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome," is published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Dr. Meenakshy Varier. (2016, December 03). Women Unhappy With the Long Waiting Periods For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diagnosis. Medindia. Retrieved on May 26, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/women-unhappy-with-the-long-waiting-periods-for-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-diagnosis-165832-1.htm.
Dr. Meenakshy Varier. "Women Unhappy With the Long Waiting Periods For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diagnosis". Medindia. May 26, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/women-unhappy-with-the-long-waiting-periods-for-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-diagnosis-165832-1.htm>.
Dr. Meenakshy Varier. "Women Unhappy With the Long Waiting Periods For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diagnosis". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/women-unhappy-with-the-long-waiting-periods-for-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-diagnosis-165832-1.htm. (accessed May 26, 2022).
Dr. Meenakshy Varier. 2021. Women Unhappy With the Long Waiting Periods For Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Diagnosis. Medindia, viewed May 26, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/women-unhappy-with-the-long-waiting-periods-for-polycystic-ovarian-syndrome-diagnosis-165832-1.htm.