Many know September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month — which is important, as ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” and is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women (source). It’s definitely something we ladies should be aware of.

But there’s another “awareness” campaign going on this month, and it’s related, because it also concerns women’s health, and is actually a cause of cancer in some women… September is also PCOS Awareness Month, getting the word out about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

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What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? 

I wrote a lot more details in my post What is PCOS?, but here’s a very basic definition: PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts {and many other issues}. PCOS can cause problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance. The condition currently affects up to 5 million women in the United States. (source)


My Journey

You may recall that I wrote a post earlier this year about being diagnosed with PCOS. It is both a journey and a battle, that affects me every single day. Certainly that doesn’t mean every day is bad — far from it! Life is blessed. But that diagnosis, that condition, that part of my life is always present.

tealformeSupporting My Cysters

One of the biggest blessings in the last year since my diagnosis has been all the other women I’ve been able to meet who are also living with PCOS. Before I started to struggle with the symptoms, I had never heard of the condition before. In fact, I find that most people are completely unfamiliar with it, which is odd, considering 1 in 10 women have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Those of us struggling with it often feel like we’re alone, but the truth is we are not — there are many others walking this journey right alongside us.

Because PCOS is characterized by multiple cysts on the ovaries, we often refer to each other as “cysters.” I’m so thankful for this network of support, advice, and encouragement that I have found in my cysters all across the country and the world. When one of us is having a discouraging day or confused by some new symptom, it’s huge to be able to talk to someone who truly understands — as well as to celebrate our victories and good days together. I don’t know what I would do without these beautiful ladies!

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Thanks for Being Aware

The goal of this month is awareness. The goal of this blog post is awareness. The goal is for cysters to know that they’re not alone, and for the people in our lives to have a greater understanding of what we are living with each day. The goal is HOPE.

Thank you for reading and increasing your awareness!

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