What Women With PCOS Want Doctors to Know

PCOS and doctors
Getty

We understand how hard doctors work and how busy they are. We respect their profession and all the diligent effort they put in over the years to practice medicine and keep us well. We need them in our lives.

But as women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), there are some things we want them to know. This comes from the heart in order for them to understand us better and to provide us with the best treatment they can.

Give Us Respect

PCOS is complex and it’s also highly under recognized and treated. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women with PCOS to have consultations with numerous doctors before receiving a diagnosis of PCOS.

We’re frustrated with the medical community who have failed us in the past. Because of this, we have done our own research and educated ourselves on different treatment options for PCOS. It's OK to need reassurance along the way for why a doctor recommended a certain medication, supplement, or treatment plan and to ask questions about other opinions. Doctors should respect us for this.

Don’t Tell Us to ‘Just Lose Weight’

Please, don’t tell us just to lose weight and our PCOS will get better or go away. Many of us who are overweight are frustrated and ashamed of our weight gain. We’d love to lose weight if it was that easy.

Women with PCOS have a harder time losing weight. A lot of us gained weight even with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Some of us have lost weight and our symptoms didn’t get better. We still have more hair on our bodies than we care to and some of us still struggle with infertility. So please stop focusing on our weight and tell us something we don’t know about treating PCOS that will help us.  

Believe Us

Believe us when we say we have been watching our diets and exercising even though we haven’t lost weight.

Really, we have been trying. The number on the scale or what you see when you look at our bodies may not lead you to believe this. However, we would be happy to show you our Fitbits, food logs, kitchen scale, pictures of our healthy balanced plates, and nutritionist receipts to prove it. Take a look at our labs and compare them over time to see our improvements.

Recognize Your Limits

We know that doctors spent many years learning medicine. But doctors shouldn't pretend to be an expert in all aspects of PCOS if they aren’t. Don’t waste our time giving us ovulation inducers like clomid if you don’t have much experience with them. Instead, we’d prefer if you would refer us to a reproductive endocrinologist who does have the expertise. Likewise, don’t spend our short time together giving us a lecture on nutrition. Instead, recommend us to a registered dietitian nutritionist who specializes in PCOS, and who can spend the time to help us make lifestyle modifications based on our unique needs.

Focus on a Cure, Not a Name Change

Yes, the name PCOS isn’t ideal and the condition is so much more than just about ovaries, but we’d rather that doctors spend their time and energy finding the best treatment options available to cure us rather than changing the name of it.

If we can deal with the name, can’t they?

Provide Us With Empathy

Receiving empathy from the doctors we trust with our lives means the world. They should acknowledge our frustrations and fears and sympathize with us once in a while that having PCOS is no picnic. It may not seem like much but it gives us hope and support knowing they are in our corner. Knowing we are a team with a plan to fight PCOS gives us the very strength to do so.

Continue Reading