Ladies, irregular periods should not be ignored. If your menstrual cycle is consistently irregular, or if you experience other symptoms such as acne, excessive hair growth, and weight gain, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Dr. Irene B. Quinio, Obstetrician-Gynecologist from The Medical City (TMC), said these symptoms may be signs of a medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormonal condition that affects women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS might also struggle to get pregnant.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), PCOS affects an estimated eight to 13 percent of women of reproductive age, and up to 70 percent of the cases are undiagnosed.
In the Philippines, an estimated one in six women of reproductive age has PCOS, which can lead to a reduced quality of life due to its significant impact on women’s mental and emotional well-being. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the physical symptoms of PCOS as well as the challenges of managing PCOS on a daily basis.
More common today
PCOS is more common today than in the past due to a number of reasons.
“Reasons may include a more sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food choices. Patients are also more aware of the condition, which may lead to more medical consultations,” said Dr. Quinio.
Although there is no cure for PCOS, treatments can improve symptoms.
“Management of PCOS is multifaceted and will include a combination of lifestyle changes and medications focused on a patient’s specific concerns,” added Dr. Quinio.
Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, can help your body use insulin more effectively and regulate your hormone levels better. For those who are overweight or obese, losing weight can also help balance their hormone levels.
Conversations of Care
Dr. Quinio encourages women who may be facing challenges when it comes to their reproductive health to see their doctor.
“Reproductive health is tied to one’s overall health. There may be underlying medical conditions that may cause complications if left unaddressed and untreated such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and even endometrial cancer,” she added.
In a related development, Bayer Philippines Inc, recently launched “Bayer For Her: Conversations of Care” to encourage discussion and action around women’s reproductive health concerns. Among the most common issues are PCOS, endometriosis, and use of pills.
During the launch which gathered medical experts and women’s health advocates.
Bayer announced the opening of free pop-up consultations at selected partner drug stores to encourage more women to seek out expert advice on reproductive health.
These pop-up clinics aim to help create safe spaces for women to speak up and normalize conversations about their reproductive health concerns, address common misconceptions and the barriers why they do not consult with their doctors, and get the support they need.
“With the launch of ‘Bayer For Her: Conversations of Care,’ we continue to raise awareness on women’s health. We know from listening to health care providers and patients that it’s not easy to talk about contraception, period pain and related topics in our cultural context. Bayer For Her enables these Conversations of Care with free pop-up clinics over the next two months at selected branches of our partners from Mercury Drug, Southstar Drug, Rose Pharmacy and Watsons,” said Angel-Michael Evangelista, Managing Director and Country Division Head of Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Philippines.
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