PCOS is also known as Polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a condition of the ovaries producing an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually present in women in small amounts, and small cysts may form in the ovaries. PCOS is a difficult condition for many women. Symptoms include cycle irregularity, acne, heart issues, thinning hair, abnormal hair growth, and skin conditions, such as acne. PCOS is extremely common and can impact as many as 1 in 12 women throughout their lifetime. Let’s take a look at some of the talking points that you might find helpful in describing PCOS to your family and friends.
1. Have Two Elevator Pitches For PCOS
When you want to discuss your PCOS with those who are close to you and strangers, there are two ways to talk to these two different types of people. Have a pitch for those who are close to you and have a pitch about your PCOS for acquaintances.
Elevator Pitch For Your Family and Friends:
When you are describing your PCOS to those who are close to you, consider an approach that personalizes your condition to them. Here is an example:
“I have PCOS. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that means my hormones are going to be a little bit unbalanced from time to time. Some of the issues that I might have include inflammation, weight gain, mood issues, and other things. I am making diet and lifestyle changes that will help manage my PCOS.”
This approach tells people in your life about your condition and lets them know that you are actively trying to manage your PCOS.
Elevator Pitch For Acquaintances and Strangers
You are not obligated to tell acquaintances and strangers about your PCOS, but you might find it helpful to have an explanation for them.
“I have PCOS. This is a condition that can cause inflammation and other issues because of hormonal imbalances. I am working on lifestyle changes that help me better manage my symptoms.”
Notice that with the elevator pitch for strangers, the explanation educates people about PCOS, but does not divulge too much information about the symptoms or other issues that you have to deal with.
2. Let Your Partner Be a Source of Support
Allow your partner to be a source of support with a policy of openness and honesty. You might consider allowing your partner to come to your doctor appointments and ask questions so that they can better understand your condition. You might want to invite your partner to participate in a healthier lifestyle with you. This can include:
- Planning meals and selecting recipes that help with your PCOS.
- Going on walks and runs as you start engaging in activity and exercise that help alleviate your PCOS.
- Keeping your lines of communication open as you deal with your PCOS symptoms.
3. Talk About Fertility the Way You Want To
PCOS does not mean that pregnancy isn’t possible. It just means that it is a little bit harder. Some people choose not to try and have children because of their PCOS. Research in the journal Human Reproduction has shown that both people with and without PCOS have a similar number of pregnancies and children. There are also fertility treatment options available that can increase regular ovulation in 80% of women.
Talk about fertility and PCOS on your terms. If you have decided not to have children because of PCOS, discuss that choice with those who are closest to you. However, don’t lose hope of having children just because you have PCOS.
4. Feel Free To Talk About Your Lifestyle Choices
Sometimes, family and friends may not be understanding about your lifestyle choices if they do not know you have PCOS. Sometimes, when you are out to dinner, someone might ask about why you are eating a particular dish and avoiding other types of food. Here are some responses that you might use if someone asks about what you are eating:
- “This looked extremely good and I am trying to eat healthier.”
- “Some of the other dishes on the menu looked a little bit too filling and I am eating lighter.”
- “One of my goals is to try and eat healthier.”
Responses like the ones above are tactful and can include the phrase, “...because of my PCOS.”
5. Be As Open As You’d Like With People
Women who suffer from PCOS deal with a lot of issues. For example, the medications can be expensive and add up over time. PCOS can also impact weight. There are also a lot of myths that are associated with PCOS, such as it being curable. When a close family member or friend wants to know more about your PCOS, they are often coming from a place of love and support. Feel free to be as open or as closed as you’d like when discussing your PCOS, as the people that support you will be there to help you.