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Pill shaming in ...PCOS...


Pseudoscience is rampant in social media including negative comments about the contraceptive pill & metformin being used to help people with their PCOS symptoms. It is increasingly concerning that this creates a culture of “pill-shaming”.


PCOS affects individuals differently. There is no cure for PCOS so the best outlook is good symptom management. These symptoms will vary across the lifespan as will treatment needs. There is a need to accept that the complexity of PCOS in a diverse population will mean there may never be one global solution for all. So, it is important not to be judged for treatment choices.


Each woman & person with PCOS is at a different stage in their PCOS journey, continually learning and evolving. So, whether someone needs anti-depressants, metformin, orlistat, contraceptive pills or any other medication they shouldn’t be judged. There is no shame in using what works for you. In fact, there are benefits and risks to all medications so it is unfair to suggest that people shouldn’t try them for themselves. With relation to some conditions associated with PCOS, such as Type 2 Diabetes, there may not be a choice. Or, for example, if someone has Endometrial Hyperplasia in PCOS you may have to take OCPs/Mirena to keep the womb lining thin. Indeed, some people find that the pill can help balance hormones while reducing hair and acne. No-one should be made feel guilt for having to use these options at all.


Bear in mind, social media accounts may be offering services or selling something marketed for women and people with PCOS. Sometimes being on medication is vital, so never discontinue any medication suddenly before speaking to your healthcare provider. Ask yourself whose best interests the social media marketers have at heart? Be informed through reliable sources and always always consult your Doctor on your goals whether it involves a pill or otherwise.


© PCOS Vitality 2021

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