Problematizing the person in PCOS research & healthcare ... yet it's more down to inequality?
There is a prevailing narrative that argues that the solution to PCOS is rooted in the individual. PCOS is common, affecting approximately 1 in 5 women & people, so they cannot all be wrong. Nothing is more frustrating & demoralising than being repeatedly told the problem is you.
Many with PCOS acknowledge the role they play in improving symptoms. However, PCOS is not solely the result of individual health behaviours. PCOS is complex. There needs to be an acknowledgement that the ability to change our biology, genes, environment is limited.
For example, in relation to help-seeking behaviours, women & people with PCOS are told to empower themselves. However, empowerment is dependent on the resources & support available. With relation to PCOS both are limited. Often empowered patients are met with barriers to treatments due to the lack of knowledge of PCOS in GPs surgeries, other healthcare settings & public health.
There needs to be a definitive change in the way healthcare tackles PCOS including more research equity & a more collaborative approach. PCOS is a lifelong metabolic condition so a lifelong partnership with healthcare is key.
Women & people with PCOS have been searching for answers for a long time. Empowerment, as manifested in today’s PCOS community, has been empowering itself for years. Maybe now it is time for healthcare to meet women & people with PCOS halfway in addressing what is fundamentally inequality in health & research.
© PCOS Vitality 2021