Sept. 18, 2019 – September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month and this weekend, Friday, September 20th through Sunday, September 22nd, advocates, supporters, healthcare providers, and corporate and community leaders are joining PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association to launch a key PCOS awareness effort in Orlando, Florida as part of an 11-city national campaign. The PCOS Awareness Weekend events in Orlando are the largest series of events dedicated to patient and healthcare-provider education as well as raising awareness and funds to help fight polycystic ovary syndrome.
PCOS is a serious genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects up to 15 percent of women in the U.S. and hundreds of millions globally. It is one of the most critical, under-diagnosed and underfunded areas of health, which can lead to lifelong complications, psychosocial disorders, infertility, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endometrial cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and other life-threatening conditions. Researchers estimate 50 to 70 percent of women with PCOS are going undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
“We are excited to bring the PCOS Awareness Weekend back to Orlando,” says Sasha Ottey, Executive Director of PCOS Challenge, the largest PCOS patient support and advocacy organization globally. “PCOS is estimated to affect over 950,000 women in Florida, many of whom are going undiagnosed. PCOS Challenge is talking to far too many women who feel their health and requests for help have been disregarded by healthcare practitioners and policymakers alike. ‘Do I have to die before my condition is taken seriously?’ ‘Why do I have to cry blood before I’m heard?’ ‘How does something as big as PCOS go ignored for so long?’ ‘At what point does ignoring PCOS become fiscally irresponsible, and wouldn’t that economic burden be enough to encourage proper funding and research?’ These are the heartbreaking questions that consistently come our way,” Ottey says, “and during PCOS Awareness Weekend, our healthcare partners will address these concerns head on.”
The PCOS Awareness Weekend events include the inaugural Rise to the Challenge Gala on Friday, September 20th at The Alfond Inn located at 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789; the PCOS Awareness Symposium on Saturday, September 21st at the Orlando DoubleTree Downtown located at 60 South Ivanhoe Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32804, and the PCOS Challenge 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, September 22nd at Harbor Park at Lake Baldwin located at 4990 New Broad Street, Orlando, Florida 32814.
The Rise to the Challenge Gala and awards dinner was created to shine a light on PCOS, infertility and metabolic health as well as recognize outstanding individuals and organizations making a significant impact on PCOS patients, advocacy efforts, research and care.
The PCOS Awareness Symposium features world-leading experts on PCOS and brings together clinicians, researchers, PCOS patients and their supporters for a day of sharing experiences, insights and the latest research about the condition.
The PCOS Challenge 5K Run/Walk raises funds for PCOS education, research, health screenings, grants and support programs, as well as increasing awareness and public support for those with PCOS.
During PCOS Awareness Weekend, on Saturday, September 21st, major landmarks throughout Orlando will be illuminating teal, the color of PCOS awareness, including the Amway Center Spire, ICON Orlando 360; Lake Eola Fountain; Astrogenesis II; Global Convergence; Colonial Drive Overpass, Take Flight; Union Sculpture; Cedar of Lebanon; and the Tower of Light.
“Up to one in five women will need to be their own health advocate because many with PCOS wait more than two years and see three or more health professionals before being properly diagnosed,” says Dr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility CARE – The IVF Center, a PCOS Awareness Weekend sponsor. “This is unfair and needs to be addressed by educational events like the PCOS Awareness Symposium.”
Sponsors for the PCOS Awareness Weekend include: Fertility CARE – The IVF Center; OvuSense; American Electrology Association; Cryos International USA; Center for Reproductive Medicine; Brown Fertility; Feel Good, Inc.; PCOS Nutrition Center; Theralogix; and Fiona McCulloch, ND.
For more information about the PCOS Awareness Weekend, registration and sponsorship opportunities or to schedule media interviews, visit PCOSWeekend.org and PCOSAwarenessMonth.org.