Imagine knowing something is wrong with you, but being told time after time by health professionals there is nothing wrong.
Nobody can explain why you are struggling with acne and excess facial and body hair, or why you feel anxious, depressed or moody.
Nobody tells you that you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
When you are eventually diagnosed, you may be given little or no information about the condition and its impact.
You may not be told about all of your treatment options and, importantly, you may not be told about the lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the symptoms and real risks associated with PCOS.
A new Australian study by Dr Mandy Deeks, a psychologist with the Jean Hailes Foundation in Melbourne, has found that the five to 10 per cent of Australian women with PCOS sometimes face an uphill battle to be diagnosed and treated, and to receive all the information they need.
“I spoke at a PCOS conference last year and women there told me it’s distressing to know there is something wrong and have nobody tell you what it is,” Dr Deeks says. “They felt angry and frustrated. They wanted to be able to fix things – but you can’t fix something if you don’t know what is wrong.”