ATLANTA, Sept. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- PCOS Challenge, the leading nonprofit support organization for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), announces its Southern Regional PCOS Awareness Symposium to be held in September during PCOS Awareness Month to help address seven critical education and healthcare practice gaps adversely impacting the physical, mental and emotional health of millions of women. These education and practice gaps are causing many women and girls with PCOS to struggle for years undiagnosed or ill-equipped to address the issues that scar their social development and leave them exposed to numerous life-threatening related conditions. The PCOS Challenge symposia bring together hundreds of patients and world leading researchers and clinicians for a day of sharing experiences, insights and the latest updates about the condition.
PCOS is a genetic, hormonal, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects at least 10 percent of women. It is the leading cause of female infertility and has devastating effects on women's and girls' quality of life due to symptoms including excess facial hair growth, acne, hair loss, depression and obesity. Women with PCOS constitute the largest group of women at risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The National Institutes of Health estimates 50 percent of women with PCOS will become diabetic or pre-diabetic before age 40. Additionally, some studies have shown women with PCOS to be at higher risk for endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism also found women with PCOS are twice as likely to be hospitalized as other women.
Emory Reproductive Center is the Presenting Sponsor for the Southern Regional PCOS Awareness Symposium to be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 9AM – 5PM at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
"Emory Reproductive Center and all of our sponsors are visionary leaders setting an example for other organizations to help address this neglected area of women's health which affects a large population of their employees, customers and communities," says Sasha Ottey, Executive Director of PCOS Challenge. "For too long, the calls for help by millions affected by PCOS have gone unanswered. Adolescents and women with PCOS are dealing with severe body image, mental and physical health issues. Many develop risk factors for diabetes before they get their first periods and continue to struggle with PCOS and related complications throughout their lives. Through the PCOS Awareness Symposia and our other efforts, we have taken a leadership role in addressing PCOS education and healthcare gaps as well as the expressed needs of tens-of-thousands of patients. PCOS Challenge has surveyed over 31,000 women and it is clear that there are serious and systemic problems in healthcare regarding PCOS diagnosis, treatment and support. These problems are compounded by the general lack of awareness and education about the condition, particularly among those who are responsible for protecting public health, making funding decisions and those who are in a position to influence healthcare policy."
Jessica Spencer, MD, MSc., Medical Director of Emory Reproductive Center says, "Anything that involves 10 percent of a population is important to pay attention to. PCOS is a great example of serious problems that women face that are under-supported, not well characterized or known about in the community. A lot of women don't know about PCOS when they are first diagnosed and sometimes it takes many years to find a provider who can help them. We are supporting the PCOS Awareness Symposium at Emory because we think that patients should play an active role in their healthcare and have an opportunity to learn as much as possible about how to manage the condition, the types of complications that can develop and other important things that affect them."
Other PCOS Awareness Symposium sponsors include Baxter International Inc., DuoFertility, Theralogix Reproductive Health, Chiral Balance, Ideal Image, American Electrology Association, Georgia Reproductive Specialists, Reproductive Biology Associates, Tomorrow's Parents International, Sara M. Clay, P.C., Insulite Health, Publix Pharmacy, Fairhaven Health, PCOS Nutrition Center and The Baron Solution Group.
For more information on the PCOS Awareness Symposium, registration and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://pcoschallenge.org/symposium/.
William R. Patterson
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SOURCE PCOS Challenge, Inc.