PCOS: A Massive Problem That Is Badly Diagnosed & Badly Treated
Piya (name changed, 19 years old, lives in Delhi, studies at a prominent university). At age 12, she had her first period and after 2 years stopped having regular cycles. Her mom took her to a gynaecologist who gave her contraceptives to bleed. With no positive results, and no regular cycles, mom and daughter kept visiting gynaecologists who kept recommending the same contraceptives. Only 4 years later did the gynaec do a full hormonal test and declared PCOS, recommended contraceptives for life to be had daily, 4 other medicines daily and a diet consultation with a price tag of Rs 2000!
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome often called PCOS or PCOD is a hormonal imbalance that affects 1 in 4 women with common symptoms being irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism, acne and weight gain. PCOS also leads to higher chances of infertility, miscarriage, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health complications.
PCOS is on the rise in India. More women have PCOS than diabetes. I will let it sink a little bit. Because now it is not something that can be shrugged off. And definitely something big enough that all of us need to be sensitive to the problem, be able to understand and help others with vocabulary, emotional sensitivity and their search for solutions.
It is appalling that many men and women don’t know about its existence. I have been in investor presentations and conversations with friends where PCOS word is met with indifference, a niche problem, a new age term. But it is not!
For a lot of women, PCOS develops as early as 16–18 years of age but gets undiagnosed for years, coming to light only when pregnancy conversations happen. Why? Because in a world where 50% of the population are women, period health and care solutions are limited. When we women miss our periods, we rejoice in not having to go through the emotional and physical discomfort.
In cases where PCOS has been diagnosed, women have limited options for treatment. Contraceptives is the only answer prescribed by gynaecologists. Contraceptive pills are the most common option that is used to manage the symptoms.
However taking these pills may have severe side effects if taken at a young age or if taken for prolonged periods of time. Putting aside concerns that birth control pills mainly cover up your symptoms of PCOS without addressing why your hormones are out of balance, the pill tends to increase insulin resistance and create a “bad” cholesterol pattern.
There is enough and more research that acknowledges PCOS as a hormonal imbalance that can be managed with the right diet and nutrition. There are many examples of people who have achieved it with the same.
But if it was this easy to manage PCOS, then why is it on the rise? Because in our current lifestyle, busy schedules and food choices, managing daily nutrition and even specific for PCOS — does get difficult.
And if natural solutions can help PCOS, then why weren't there products? That idea let to the launch of &Me PCOS Drink.
andMe PCOS drink is a unique blend of 24 ingredients crafted as a natural and holistic solution to PCOS. It not only helps to regularise cycles, but also helps manage weight, acne, facial hair, energy levels, as it goes to the root of the problem — hormonal balance. All with no preservatives, no artificial flavor / color / sugar. How do we know it works? We tested it out!
92% Women Noticed Improvement Within 2 months of Consuming the natural &Me PCOS Drink
In February 2020, we kicked off a pilot study to document the impact of PCOS drink on a controlled group of women for a period of two months. After carefully evaluating over 150 women consisting of family, friends and previous customers and eliminating on the basis of preset baselines and assessing their complete PCOS condition we were able to select 86 women from across the country ranging from age groups 18- 45.
81% women noticed regular period cycles
Due to absence of regular ovulation and the hormonal events (higher levels of male hormones like testosterone and high levels of luteinizing hormone) that lead up to it, women with PCOS have irregular or absent menstrual cycles. It is their biggest concern.
In our study, 45% (35) women, got their period within the first 15 days. This included 5 women who had no periods for the last three months, 7 women who have less than 8 cycles per month and 12 women who have 8–11 cycles per year!
After a month 71% women got those periods on time and by the end of two months 81% women started getting regular periods just by consuming one drink a day!
73% women noticed an increase in energy levels
Most women especially in India are deficient in micronutrients leading to low energy levels. With PCOS also playing a role in this, feeling drained out at the end of the day is very common in these women.
When asked to compare their energy levels compared to earlier 52% women noticed an increase in the energy levels in the first month and 73% women noticed energy increase by the end of two months. 53% noticed 20–30% increase, 31% experienced 10–20% increase and 14% noticed 30–40% increase!
52% women noticed significant improvement in their skin
Hyperandrogenism generally leads to hirsutism and acne. Both of these clinical symptoms are treated with drugs such as oral contraceptive pills, topical medications and antiandrogens. Even though acne and hirsutism is considered cosmetic in nature, they can cause significant emotional distress and social embarrassment.
Hence when over 52% women noticed significant improvement in their skin and 33% women noticed lowered hirsutism, we were confident that along with physical improvements we can impact their emotional state as well.
andMe PCOS Drink also showed natural weight loss results
For women with PCOS, losing weight can become a constant struggle. Insulin is a hormone that transports glucose from your bloodstream into the cells where it can be used as energy. PCOS affects the body’s secretion and use of insulin. The cells become resistant to insulin signals and this prompts the pancreas to produce even more insulin. Too much insulin promotes fat storage or weight gain, mostly in the midsection.
At the end of the first month 35% and after two months 34% women reduced their weight