September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) awareness month. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 8 percent to 13 percent of reproductive-aged women are affected by PCOS. Additionally, more than 70 percent of affected women are undiagnosed. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal condition that affects women of reproductive age. It usually starts during adolescence, but symptoms may fluctuate over time.

PCOS is commonly caused by anovulation and can lead to infertility. It has also been associated with other health concerns such as physical and emotional well-being. It is believed to be hereditary, with ethnic variations associated with how it manifests. The prevalence of PCOS is higher among some ethnicities, who often experience more complications, in particular related to metabolic problems.

According to the PCOS Challenge, studies show women with PCOS to be at three times higher risk for endometrial cancer and two times higher risk for ovarian cancer. Additionally, these women are two to four times higher for risk of breast cancer.

Experts with PCOS Challenge believe earlier diagnosis can give them the opportunity to better manage the emotional, internal and physical effects of PCOS. It can also help them prevent the onset of more serious illnesses related to PCOS.

The WHO recommended improving symptoms though lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise can help reduce weight and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.