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Statice / Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS: A Journey Without an End

A young woman diagnosed with PCOS discusses her experience with a life-changing condition.

By Sania Siddiqao / Edited by Mehmet Mercan

Updated November 3, 2023

About the Disease

PCOS, or Polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a condition that mainly affects women of reproductive age; in this condition, many small cysts gather inside a woman's ovary and produce the male hormone, androgens, which gives rise to symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, polycystic ovaries.

It is one of the most common reproductive health problems that women face; according to the WHO, today, there are 114 million women globally who are affected by it, and according to a study, half of the women with PCOS get diabetes mellitus before turning 40.

There have been studies that women with PCOS are six times more likely to experience anxiety and depressive episodes compared to women without PCOS.

In Pakistan, PCOS is at a soaring height of 52%, and even with those numbers, there's a lack of awareness and familiarity with the disease, which is usually inbound to shunning discussions around reproductive health or negligence of healthcare workers towards reproductive health concerns.

Struggles of Diagnosis

Manal, an extrovert, is a fighter and someone who comes out of an emotional and physical strain with perseverance and determination. Manal Azeem had a reputation for being all over the emotional spectrum, and when she was 16 years old, in 10th grade, she was diagnosed with PCOS; the news demystified her conduct.

As a student, her struggle with her weight and paying attention in class burdened her with anxiety over her persona and studies.

The Staircase of Changes

The process towards betterment demanded immense change and devotion, and Manal had the willpower to overcome her symptoms through daily exercise, which helped her with her weight loss journey. A change in diet, with increased proteins and fiber and cutting off dairy products and carbohydrates, also played a huge role for her. Additionally, she says that taking care of your mental well-being and being involved in optimistic activities needs to be on everyone's A list in the fight against PCOS.

She further says that having a good night's sleep of 8-10 hours has done wonders with getting her hormones balanced.

Her family has also been a pillar of support for her: in every way, they had her back.

Unfortunately, PCOS can not be cured entirely, and only its symptoms are combatted to keep the condition at bay. Exercise, proper diet, and a well-rested slumber are some recommended easy and effective ways to get your health on track.


Recently, Manal says that due to her studies and busy schedule, she sometimes can't get the routine turn-about she wants. She sometimes falls into a spiral, but her self-belief and ability to start over have made her even stronger and reassure her that her efforts are not in vain and that they have made her a whole new person.

She warns that women shouldn't take their health for granted, whether they have PCOS or not.

"This isn't impossible, it just needs a little effort. Anyone can fight against this disease if I can."