On the 21st and 22nd of November, The PCOS Society of India held the 5th International Annual Virtual Conference on “PCOS – Best Options for Best Outcomes” under the guidance of Dr. Duru Shah, Founder President and Dr Madhuri Patil, Vice President. This conference brought together all specialties dealing with PCOS women like gynecologists, endocrinologists, dermatologists, reproductive endocrinologists, diet experts and health and wellness experts under one roof to deliberate on the problems of PCOS.
The virtual conference witnessed 12 International Speakers from all over the globe and over 30 National experts from all over the country come together for an enriching two-day conclave. The meeting had about 2400 delegates registered. The deliberations and experience shared by experts added much value to the Conference and it was a memorial and fruitful experience for all the participants.
Honourable Cabinet Minister – Mr. Amit Deshmukh presided as the Chief Guest for the Opening Ceremony held on the 21st November 2020 along with Guest of Honor, Dr. Alpesh Gandhi – President of The Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) & Dr. Smita Mahale – Scientist ‘G’ & Director, ICMR -National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH). Their encouraging words have been very inspirational for all the experts and participants.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Amit Deshmukh noted how healthcare workers have emerged as the real warriors during the pandemic. He lauded the efforts of the PCOS Society in creating awareness and suggested that a collective and participative effort is required to take care of the overall health and wellbeing of girls and women.
Dr. Alpesh Gandhi remarked that PCOS is a lifetime disorder known to cause profound physical and mental impact on the patient. He also added that the ignorance and lack of awareness on PCOS necessitates need for education, precaution, and prevention.
On the same note, Dr. Smita Mahale added “It gives me great pleasure to be part of this conference as a representative of ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health. As part of our research activity, we have been undertaking many programs to look at the prevalence of PCOS in the society and to develop a model for the management of PCOS. This conference provided us a platform to share with you our observations and we are glad to have shared our learnings.”
Sharing her thoughts on the conference, Dr Duru Shah, Founder President, said,
“We are grateful to all the experts who participated in the 5th Virtual Conference and shared their insights and learnings in the field of PCOS to create more awareness and impact more lives positively. PCOS is the most common reproductive disorder in women and affects about 10-15% of women in their reproductive age. A well-known disorder across the globe, PCOS needs more awareness in timely diagnosis and management. More interventions are needed to improve the quality of life for women with PCOS.
While young girls with PCOS face cosmetic concerns like acne and hair growth on the face and menstrual problems, PCOS women wanting to conceive may face infertility issues, pregnant women with PCOS face a multitude of challenges including gestational diabetes. In addition, women with PCOS also suffer from obesity, metabolic disorders and puts them at an increased risk of heart diseases. Moreover, women who are post-menopausal also are at an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Women with PCOS also tend to suffer from mental health and psychosocial issues that need medical intervention.
The PCOS society of India is dedicated to research in PCOS and imparting knowledge not only to doctors but also to the public by the various programs it conducts on social media and various public forums. This approach has helped us create awareness among doctors and women with PCOS to establish early diagnosis and reduce the risk of associated morbidities by prompt and early management. Such an approach represents a cost-effective strategy to reduce the considerable economic burden of this disorder.”
The incidence of PCOS is on the rise due to lifestyle changes and in India remains as under-recognized public health problem and represents a significant financial burden to our health care. Women with PCOS should be screened regularly for mental health issues and treated for other reproductive, metabolic, and dermatological manifestations. Social support has a significant positive association with quality of life, demonstrating its importance for the ability of them to adapt to problems associated with PCOS both physical and psychological.
As it was a virtual conference, there were delegates from all over the country like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, UK, Nepal, USA and over 30 poster presentations globally. The event included 2 keynote addresses and seven symposia deliberated by both international and faculty. There was also 30 E- poster presentations by clinicians from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.