PCOS affects many adolescents in Bangalore City, with incidence rates in Indian cities ranging from 11-30%. It significantly impacts physical and emotional well-being. While awareness campaigns by various forums, including doctors, play an essential role in addressing PCOS, parental involvement is critical in supporting and empowering adolescents to manage this condition effectively. Let’s understand the importance of parents’ role in their daughters’ lives with PCOS.
Before discussing parental involvement, it’s crucial to understand what PCOS is and how it affects adolescents. PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterised by irregular menstrual cycles, excess androgens (male hormones), and many follicles (cysts) on the ovaries. Common symptoms include irregular periods, acne, excessive hair growth and increased weight.
Why Parental Involvement Matters
Emotional Support: Adolescence is challenging, and living with PCOS can add emotional stress. Parents’ emotional support can significantly affect how their daughters cope with the condition. Open communication and a supportive environment can help alleviate anxiety and depression often associated with PCOS.
Healthcare Advocacy: Parents can play a vital role in advocating for their daughters’ health needs. This includes finding the right doctors, scheduling appointments and ensuring consistency in following treatment.
Lifestyle Guidance: Managing PCOS includes lifestyle adjustments, like embracing a balanced diet and incorporating regular physical activity. Parents can lead by example and encourage their daughters to make these positive changes in their family routine.
Education: Parents should educate themselves about PCOS to better understand their daughters’ experiences. They can then share this knowledge with their children, demystifying the condition and reducing the associated stigma.
Nutritional Support: Adolescents with PCOS may need dietary guidance to manage their weight and hormone levels. Parents can help by providing nutritious meals and snacks while fostering a healthy relationship with food.
Building Self-Esteem: PCOS symptoms, such as acne and weight gain, can affect self-esteem. Parents can boost their daughters’ self-confidence by emphasizing their strengths and achievements, helping them develop a positive body image.
Open Communication: Encourage open and non-judgmental communication with your daughter. Create a safe space for her to discuss her feelings and concerns about PCOS.
Accompany to Medical Appointments: Be present at doctor’s appointments, ask questions, and ensure you understand the treatment plan and recommendations.
Support Lifestyle Changes: Participate in healthy activities as a family. Encourage physical activity and offer support when making dietary changes.
Seek Support: Reach out to competent and empathetic doctors in this regard. They can guide both parents and adolescents.
Be a Role Model: Set a positive example by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and strong self-esteem.
Parental involvement is indispensable in addressing PCOS among adolescents. By offering emotional support, advocating for healthcare needs, and fostering a positive environment, parents can help their daughters navigate the challenges of PCOS with resilience and confidence. Through open communication and active participation in their daughters’ well-being, parents can impact their children’s lives and empower them to manage PCOS effectively, ultimately leading to better long-term health and happiness.