Blogger Tina Beznec shares her struggles with PCOS in hopes of raising awareness
Chances are excellent that someone you know has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). After all, as many as two in ten women are affected by it. However, you probably don’t know much about the symptoms it can cause, and that’s why one woman’s viral post to raise awareness of the condition is so important.
Fitness blogger Tina Beznec, age 26, wanted to let the world in on what it’s like living with PCOS. The hormonal endocrine disorder can carry with it an increased risk of diabetes, cancer and trouble conceiving children, along with several undesirable physical symptoms.
Beznec tagged author Constance Hall in her post hoping she’d share it, and Hall did so resulting in the story going viral. As you can see, Beznec is shaving her face in the photos because excess facial hair is just one of a host of symptoms PCOS sufferers contend with. She writes, “As well as depression, anxiety, infertility, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, bloating, abdominal pains, acne, cysts, increased risk of cancer and everything else, a lot of woman including myself have to deal with facial hair!”
In sharing these photos and her story, Beznec is hoping to foster a greater understanding of what the condition means for those who have it. “Do you know how UNFEMININE this can make a woman feel?!? I’ve always been super self conscious about it, but really just have to put this out there because I want create more awareness around this syndrome and how much it can impact someone’s life especially if they don’t know they have it.”
According to Today, a woman can be diagnosed with PCOS if she has two of these three symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles, high levels of male hormones (which can cause acne and facial hair) and bumps, or cysts, on the ovaries. Beznec explains that she had long suffered from several of these side effects but had no idea it was caused by a particular syndrome. She told Today, “I have had symptoms such as excessive hair and sweating, irregular periods and depression ever since I was 16. But just accepted it as being ‘normal’ because I didn’t know any different.”
In sharing her story publicly, she’s hoping to shed light on how PCOS can make a woman feel. “Often, you feel very alone in your symptoms and you can’t help but feel judged.”
And how many women can say they have a combination of those symptoms but probably no clue they might be caused by PCOS? Which is why Beznec felt the need to speak out and share her story. “For a condition that is so common, it’s definitely unheard of to a lot of people.”
Indeed, the PCOS Foundation says less than 50% of women with the condition go undiagnosed. The Foundation also states that 70% of infertility issues in women who don’t ovulate normally are caused by PCOS.
With her post, Beznec wanted women who have the disease to feel less alone, but she’s also raising awareness for the thousands who are currently not diagnosed and could benefit from treatment. She ends her post saying, “If you think you may have polycystic ovary syndrome, please don’t be afraid to reach out and seek medical advice. It’s a hard battle but the sooner you’re diagnosed, the sooner you can manage your symptoms.”
Hopefully, Beznec’s story going viral will mean more women are diagnosed and treated. In selflessly letting us in on such intimate details, she could be doing a world of good for others. We applaud her for it.