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Many actors and musicians have changed their names. David Bowie, Bono, and so forth. The name change was helpful in increasing recognition for them. Those are household names, culturally ingrained in our minds. Could PCOS undergo a similar name change? Would it be effective?

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects millions of American women. PCOS, however, may not be the name for much longer. There is a movement pushing for a name change. A panel of experts, courtesy of the National Institutes of Health, recently convened to discuss PCOS. One topic of discussion was a possible name change.

Although PCOS is more complicated than its name suggests, I feel a name change would create more confusion. It would be like an onion, each layer you peel the more confused you get.

Sadly, many women with PCOS can tell horror stories concerning their treatment at the hands of the medical community. Honestly, there needs to be improvements from top to bottom. Would a name change fix everything? While I do agree that the disorder needs recognition on a larger scale, there are other solutions besides a name change.

One solution, for instance, is broadening outreach programs and finding new ways to educate women (and the public, for that matter) about the disorder. Local communities and health providers should set up workshops; some communities already do. One recommendation of the panel is to “establish multidisciplinary programs to improve public and healthcare provider awareness and management for women who currently have the syndrome.” Additionally, doctors and the health community should be re-educated on the topic. Improving outreach would go a long way.

Other topics the panel discussed were the benefits and drawbacks of different diagnostic criteria; causes, predictors, and long-term consequences of PCOS; optimal prevention and treatment strategies.

For more information on their findings, look here.