Skip to content

    Women's Health

    Font Size

    Experts: Common Women's Condition Needs a New Name

    New Name Could Foster Funding, Education continued...

    “The current name focuses on only one of the criteria and actually doesn’t include a discussion about the metabolic syndrome and the metabolic consequences, the insulin resistance, and some of the other major issues that could be lifelong issues that people who have this disease or this series of diseases might have,” says panel member Timothy Johnson, MD. He is an obstetrician-gynecologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

    “Our hope was that a group or some group of people who are interested in the condition could come together very, very quickly and simply pick a name that is more inclusive,” Johnson says.

    New Name ‘Not a New Idea’

    Other experts say that’s easier said than done.

    “This is not a new idea,” says Sarah Berga, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. Berga has spent her career studying PCOS, and she says she tried to give it a new name about 20 years ago. “I changed it to hyperandrogenic anovulation,” she says.

    “We published one of our really most important papers under that name,” Berga says, hoping the change would catch on. The result? “No one knows it exists. You can’t search it.”

    “What happens is that the name may not be everything you want it to be, but it’s how all of the world, unfortunately, thinks about it,” she says.

    “To reeducate people is a huge task,” she says. “I love it. I agree with [a name change for PCOS]. But I wonder how really feasible it will be.”

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    Is it menopause or something else?
    woman in bathtub
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    estrogen gene

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror