What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition that causes a hormonal imbalance in the body.

It is one of the major causes of infertility in women worldwide and affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.

PCOS increases the risk of type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular diseases.

Think you might have PCOS? Sign up to find out more about PCOS and the Hupela-PCOS programme:

PCOS is often accompanied by hormone-related symptoms such as acne, hirsutism (facial hair), amenorrhea (irregular menstrual cycles), and even infertility. The infographic on the right shows some of the most common symptoms associated with PCOS.

Around 50-80% of women with PCOS also have what is called ‘insulin resistance’ (you can read more about insulin resistance and PCOS on our Resources page). This can contribute to weight gain and an increased risk of conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in the longer term.

Unfortunately, the name itself is a bit of a misnomer, because not all women who suffer from PCOS experience cysts on their ovaries. It is also often assumed that PCOS only affects women who are overweight. However, there is growing evidence that PCOS also affects women who are lean.

Here, the prevalence of insulin resistance is thought to be markedly lower (around 6-22%).

In reality, PCOS is a spectrum disorder, which is why it can be so difficult to diagnose, especially in lean women or women without ovarian cysts. There is growing research interest in PCOS, its diagnosis and treatment options. However, there are many things, especially lifestyle-based factors, that can have a potentially significant positive impact on living with PCOS.

Our aim at Hupela is to create an effective, affordable and evidence-based programme for women who experience symptoms associated with PCOS. PCOS is a global problem, yet remarkably little is understood about PCOS affecting women in the Philippines.

To address this, our evidence-based programme, Hupela PCOS Filipina, is tailored specifically for women with PCOS who live in the Philippines.

Hupela has been awarded a prestigious grant from Innovate UK and the Global Challenges Research Fund to build an evidence-based programme, the Hupela PCOS Filipina Programme, for women with PCOS living in the Philippines. The goal of the programme is to support women with PCOS and teaching them essential self-care techniques to manage their PCOS in the long-term. The programme focuses in particular on Good Health and Wellbeing, and Quality Education (meeting the core UN Sustainable Development Goals).

The Identify and Repair Programme will be available FREE online and can be accessed by signing up via the link below:

This programme provides weekly meal recipes specifically tailored for Filipino women with PCOS, using culturally-inspired recipes and locally-sourced ingredients. The programme also teaches you nutritional and lifestyle approaches that research has shown to help ameliorate or improve symptoms, and keep the condition as manageable as possible. As part of the Balance Programme, you will gain access to a community of other Filipino women who have PCOS through our online community and support group. We are always developing so we want to hear your stories and views on how we can better support you on your PCOS journey!