Everything you need to know about Polycystic Ovarian Disease

Polycystic Ovarian Disease or PCOD is a health condition that affects around 5 percent to 10 percent of women within the age group of 12 to 45 years. In this condition, the normal functioning of a woman’s hormones is badly affected. PCOD can cause serious issues with the menstrual cycle of a woman, thereby making it quite difficult for the patient to conceive. Some of the most important symptoms associated with this condition include: An irregular menstrual cycle, no ovulation, hirsutism, and acne.

Unless the condition is treated in time, PCOD can eventually lead to obesity, insulin resistant diabetes, and even high cholesterol which can in turn cause heart disease.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease Causes

Usually, the ovaries produce mainly female sex hormones as well as a very small portion of androgens or male sex hormones. These hormones work together to regulate normal development and functioning of the eggs in the ovaries for a menstrual cycle. However, when a woman is affected by polycystic ovary syndrome, effective functioning of the hormone system is hampered and there is an imbalance of the sex hormones. Patients of PCOD start to produce slightly greater amounts of androgens which in turn leads to hindrance of the ovulation process and growth of extra body and facial hair.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is also characterized by the development of cysts within the ovary. The ovaries contain follicles which are basically sacs that contain the eggs. Typically one or more eggs are released for every menstrual cycle in a process known as ovulation.

However, in case of polycystic ovary syndrome, these eggs do not mature properly and are therefore not released from ovaries. The ovaries form small cysts within the ovary and cause the condition to aggravate.

It has been found that PCOD is hereditary and women who are genetically predisposed to this condition are more prone to develop it.

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Here are the common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome:

  • Weight gain along with trouble losing weight
  • Acne
  • Extra hair growth on the body and face; women often develop darker and thicker facial hair along with more hair on belly, chest and the back
  • Women with PCOS can have fertility problems. Women having PCOS may have serious trouble achieving pregnancy and develop infertility
  • Thinning of hair on scalp
  • Irregular periods and other period-related problems; women having polycystic ovary syndrome often have less than 9 periods in a given year and some women even have no periods. There are also women who experience very heavy bleeding.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is carried out to meet the specific needs of every patient. The main goals of treatment are restoring fertility, lowering of the blood glucose levels, treating acne and hirsutism as well as restoring regular menstruation along with preventing endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia.

PCOD, with its many symptoms, may seem intimidating but with timely treatment, its effects can be drastically reduced. Do not neglect any signs of PCOD that you notice on yourself or any of your family members. Visit a gynaecologist as soon as possible!

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