Let’s learn about polycystic ovarian syndrome today. PCOD is also known as Stein leventhal syndrome or hyper androgenic anovulation. PCOD is one of the most common endocrinal problems in females of the age group 18 to 44. Approximately 5% to 10% of this population is affected by PCOD.
PCOD is also one of the leading causes of infertility. “Poly” means multiple, “cyst” means small sac like structures filled with liquid (tiny balloons with fluid in it). An ovary having multiple sacs filled with liquid on its surface is known as a polycystic ovary.
The exact cause of PCOD is not known. It is said to be caused because of combination of genetic and environmental factors. It has genetic predisposition, i.e. it runs in families. If you have relatives who are really obese or suffering from Diabetes then you might be predisposed to PCOD. It is most common in the reproductive age group.
It contains of three components namely, increased levels of male hormones (androgens) in female, cysts on the ovaries and menstrual irregularities. There is absence of ovulation as the eggs don’t get released from the ovary and result in formation of cysts.
A female suffering from PCOD might complain of:
- Menstrual problems: irregular menses, absence of menses, heavy or very less bleeding.
- Not able to conceive: infertility is one of the main complaints
- Obesity: the patients put on a lot of weight which doesn’t get shed very easily.
- Excessive hair growth: excessive hair growth on face and body which is thick and coarse.
- Acne: facial pimples resistant to skin treatment.
- Mood swings: feeling low or depressed.
The doctor takes a complete history specifically menstrual history, obesity, and hair growth and acne problems. Pelvic Ultrasonography may reveal ovaries having tiny cysts on its surface. The hormonal levels of male hormones (androgens) will be raised. Some other hormonal tests are done which may be elevated. The patient will be obese, have a lot of acne and facial hair growth and will report incidences of being depressed in past few weeks.
- Life style modifications: when the PCOS is caused by obesity, weight reduction is the most effective method to restore the normal menstrual cycle. Taking a low glycemic index diet having more fruits and veggies is recommended. Regular exercising, non smoking, weight control and healthy diet are important parts of treatment of PCOD.
- Medications: medications such as clomephene citrate, metformin are prescribed to treat PCOD. Sometimes, oral contraceptives can also be prescribed to regularise the menstrual cycle.
- Surgery: ovarian drilling is a method by which the cysts in the ovary can be removed. A tiny puncture is given to the cysts to drain the fluid inside them.
- Cosmetic: medications can be given to decrease the facial excessive hair growth and acne.
PCOS if left untreated may lead to complications like infertility, repeated miscarriages, diabetes mellitus and hypertension during pregnancy, pre mature delivery, pre cancerous lesion of uterus and uterine cancer etc.
Are you suffering from PCOD? Contact your nearest doctors!!