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PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Updated on 17 June 2022

According to various research and studies, it is said that 20% of Indian women suffer from PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease. That means, every one out of five women suffers from PCOD across the globe. In this article let us understand PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) Causes, Symptoms and Treatments.

What is PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease)?

PCOD stands for Polycystic Ovarian Disease, a medical condition wherein, the women’s ovaries generate premature eggs. The eggs further develop themselves into cysts. An important thing to note here is that the increase in the male hormone (androgen) results in the creation of follicular cysts. This causes an irregular release of the eggs in the ovaries.

What are the Common Signs & Symptoms of PCOD?

PCOD primarily influences the ovaries in a negative way. Every woman has two ovaries that undertake the production of estrogen and progesterone. The ovaries also release Androgen, which is a male hormone. PCOD disbalances this process, thereby leading to an abnormal release of androgen. Here are the common signs and symptoms of the same. 

  • Irregular Menstrual Periods
  • Heavy Bleeding in Menstrual Cycles
  • Acne
  • Excessive growth of hair on the body
  • Hair Loss
  • Baldness
  • Obesity
  • Pigmentation
  • Sleep Disorder
  • Depression

If you are experiencing any of these signs, then you have PCOD. It is advised to consult a doctor in case you showcase any of these symptoms. Let us now look at the causes of PCOD.

What Causes PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease)?

The exact description of why PCOD happens is not clear to anyone. Many doctors are of the view that PCOD can either be genetic or environmental. PCOD is caused due to the following reasons. 

In most cases of PCOD, the condition primarily runs in the family, and most of the time it’s genetic. But there are several other physiological causes as well. So, let us have a look at them! 

  1. Insulin Production – Insulin is produced by the pancreas. It is a natural hormone that helps in regulating the functions of metabolism and blood sugar levels in the body. According to studies, the increased level of insulin results in PCOD. Excessive insulin in the body stimulates androgen production, thereby leading to PCOD. 
  2. Inflammation – Low-grade inflammation can also lead to PCOD in the body. There are several forms of autoimmune diseases that can also lead to inflammation in the tissues of the body. This increases the male hormone in the body which in turn leads to PCOD. 
  3. High Levels of Androgen – The male hormone called Androgen is synonymous with excessive body hair, facial breakout, skin diseases, etc. If this hormone increases, there is an increase in these issues as well. These issues of the body ultimately lead to PCOD. 

PCOD can be caused due to any of these reasons. But once you know the cause, it is important to treat them as well. Here is how one can treat PCOD.

What are the Treatment options available for PCOD?

Treatment of PCOD involves both lifestyle changes as well as medications. There is no other cure for this condition but managing your lifestyle can contribute to a great extent. Here’s how! 

  • Healthy diet – Having a proper meal can help you manage PCOD. If you pay a bit of attention to diet, it can help you eliminate the symptoms altogether. Eliminate sugar, fatty foods, and oily foods from your diet. This will lower your cholesterol levels and help you get relief from cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Schedule Your Lifestyle – Women having a sedentary lifestyle must plan and exercise regularly to overcome the condition of PCOD. 
  • Hormonal treatment – In case one is diagnosed with PCOD, it is best to get a cyclical hormone treatment and other medications in order to regulate the periodic cycle. 
  • Skin Treatment – With a proper skin treatment, one can get rid of skin allergies, acne, patches, darkened spots, etc. 
  • Infertility – Women suffering from PCOD also experience infertility. To overcome such situations, infertility treatment is provided to women so that they can conceive in the future. 

However, there are some Medication and Surgical options as well. Let us have a look at them. 

  1. Progestin – Progestin is a synthetic progestogen that is recommended to perfect amenorrhea. 
  2. Contraceptive Tablets/Pills – Contraceptive pills contain estrogen and progestin that helps in reducing the male hormone in the body. This also helps in combating anovulation. 
  3. Metformin – Obesity is one of the major causes of PCOD. For this, Metformin is used. It is a medicine that reduces insulin in the body, thereby helping in weight loss.
  4. Laparoscopy – Laparoscopy is a mini surgery used to lower the testosterone levels in the body. This will help in curing PCOD to a great extent. 

So, this is how one can treat PCOD. PCOD is an incurable disease. At the most, it can be treated through the above-mentioned ways.

Now, it is essential to note that PCOD does not turn into ovarian cancer. You need to follow a proper diet, do exercises, and have medications in order to balance the hormones in the body. Millions of women suffer from PCOD. If you are one of them, then it is important to take preventive measures from now on!

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