PCOD: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Complications
What is PCOD?
PCOD stands for Polycystic Ovarian Disease. It is one of the most common conditions that affect 5% to 10% of women who lie in the age group of 12 to 45 years. It generally affects women in their reproductive age. The most prevalent problem that occurs in PCOD is the imbalance in the woman’s hormones. It becomes evident when there are irregularities in the menstrual cycle and ovulation period. Consequently, it gets challenging for the woman to conceive. The most evident features of PCOD are no ovulation, no or irregular periods, excessive acne on the skin, and hirsutism. Moreover, if the woman does not get timely treatment, she can develop other complications, like insulin-resistant diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. This directly leads to heart diseases.
Common Symptoms Of PCOD
There are some evident symptoms of PCOD, which are relatively common in every patient. Here is a list of some common symptoms of the disease for your reference:
- People with PCOD develop visible acne on various parts of the body, like the face, neck, and back.
- There is an evident increase in weight and the patient faces problems in losing it. Even after trying various activities, like gyming, aerobics, physical workout, and many more, there is no considerable change in weight loss.
- The hair on the scalp starts becoming thin, even after using hair growth oils.
- Irregularity in the menstrual cycle is one of the most prominent symptoms of having PCOD. Research says that women with PCOD experience less than nine periods in a year. There are some women who do not experience any periods at all. But, at the same time, there are people who have very heavy bleeding during their periods.
- Not to mention, fertility problems do occur in people with PCOD or PCOS.
- A woman also experiences depression due to all the changes that are happening in her body due to the disease.
These are a few symptoms of PCOD that you must keep a check on. If you find anything fishy in your body, you must consult a doctor in the least possible time. The doctor also makes other investigations for sugar estimation, thyroid hormone tests, an ultrasound of the pelvic region. People also make use of things, like serum androgens and luteinizing hormone.
Causes of PCOD
To get appropriate treatment for the disease, one must consult a doctor and try to investigate the root cause of the presence of the disease. Here are a few common causes of PCOD that you would love to know:
- In general, females are responsible for making female sex men hormones. At the same time, they make a tiny amount of male sex hormones, called androgens. These movements in the female body help to regulate the natural development of eggs in the ovaries during periods.
- PCOD is closely related to an imbalance in these sex hormones. They slightly begin to make more androgens. This causes irregularities in the ovulation, sometimes they even stop ovulating. This becomes the root cause of the growth of pimples and extra hair on the body of the patient.
- Sac-like structures, called follicles are present in the ovaries. These sacs contain female eggs. Generally, one or more eggs release at the time of the menstruation cycle. This process of the release of eggs is called ovulation.
- If a person is having PCOD or PCOS, the eggs in these follicles do not attain maturity and fail to release from the ovaries. Instead, they form a very small cyst in the ovary, and hence the disease is called Polycystic ovary disease.
- PCOD seems to run in families, so the women who have it might have got it from their mothers or somebody else in the family. This may also get transmitted if someone from a close family has irregularity in periods or diabetes.
These are a few causes of PCOD. After knowing the root cause in your case, the first thing that you should do is to consult the doctor for the appropriate treatment.
Possible Treatment Methods of PCOD
PCOD is a syndrome that is quite uncertain to treat. Women with PCOS find it challenging to figure out the best method to get rid of PCOD. There are several modes in which you can take the treatment of the disease, but you must consult your doctor before taking any medication, even if it is something from your home and nature itself. The treatment of PCOD has a lot to do with what you eat, and how you eat. So, you must be very cautious about the intake of food items.
There are four basic modes of treatment for PCOD, which are as follows:
- Ayurvedic treatment, which involves the usage of natural herbs, like ashwagandha, cinnamon, and turmeric.
- Surgical methods, like laparoscopy (band-aid surgery)
- Yoga and exercise, like cobra pose, reclining butterfly pose, bow pose, and many more
- Home remedies, like having saturated sugar levels, no junk food, a gluten-free diet, and many more.
Furthermore, the ultimate objective of choosing the treatment methods of PCOD is to manage individual concerns, like:
- Lowering down the blood glucose levels to normal
- Restoring the ability to reproduce
- Treating the chronic conditions of acne and excessive body and facial hair
- Restoring regular menstrual and prevention of complicated medical conditions, like endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.
However, losing weight is the only possible treatment to eradicate PCOD or PCOS from our lives. Even a weight loss of 5% of total body weight has been shown to help with the imbalance of hormones and also with infertility.
Medications for Abnormal Hormones
- Birth control tablets or progesterone tablets support making menstrual periods more regular.
- Metformin, a medicine that develops the body’s responsiveness to insulin, can improve the indications of PCOS and seldom will cause the menstrual cycles to normalize. For a few women, it can also help with weight loss.
- LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs
- Treatment with clomiphene citrate causes the egg to mature and be released. Sometimes women need this or other fertility drugs to get pregnant.
Medications for Abnormal Hair Growth
- Taking birth control pills can help you get rid of excessive hair. It is a gradual process. It may take several months to begin noticing a difference.
- If there is a chance that birth control pills, then you can take anti-androgen medications. These include medicines such as spironolactone and flutamide.
- Eflornithine cream may slow the growth of undesired facial and body hair in females.
- Hair removal using laser and nonlaser light sources damages individual hair follicles so they do not grow back. This can be expensive and multiple treatments are needed. Laser removal can be combined with other medicines and hormones.
- Pelvic laparoscopy to remove a section of the ovary or drill holes in the ovaries is sometimes done to treat the absence of ovulation (anovulation) and infertility. The effects are temporary.
We were all the treatment methods are applicable to treat PCOD and its complicated risk factors. However, you need to make sure that you consult a doctor before trying anything on your body, even if it is coming from your house.
If you do not get timely treatment for PCOD, then there is a chance that you might have to suffer from complications. Some of them have been listed below:
- Increased risk of endometrial cancer
- Infertility (early treatment of polycystic ovary disease can help prevent infertility or increase the chance of having a healthy pregnancy)
- Obesity-related (BMI over 30 and waist circumference greater than 35) conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes
- Possible increased risk of breast cancer
These are the complications that a person may undergo if he is suffering from the disease. These complications may also occur if you take something as a treatment without any consultation from the doctor.