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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common reproductive endocrine disorder, which nearly affects about 5% of women. In PCOS, there is an excessive amount of androgens (a male hormone which includes testosterone) are produced by the ovaries. PCOS is the common cause of infertility, menstrual irregularity and hirsute which is excessive hair growth.

  PCOD or PCOS well known as Polycystic ovarian disease or syndrome is a medical issue, where the level of sex hormones estrogen and progesterone of women go irregular leading into growth of small ovarian cysts. Irregular menstrual cycle, fertility issue, cardiac problems and unwanted changes in appearance are some of the implications of PCOD. These cysts are commonly benign in nature but they cause an imbalance of hormone level which hampers pregnancy-related issues.

Causes of PCOD

PCOD or PCOS problem is caused by hormone changes better known as hormonal imbalance. When one hormone change activates another which in turn changes another. 

    1. Increased level of Testosterone: – Better known as androgens or “male hormones”. Although all women make a small amount of androgens. But when there is a high amount of androgen level then it can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle. There is an excess androgen produced by the theca cells of the ovaries, it may be due to hyperinsulinemia or increased luteinizing hormone (LH) levels.
    2. Raised levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH): – Is due to increased secretion from the anterior pituitary. This stimulates ovulation but may have an abnormal effect on the ovaries if the levels are too high.
    3. Low levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG): – A protein in the blood, which binds to testosterone and reduces the effect of testosterone. 
    4. Increased level of Prolactin: – This hormone is responsible to increase the breast gland to produce milk during pregnancy. 
    5. High levels of Insulin: – As we all know insulin is responsible to convert sugars and starches into energy. If you are insulin resistant, your ability to use insulin effectively is impaired and your pancreas needs to secrete excessive amount of insulin to make glucose available to the cells. An excessive amount of insulin might also affect the ovaries by increasing the production of androgen, which interferes with the ability of ovary to ovulate.

      Apart from the fact that weight gain causes a lot of health hazards, it can also severe the effects PCOD has on someone. Exercising regularly is one of the best methods if you are looking for treatment for a PCOD problem of yours or someone you know. You can try brisk walking, jogging, running, or even jumping if you feel you can pull that off.

Symptoms of PCOD

  1. Excessive hair on body and face
  2. Weight Gain
  3. Irregular or abnormal periods
  4. Pain and bleeding during periods
  5. Pelvic pain
  6. Despondency and anxiety
  7. Problems pertaining to fertility and pregnancy

What are the chances of pregnancy in PCOD?

Women who have been afflicted by PCOD are quite likely to have high-risk pregnancies hence they need keen monitoring. Miscarriage, premature delivery and gestational diabetes are some of the complications which women have to face. However, there are a lot of efficacious treatments which help women with PCOS to become pregnant.

Treatments available for PCOS: -

  1. Healthy diet and exercise: – A healthy diet and exercise are very important as a salutary and holistic diet come in handy in regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing blood glucose level. 
  2. Birth-control pills: – this is recommended for those women who do not want to get pregnant. These birth-control pills alleviate pain, help in regulation of the menstrual cycle and inhibit the level of male hormones which includes testosterone.
  3. Anti-Androgen drugs: – These drugs bring down the level of Androgen and regulate hair growth along with acne. They also keep an eye on the level of testosterone.  
  4. Fertility Drugs: – Fertility drugs are quite convenient for administering and expediting ovulation among women who are facing fertility issue due to PCOD.
  5. Surgery: – Laparoscopy is an effective surgery in treating women with PCOD as it drills up various multiple holes in the ovary and carefully destroys abnormal ovarian tissues that are causing a problem. This helps in restoring normal ovarian functions which enable women to ovulate. Surgeons, however, must keep in mind only to destroy stroma and not the cortex of the ovary, as cortex is responsible for the repository of the eggs and if damaged, the entire ovarian process will get adversely affected.

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