Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/Disease - Wockhardt

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/Disease

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/Disease, commonly known as PCOS/PCOD, is the most common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age. This condition is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones which can lead to a range of symptoms and complications including irregular periods, infertility and increased risk of metabolic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Approximately 10-20% Indian females are affected by PCOD.

Cause of PCOD is not known but there are several factors that may contribute to its development including:

1. Hormonal imbalances: An increase in androgens (male hormones) in women can lead to the development of PCOD

2. Genetics: PCOD may run in families, indicating a genetic component

3. Insulin resistance: This is a condition in which the body’s cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin (hormone produced by pancreas which control blood sugar levels) leading to elevated levels of insulin in the bloodstream

4. Lifestyle factors: Poor diet and lack of exercise may increase the risk of developing PCOD

Symptoms of PCOD can vary from person to person, but some of the most common include irregular or missed periods, acne, weight gain and excess hair growth on the face, chest and abdomen. Women with PCOD may also experience difficulty getting pregnant due to irregular/absent ovulation (release of egg from the ovary).

Treatment for PCOD is directed at managing the symptoms and generally includes lifestyle changes (reducing calories and intake of simple carbohydrates and increasing exercise), using birth control pills to regularize the menstrual cycles, reduce acne and excess hair growth. Metformin, a common medication for treating diabetes, is often used to treat insulin resistance and regulate menstrual cycles.

Women with PCOD who are trying to conceive, there are several options available:

Using medications to stimulate ovulation and In vitro fertilization (IVF) are most commonly used to assist women with PCOD who are struggling with infertility.

  • Women with PCOD may experience mental health issues such as anxiety and depression because of this condition. The physical symptoms of PCOD such as excessive hair growth and acne can also impact a woman’s self-esteem and body image. It is important for women with PCOD to prioritize their mental health and seek support from healthcare providers, therapists and/or support groups.
  • While PCOD can be a challenging condition to manage, with the right treatment and support, it is possible to live a healthy and fulfilling life. If you suspect that you may have PCOD, it is important to speak with your family doctor or an endocrinologist to receive an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Dr. Pranav Ghody

Consultant Endocrinologist & Diabetologist

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