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Polycystic Ovary Disease (pcod ) - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


what is pcod

Polycystic Ovarian Disease or pcod is a common medical condition that causes hormonal disorder, which is very common among women of at their reproductive age. This disease affects the normal functioning of the ovaries, and which is leading to the production of an abnormally high amount of androgen – the male hormone.

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In a regular menstrual cycle, both the ovaries release a mature egg into the uterine lining, and if the egg is not fertilized, you get your monthly periods. But what pcod does is, it causes enlarged ovaries filled with fluid-filled sacs or follicles,which contain an immature egg that does not mature enough to be released, and it's leads in to no ovulation, thereby messing up the regular menstrual cycle.

While polycystic ovary disease is not a curable condition, symptoms of pcod are quite manageable and oftentimes the treatment doesn’t even involve medications.

Now, Let’s understand the signs, symptoms, effects and treatment of polycystic ovary disease.



 WHAT ARE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF pcod?


The signs and symptoms of pcod are so hard to miss. If you have pcod, these are the following signs and symptoms might become apparent in the latter part of your teens and early twenties too:


Irregular menstrual cycle or no periods –


If one have hormonal imbalance,  if there is hormonal changes and also consequent absence of ovulation prevent the timely shedding of the uterine lining.


Heavier than usual bleeding –


When your periods do arrive, they can be heavier than usual.


Abnormal hair growth


All the majority of women dealing with polycystic ovary disease experience abnormal hair growth on the face and body.


Acne –


Excess of the hormone androgen production can lead to oilier than usual skin and frequent breakouts.


Weight gain –


A Women with pcod usually put on weight and find it extremely difficult to lose it.


Excess hair fall


polycystic ovary disease causes excessive hair thinning too.


Hyperpigmentation


pcod can lead to darkening of skin on the neck, under breasts, and around the groin.



WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF pcod?


THE Chronic hormonal imbalance associated with pcod can affect various aspects of your overall health too.


Infertility –


Your pregnancy can occur only if you ovulate. Since polycystic ovary disease interferes with ovulation, it can lead to infertility. In fact, pcod problems are a leading cause of infertility in a women.


Obesity


All the erratic weight gain caused due to pcod can lead to obesity. The Obesity, in turn, increases your risk of developing metabolic disorders too, like diabetes, cholesterol, and hypertension.


Sleep Apnea


In this situation of sleep apnea, momentary breaks in breathing throughout the night interrupt sleep. It is more common in obese women with pcod .


Mental Health –


polycystic ovary disease effects can negatively impact your life like, mental health leading to depression and anxiety.


Endometrial Cancer


In this time, when the uterine lining (endometrium) is not shed regularly, its build-up can increase the risk of endometrial cancer too.



HOW IS PCOD DIAGNOSED?


In order to diagnose your pcod, your doctor is likely to ask you in-depth questions relating to your medical history and prescribe the following tests also:


Physical examination


Your doctor might check for physical signs and symptoms like, facial hair, skin discoloration, acne, etc. Your doctor is also likely to check your blood pressure and measure your BMI (Body Mass Index) too.


Pelvic Examination –


This examination will help the doctor check for problems, if there any problems, with your reproductive organs such as swollen, polycystic ovaries, or other growth in your uterus.


Ultrasound


The ultrasound examination will enable the doctor to check your ovaries, is there any  cysts.


Blood test


Your gynecologist might also prescribe a blood test to check the levels of androgen in your blood.
This blood test will also help them rule out other hormonal disorders such as thyroid which often get mistaken as polycystic ovary disease.



pcod treatment


pcod treatment mainly focuses on managing your individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity. But Specific treatment might involve lifestyle changes, diet and medication.


Lifestyle changes


Your gynecologist may recommend weight loss through a low-calorie diet combined with moderate exercise activities. Even a modest reduction in your weight — for example, losing your 5 to 6 percent of  body weight — might improve your condition. Losing your weight may also increase the effectiveness of medications.  Doctor recommends this, for pcod treatment, and can help with infertility too.


Medications


To regulate your menstrual cycle, your doctor might recommend:

Combination of some birth control pills. Birth control Pills that contain estrogen and progestin decrease androgen production and regulate your estrogen label. Regulating of your hormones can lower your risk of endometrial cancer too and correct abnormal bleeding, excess hair growth and acne also. But Instead of pills, you might use a skin patch or vaginal ring that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin hormon.


Progestin therapy. 


This therapy can regulate your period, if it Taking  for 10 to 14 days every one to two months. This therapy can also protect against endometrial cancer. But it is true that, Progestin therapy doesn't improve androgen levels and won't prevent pregnancy. This progestin-only minipill or progestin-containing intrauterine device is a better choice if you also wish to avoid pregnancy.


To help you ovulate, your doctor might recommend:


Clomiphene. It is a oral anti-estrogen, and this medication is taken during the first part of your menstrual cycle.


Letrozole (Femara). It is a breast cancer treatment and it can work to stimulate the ovaries.


Metformin
This is a oral medication for type 2 diabetes improves insulin resistance and lowers insulin levels. If you do not become pregnant after using clomiphene, your doctor might recommend adding metformin. If you have a patient of prediabetes, metformin can also slow the progression to type 2 diabetes and help with weight loss.


Gonadotropins. 
It s a hormone medicine, and these hormone medications are given by injection.


To reduce excessive hair growth, your doctor might recommend:


Birth control pills. 

Birth Control pills decrease androgen production that can cause excessive hair growth.


Spironolactone (Aldactone). 

This medicine blocks the effects of androgen on the skin. This can cause birth defects, so effective contraception is required while taking this medication. It isn't recommended if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant.


Eflornithine (Vaniqa). 

It is a cream, this cream can slow facial hair growth in women.


Electrolysis.

In this process,  a tiny needle is inserted into each hair follicle. This needle emits a pulse of electric current to damage and eventually destroy the follicle. You also might need multiple treatments.

To help decrease the effects of PCOD, try to:


You should Maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss can reduce your insulin level and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. You should  ask your doctor about a weight-control program, and you should meet regularly with a dietitian for help in reaching weight-loss goals.


Limit your carbohydrates. 


Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets might increase insulin levels. Always ask your doctor about a low-carbohydrate diet if you have PCOD. You should always Choose complex carbohydrates, which raise your blood sugar levels more slowly.


Be active. 


Exercise can helps lower your blood sugar levels. If you have PCOD, you should increase your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control and also avoid developing diabetes too.



medicine for pcod -


If you have one of those either with full-blown symptoms or edging towards all them, your diet can have a huge impact in taming the symptoms beast. If you are overweight or obese increases the amount of insulin your body makes, feeding pcod. It is Unfortunate that, having  pcod  also increases your craving for fatty, carb laden treats.  So,  now what’s a girl to do? You should Eat a low GI diet with a varity of vegetables, good quality proteins (beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, chicken, fresh fish and eggs) and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, almonds and flax seeds. There are several supplements also, that help too; including Vitamin D and good quality Fish Oil

In some of the cases medication might be necessary to manage symptoms and control insulin levels. But If you plan to start a family, there are meds to encourage ovulation and control hormone imbalances too. But it is also true theat, medicines alone won’t be as effective as a three-pronged approach involving diet, exercise and medication too. With a little self-discipline and  love, you can go on to leading a healthy, active life.

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