Health

PCOD in Female: Causes, Symtoms & Diagnosis

Are you a female and suffering from PCOD? Ever Heard of PCOD? In this article you will have complete info about the special Medical condition in female called PCOD.

What is PCOD?

PCOD is also called polycystic ovarian disease. It is a condition in which the ovaries start producing immature eggs. These immature eggs convert into cysts over time. Cysts are small sacs containing fluid in them.

So, when the number of immature eggs present in the ovaries increases, the ovaries start to swell and produce a large number of male hormones. It is estimated that 9% to 22% of females in India suffer from PCOD. 

PCOD in Female: Causes, Symtoms & Diagnosis
PCOD in Female: Causes, Symtoms & Diagnosis

Effects caused by PCOD

So, when the male hormones are produced more than the required levels, it creates a hormonal imbalance in the body. This hormonal imbalance is the cause of many issues faced by females both mentally and physically. 

Hormonal imbalance causes gain in excessive weight, hirsutism (unwanted hair growth), irregular menstrual cycle, acne, infertility, etc. 

Many confuse PCOD with PCOS and think both are the same. Although both are ovarian disorders, they still have considerable differences between them.

 Difference between PCOD and PCOS

PCOD is Polycystic ovarian syndrome and PCOS is Polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOD is caused when ovaries produce excessive immature eggs. Whereas PCOS is an endocrine metabolic disorder. 

When compared, PCOS is more severe than PCOD. The percentage of people having PCOS is also less when compared to the two. PCOS causes high male hormone production. It causes the ovaries to stop releasing the eggs. So, it affects the menstrual cycle.

Although both cause fertility problems, females suffering from PCOD can still ovulate and become pregnant with the help of medication. But, females with PCOS have severe problems related to ovulation and can not become pregnant that easily. Even though they become pregnant, there are high chances of miscarriage or immature birth.

PCOD doesn’t have any serious complications on your health except for some symptoms. But PCOS, if left untreated will have serious symptoms on your health. Most of the females suffering from are prone to developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc in their later future.

Causes of PCOD

Inheritance

PCOD is hereditary. You’ll have 50% higher chances if your immediate family members like your mother or sister have a medical history of having PCOD.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is a condition, in which your body can not utilize the insulin produced by the pancreas. The pancreas which is present underneath the stomach produces insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps in absorbing glucose present in the blood by the cells present in our body. 

But, in persons having insulin resistance, the cells can’t use insulin properly and the blood glucose absorption decreases. Hence the demand for insulin increases and your body starts producing more insulin than the required amounts.

This insulin resistance can be caused due to poor lifestyle habits, unhealthy eating, genetics, overweight and improper stress management, etc.

Overweight

Being overweight in general causes hormonal imbalance and when it comes to having PCOD, it makes the condition even worse. Because being overweight causes hormonal imbalance and increases insulin resistance. 

Also Read: Causes of Unwanted hair growth in females and treatments to overcome it!

Symptoms caused by PCOD

  • Females with PCOD will experience excessive weight gain. 
  • Irregular periods are one of the most common symptoms faced by females suffering from PCOD. Due to the increase in male hormone production, ovulation decreases and hence results in delay or irregular periods.
  • Infertility is another major problem. The hormonal imbalance results in delaying the maturation and release of the egg. So, it gets a little difficult to get pregnant.
  • Hirsutism is also a symptom of PCOD. Hirsutism means the growth of unwanted hair on the face and body. Although many females contain hair on the face and body, it’s usually fine and light. But females suffering from hirsutism tend to grow thicker and coarser hair. 
  • Acne is found on the face, neck, and back.
  • Some females may also experience hair loss and thinning of hair.
  • Some other symptoms caused by PCOD are anxiety and depression, deprivation of sleep, 
  • If PCOD is left treated for longer periods, it may lead to some health complications while you grow older. Some of the problems could be type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

Diagnosis of PCOD

There is no specific test to identify PCOD. But do take some examinations of yours to confirm it.

They are:

  • Blood is taken to test the hormonal levels in your body.
  • Your gynecologist might do a pelvic examination
  • An ultrasound scan is taken to know the health condition of your uterus and ovaries.

Medical treatment to treat PCOD

  • Your doctor would prescribe some birth control pills to reduce the hormonal imbalance. Pills containing Estrogen and Progesterone increase the level of female hormones and reduce the production of male hormones. So, this can reduce the acne and unwanted hair growth in your body.
  • To reduce thinning of hair, your doctors would prescribe drugs containing spironolactone, and eflornithine.
  • Some females also undergo surgery as a part of the treatment. Laparoscopic ovarian drilling is done to increase the ovulation in the ovaries. It is not the immediate treatment of PCOD though. It is usually taken by people who suffer from infertility.

Lifestyle changes to treat PCOD

Although you take medications, lifestyle changes make a lot of impact in curing it. Females suffering from PCOD are advised to lose weight if they are overweight. Weight loss helps in regulating the hormones and decreasing insulin resistance.

Women suffering from PCOD should control their intake of carbohydrates. And unhealthy junk food should not be taken at all. Some of the healthy foods to include in their diet should contain green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that contain healthy fats like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fish, whole grains, etc.

Regular exercise should be made a part of your lifestyle if you have PCOD. Exercise helps in maintaining blood glucose levels and decreases insulin resistance. It also helps in your weight loss and enhances your feel-good hormones which help you to overcome anxiety and mental disorders. 

Exercises you can include in your daily routine are weight training, cardio, yoga, strengthening, etc.

Overview

Finally, PCOD is a common issue women are facing these days. It can be kept under control with proper treatment, early diagnosis, and lifestyle changes.

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