PCOD, also known as Polycystic Ovarian Disease, is a condition that occurs in women due to hormonal imbalances or high levels of insulin in the body. In this medical condition, the ovaries produce excessive immature or partially mature eggs. After some time, these become cysts in the ovaries. It is a common disorder, about 10% of the world’s female population experience PCOD problem symptoms. Because of this issue, ovaries get enlarged and secrete huge amounts of male hormones, which can cause infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, loss of hair, weight gain, etc. This condition can be controlled by following a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Causes of PCOD
There are a few significant factors for women to get affected by PCOD, but the exact cause is still unknown. However, some of the factors that PCOD has been associated with are-
- Excessive insulin production – Excessive amounts of insulin in our body might lead to an increase in androgen production. It causes difficulty with ovulation and can cause infertility.
- Increase in androgen production – Female bodies produce androgen in minimal amounts. When the production level of androgen increases, it can lead to acne and hirsutism.
- Low-grade inflammation- Females with PCOD are known to have low-grade inflammation, which leads to increased levels of androgen production. This causes heart problems.
- Heredity- Some women with PCOD have shown a genetic correlation. Hence, heredity might be another cause of PCOD.
Some other general causes of PCOD may include pollution, early menarche, or unhealthy food habits and lifestyle.
Symptoms of PCOD
Polycystic Ovarian Disorder is an endocrine disease affecting numerous systems in the body; therefore, a person might not experience any symptoms but still have this condition. It is common for some women to take a while before finding out that they have this condition. Some common PCOD symptoms include-
- Irregular menstrual cycle, i.e., amenorrhea- periods might not occur for several months.
- Heavy bleeding- Unexpected heavy bleeding, generally in the uterine area.
- Increase in facial and body hair – unwanted excess hair growth due to increased androgen.
- Excess peripheral androgen leads to stubborn acne, which does not heal with regular treatments.
- Unexpected weight gain- sudden weight gain, mostly around the waist.
- Difficulties in conceiving a baby.
- Headaches and fatigue – Women develop fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, and more due to PCOD.
Women may go through a few or all of these symptoms. Some other common symptoms include dark patches and creases on the skin, oily skin, unusual male features, etc.
Complications of PCOD
It is normal to have concerns about the effects of PCOD on your body. Complications arise when your body has higher-than-normal androgen levels. Medical attention is required for some of the complications that arise, like-
- Premature birth
- Risk of high blood sugar levels
- High blood pressure
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
- Repetitive pauses in breathing during the night
- Thickened uterine lining that can cause endometrial cancer
Women who have PCOD can still ovulate and become pregnant with medical help. But, there is no cure for this condition. It can be controlled by lifestyle modification and weight reduction.
Today, PCOD is very common among young girls. They must understand this disorder at its onset and recognize its symptoms. It will make them ready to face the consequences if they are diagnosed with it. The best way to control and manage PCOD is by adopting healthy lifestyle changes. The average age group that may experience PCOD problem symptoms varies between 18 to 45 years.