PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a medical condition in which the woman ovaries produce immature or partially mature eggs in large numbers and over the time these become cysts in ovaries. Due to this ovaries become large and secrete large amount of male hormones (androgens) causing infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss and abnormal weight gain. These all are the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS.
The cause of PCOD is still unknown. However, there are some factors which increased the level of androgen production (a male hormone which is very less in female). Also, early age of menarche, unhealthy lifestyle and pollution are some of the contributing factors of PCOD.
- Excess insulin production
- Excess androgen production
- Low-grade inflammation
Some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others only discover they have PCOS after they’ve gained a lot of weight or they’ve had trouble getting pregnant.
The most common symptoms of PCOD and PCOS:
- Irregular menstruation
- Skipped or absence of menstruation
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Excessive Hair growth (face, body – including on back, belly, and chest)
- Acne (face, chest, and upper back)
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Skin darkening
Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise.
The best way to control and manage PCOD is by ensuring proper weight management. Even a 5% weight loss can help a lot in treating the disease. Thus, PCOD patients must exercise on a regular basis and maintain a healthy diet.
- Losing weight with exercise also improves ovulation and insulin levels.
- The diet should be low on sugars and carbohydrates.
- High protein and high fibre intake are recommended for patients suffering from PCOD.
- It lowers your risks for diabetes and heart disease.
Medical Treatments to cure PCOD
Birth control pills and other medications can help regulate the menstrual cycle and treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne.
Taking progestin daily can restore a normal hormone balance, regulate ovulation, relieve symptoms like excess hair growth, protect against endometrial cancer. These hormones come in a pill, patch, or vaginal ring.
Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet) is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It also treats PCOS by improving insulin levels.
One study found that taking metformin while making changes to diet and exercise improves weight loss, lowers blood sugar, and restores a normal menstrual cycle better than changes to diet and exercise alone.
Clomiphene (Clomid) is a fertility drug that can help women with PCOS get pregnant. It’s important to note that, as you’re discussing family planning, to keep in mind that clomiphene increases the chances for twins and other multiple births.
Hair removal medications
A few treatments can help get rid of unwanted hair or stop it from growing. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) cream is a prescription drug that slows hair growth. Laser hair removal and electrolysis can get rid of unwanted hair on your face and body.
Surgery can be an option to improve fertility if other treatments don’t work. Ovarian drilling is a procedure that makes tiny holes in the ovary with a laser or thin heated needle to restore normal ovulation.
What is the difference between PCOD and PCOS?
Some females might be confused whether PCOD and PCOS are the same or different from each other. Both the medical conditions are associated with ovaries and hormonal imbalance in women during their reproductive age (between 12 and 51 years) and the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS depicts same. Here are differences between PCOD and PCOS every female should know: