What is PCOD?
Polycystic ovaries refer to ovaries having many tiny cysts or bumps. These cysts themselves are not harmful and not needed to be removed. The name Polycystic Ovarian Disease refers to the enlarged ovaries that contain many very small cysts. Women with PCOD typically have high levels of androgens. Women with PCOD also have higher levels of insulin production which results in excess weight gain.
What causes PCOD?
- A hormone imbalance causes the symptoms of PCOD.
- Insulin resistance: The body cannot use insulin.
- High testosterone: the body produces too much testosterone.
- Although the exact cause is unknown, we do know that it is a result of a hormone imbalance in your brain and ovaries.
- Also, many women with PCOD have too much insulin, a hormone that turns food into energy.
- Too much insulin causes the body to prepare much testosterone which results in excess body hair or irregular periods.
- Insulin Resistance (Hyperinsulinemia): Despite having good nutrition and exercise, Hyperinsulinemia makes to gain more weight as being a potent growth hormone.
- Hyperinsulinemia also leads to high androgens that may cause infertility, acne, hair loss on the head, and facial hair growth.
- There is scientific evidence that daughters of women with PCOD are at an increased risk of developing PCOD.
These warning signs may indicate polycystic ovarian Disease (PCOD). Polycystic ovarian Disease symptoms are related to hormonal imbalance, lack of ovulation and insulin resistance and may include:
- Irregular, infrequent or absent menstrual periods.
- Acne or oily skin.
- Infertility (the inability to produce children).
- Hirsutism (excessive growth of body).
- Enlarged and/or polycystic ovaries.
- Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair.
- Acanthosis nigricans (darkened skin areas on the back of the neck, in the armpits and under the breasts).
- Overweight or obesity, especially around the waist.
- Skin tags
Besides, women with PCOD may be at increased risk of developing certain health problems. These may include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Excess body weight
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance
- Elevated blood clotting factors
- Increased levels of C-reactive protein
- Heavy bleeding and endometrial cancer – Lack of ovulation for a long period may cause excessive thickening of the endometrium.
You may undergo these tests if your doctor thinks you have PCOD. Polycystic ovary disease is easiest to treat when diagnosed early, says Reproductive endocrinology specialist, Dr. Suma Prasad. That’s tricky because so many adolescents have acne and irregular periods. “If your daughter has symptoms, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor,” she says. “If the doctor isn’t familiar with PCOD, find someone who is.” Even a later-in-life diagnosis is worthwhile, says Dr. Suma Prasad, the Best Infertility Specialists in Hyderabad. “After menopause, symptoms may ease but the underlying insulin problems remain.” These are a few methods used for Polycystic Ovary Disease diagnosis:
- Your doctor may ask for a complete blood count, also known as a CBC, or may check your hormone levels.
- These tests involve drawing a sample of blood and checking it.
- The information from these tests will help your doctor evaluate your health.
- Other blood tests measure chemicals in the blood to see how certain organs are working.
- During a pelvic examination, your health care professional will feel for lumps or changes in the shape of your vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and rectum.
- The health care professional also will use a speculum to open your vagina to look at your cervix and take samples for a Pap test.
Transvaginal ultrasound (also called ultrasonography)
- Transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) is a procedure used to examine your vagina, uterus, Fallopian tubes and bladder.
- It is also called an Endovaginal ultrasound.
- An ultrasound transducer which is a probe is inserted into the vagina and makes high-energy sound waves (which are ultrasound) of internal organs or tissues and make echoes.
- These echoes form a picture of body tissues or organs called a sonogram.
Transabdominal Ultrasound -Pelvis imaging
- A pelvic ultrasound makes a picture of the organs and structures in the lower belly using sound waves.
- A pelvic ultrasound looks at the bladder, the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and Fallopian tubes of a woman.
- Adolescent girls and unmarried women will be advised of an abdominal ultrasound.
Individualized approach, personal attention to the health problems and nutrition needs has helped most of the women and adolescents who attended the PCOD clinic at Prasad Hospitals. Young women and for women who don’t want to become pregnant, polycystic ovarian Disease treatment is focused on correcting the abnormal hormone levels, reducing weight and managing cosmetic concerns. PCOD is not urable, but the symptoms are treatable by:
- A Healthy Lifestyle
- Healthy Diet & Regular Exercise
- Maintaining A Healthy Weight
- A healthy diet and increased physical activity allow more efficient use of insulin and decrease your blood glucose levels.
- “The hands-down best strategy is diet and exercise,” Dr. Suma Prasad says. “Losing just 10 percent of your body weight drastically reduces diabetes risk.”
- The treatment is focused on weight reduction and promoting ovulations especially for women who want to become pregnant.
Treatment may include:Medication
- Metformin, a medication used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, often is used to decrease insulin resistance in PCOD.
- It also may help reduce androgen levels, slow hair growth and help you ovulate more regularly. The safety of this medication in pregnancy hasn’t been established.
- You also may be prescribed medications to treat hair growth and acne.
- “For relief of acne symptoms, a drug like spironolactone (Aldactone) may work quickly,” says our endocrinologist, with Prasad Hospitals, the Best Hospitals in Hyderabad.
- “Hair growth and loss often take much longer to improve.” Nutraceuticals, are now most often prescribed and best planned by the Gynecologist & Dietitian.
- For women above 18 years of age, our Gynecologists may prescribe birth control pills to help your periods become more regular.
- These pills also may improve other symptoms, such as heavy menstrual flow and the formation of ovarian cysts.
- Regulating periods also is important to prevent endometrial cancer, which can result from cell buildup in the uterus.
- Birth control pills stimulate the menstrual cycle and reduce male hormones.
- Another option is progesterone-only pills.
- These medications stimulate your ovaries to make one or more follicles (sacs that contain eggs) and release the egg for fertilization.
- For women with PCOD, these medications also increase the risks for having multiple births (twins or more) and ovarian hyperstimulation, a condition of excessive stimulation of the ovaries that can cause hormone changes, abdominal bloating and pelvic pain.
- These treatments are always individualized and discussed thoroughly with the woman before initiating it.
Prasad Hospital Gynecologists carefully draft the follow up by individualizing the case.
- Unmarried women and adolescents are given a follow-up chart once in a month. The chart includes lifestyle management, dietitian advice, weight monitoring, and medication.
- Many young women appreciate the non-hormonal approach and have achieved regular menses and weight loss.
- Married women, who do not seek pregnancy are followed up with similar charts and a supplementary monthly ovulation check by ultrasound which is safe and simple. Those who are keen on pregnancy are treated by our Infertility specialists.
- Hormone imbalance correction and successful ovulation induction are the key principles followed by our Infertility specialists.
- Infertility treatment is no ordinary medical procedure. There are many emotions involved.
- The best care blends progressive technology with honesty, empathy and caring. You have the best chance for success when you are relaxed and comfortable.
- We offer a private setting where we treat you with respect and confidentiality.
- We’ll help you understand your options and get answers to your questions.
- We’re here to support you emotionally as you try to fulfill your dreams of becoming a parent.