Are you also experiencing abnormal or irregular menstruation? Or the absence of your period cycle for months? Are you also gaining weight frequently? Are you the victim of obesity or overweight? Facing depression/anxiety? Or noticing excessive/unwanted hair growth or loss of scalp hair, and what not? Well, I am sure a few of you must have already understood what I am mentioning here. But a huge number of the population is still unversed in this condition with these symptoms called Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is commonly found in women and affects 5% to 10% of women in the 12–45 years of age group. The ones mentioned above are a few of the principal problems that a woman with PCOS/PCOD faces, including no ovulation, acne, and hirsutism. It even makes it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. PCOS is a condition that is related to an imbalance in a woman’s hormone levels.
Normally, women’s ovaries produce female sex hormones and a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens) regulating the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle, while women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.
Follicles are fluid-filled sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs released each month to get fertilized by a male’s sperm. Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation. In PCOS, the eggs in these follicles do not mature enough to trigger ovulation, thus, not released from the ovaries. Instead, they form many small cysts in the ovary, hence the name “polycystic” ovaries. Thus, the lack of ovulation causes disruptive extra male hormone production and less of the female that affects the menstrual cycle.
Studies show that PCOS seems to run in families, so the chance of having it is higher if other women in the family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes, though, it is not the same for every woman with PCOS as your writer is among one of those. Likely, many genes, not just one, insulin resistance, and inflammation, all have been linked to excess androgen production and the condition, which many doctors also believe besides not knowing what exactly cause PCOS.
Almost 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which means that their cells can’t use insulin properly which is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help the body use sugar from foods for energy. Obesity is a major cause of insulin resistance. Both obesity and insulin resistance can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.
The medical treatment of PCOD/PCOS usually starts with lifestyle modifications like weight loss, diet, proper sleep, and exercise. Basically, it requires you to focus on managing your individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, acne, or obesity. Losing weight (which can be difficult) has been shown to help with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and also with infertility.
Not getting deep into the medications specifications, I would just suggest you refer to a doctor without any delays because a doctor will better suggest you to deal with your condition because if not treated in time, PCOS increases risks of insulin-resistant diabetes, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, infertility, and obesity-related conditions such as high cholesterol leading to heart diseases.
Lakshika Thakur is a freelance content writer with femsay.com. She can be found on Instagram.