What are PCOS and PCOD?

What are PCOS and PCOD?

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) or PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) refers to a condition caused by hormonal imbalances. Women suffering from PCOS produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones. This affects ovulation and can result in irregular periods. In some cases, women suffering from PCOS may have irregular periods. This, in turn, can make it harder for these women to conceive. In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and How it Affects You

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is common amongst women between the ages of 15 and 44 years. In many cases, women do not realize that they have PCOS until they consult a fertility specialist. This syndrome affects the functioning of the ovaries.
Women who have PCOS have small fluid-filled sacs or cysts in their ovaries. Each of these cysts contains eggs that cannot be matured and hence cannot be released by the ovaries. The absence of ovulation further alters the levels of:

  • Follicle-stimulating hormones
  • Luteinizing hormones
  • Estrogen and progesterone

Without an egg being released in time, natural pregnancy is also very difficult. The syndrome can also increase a woman's risk for complications with a pregnancy. Women with PCOS have a high risk of high blood pressure, miscarriage, and gestational diabetes.

Cause of PCOS and Treatment

There is no exact cause of PCOS. However, genetics, inflammation, and insulin resistance are some factors that may influence it. Since there is no known cause, PCOS cannot be cured. However, it can be managed with hormone therapy and lifestyle changes.
PCOS causes weight gain that in turn aggravates the hormonal imbalance. A healthy, wholesome diet and regular exercise can help manage weight. A good diet and exercise regime can help control the hormone levels. For women with PCOS who are trying to have a family, losing even a bit weight can have a significant impact on their fertility rate.