PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disorder) can be one of the most difficult reproductive diseases to diagnose. Women with PCOD may not show symptoms until they are well into their 30's or 40's. And since many women experience no symptoms, they may never know that they suffer from PCOD until they try to conceive and find that it doesn't happen.
What is PCOD?
PCOD is short for Polycystic Ovarian Disorder. It is a hormonal disorder that affects the menstrual cycle. Women with PCOD experience delayed periods, irregular periods, and infertility. This disorder also affects how the ovaries function, leading to many cysts which develop on them. Symptoms of PCOD include weight gain, acne, hair loss, headaches, heartburns, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
How to diagnose and treat PCOD
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects women in which the ovaries produce excessive male hormones and develop many small cysts. The major symptom of PCOS is an irregular or absent menstrual cycle for 3 months or more. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, endometrial cancer, and even infertility.
Diagnosis of PCOD -
- Examine your pelvic area: Our doctor examines your reproductive organs visually and manually for lumps, growths, or other abnormalities.
- Blood tests: Hormone levels may be measured by analyzing your blood. This test can rule out the possibility of PCOS-like menstrual irregularities or androgen excess. Additional blood tests may be performed to assess glucose tolerance as well as fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Ultrasound: Your doctor examines the appearance of your ovaries as well as the thickness of the uterine lining. In your vaginal canal, a wand-like instrument (transducer) is inserted (transvaginal ultrasound). Sound waves are emitted by the transducer, which is translated into visuals on a computer screen.
Our doctors can also recommend some additional tests :
- Blood pressure, glucose tolerance, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels should all be checked on a regular basis.
- Depression and anxiety screening
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) testing.
Treatment for PCOD -
- Change in Lifestyle: A low-calorie diet mixed with modest exercise activities may be recommended by our doctor. Even a small weight loss — say, 5% of your body weight — can help improve your health. Losing weight can help with infertility and may improve the effectiveness of PCOS drugs prescribed by your doctor.
- Medications: To help you ovulate our doctors can recommend some medications.
- Clomiphene - During the first half of your menstrual cycle, you'll take this anti-estrogen pill.
- Letrozole ( Femara ) - The ovaries may be stimulated by this breast cancer medication.
- Metformin - This type 2 diabetes medicine decreases insulin levels and improves insulin resistance. If you don't get pregnant while taking clomiphene, our doctor may suggest that you take metformin as well. Metformin can help you lose weight and slow the growth of type 2 diabetes if you have prediabetes.
- Gonadotropin: These hormonal medications are injected into the patient.
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How can you still get pregnant with PCOD?
If you have PCOD and are wanting to get pregnant, there are some things you can do. There are contraceptives that don't affect your insulin levels, which is important for those with PCOD. Some birth control methods include the IUD, or intrauterine device, which is a long-lasting contraceptive that can be taken out by your doctor at any time. Hormonal contraceptives like the pill may also work if they don't make your insulin levels fluctuate too much.
What are the complications of PCOD?
Polycystic ovary syndrome can decrease fertility, cause weight gain, and lead to other health problems. Primarily women are affected by this disorder. The symptoms of PCOD are irregular periods, acne, excess body hair, male-pattern thinning or baldness, thinning eyebrows, obesity, depression, and anxiety.
The prevalence of PCOD among women of reproductive age is 18.5%. It is a common hormonal disorder characterized by anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. PCOD is the leading cause of infertility among women and also increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.