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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Causes, Symptoms Treatment and Problems

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women, which is caused by high levels of male hormones. Oral contraceptive pills, Spironolactone, and Clomid are some of the medications used in the treatment of PCOS. Common PCOS Symptoms include irregular periods, infertility problems, excess facial hair, high cholesterol and excessive hair loss.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) also known as PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a common hormonal imbalance that causes a number of different disorders in women of reproductive age. It usually affects women during their childbearing years between the ages of 15 to 44. About 70 percent of women in this age suffer from PCOS problems but are unnoticed till they are diagnosed. It is a highly researched syndrome in medical research on women health and needs utmost attention and care while dealing with it.

The reproductive organs of women produce estrogen, progesterone and small amounts of male hormones called androgen. These hormones also regulate the menstrual cycle. PCOS occurs when lack of ovulation alters levels of estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH. In case of PCOD, ovaries are sometimes a bit larger as compared to ovaries of a normal female and are referred to as Polycystic. They contain almost double the amount of follicle in normal ovaries thus produce more androgen. The estrogen and progesterone levels remain low during PCOS. PCOS is also the most common cause of infertility in women as it prevents ovulation. Even if a woman conceives with PCOS, she is at higher risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.

PCOD, PCOD Problem

PCOD Causes

There is no exact cause of PCOS but is believed to be caused by the high level of male hormones.

  • Genes: The transfer of affected genes from the parents to the child is one cause of Polycystic Ovary Disease. 
  • Insulin resistance: Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help the body use sugar from foods for energy. When cells produce insufficient amount of insulin, the body demands for insulin increases. The pancreas produces more insulin to compensate for the loss. The extra production of insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones, which lead to PCOS.
  • Inflammation: Women with PCOS often suffer from inflammation in their body. Being overweight also causes inflammation and studies have revealed that excess inflammation causes the body to produce higher androgen levels.

Common PCOS Symptoms:

  • Irregular Periods
  • High level of male hormones
  • Infertility Problems
  • Excess Facial and Body hair
  • Severe Acne/Pimples
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides acanthosis nigricans, or dark patches of skin
  • Hair Loss
  • Weight Gain
  • Small Cysts in ovaries
  • Painful Menstruation Cycle
  • Decreased libido
  • Anxiety and Depression

If you have irregular or absent menstrual periods, abnormal hair growth or difficulty in getting pregnant, you should seek the advice of your gynecologist and diagnose for PCOD.

PCOD Risk Factors:

There are several health risks associated with PCOS
They include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Infertility
  • High cholesterol
  • Elevated lipids
  • Sleep apnea
  • Liver disease
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity possibly leading to issues with low self-esteem and depression
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver (steatohepatitis)
  • Depression and anxiety

PCOD Problems, PCOD

Tests for PCOS

When diagnosing PCOS, the doctor may take a number of tests to determine the presence of PCOS.

  • A pelvic examination is conducted as a physical test. 
  • Blood tests are performed to evaluate levels of male hormones, such as DHEA and testosterone, as well as gonadotropins (hormones that control the production of hormones in the ovaries). Levels of hormones produced by the thyroid and adrenal glands may also be evaluated for more accurate results.
  • Other Blood tests are also conducted to measure hormone, glucose and cholesterol levels.

What Is the Surgery Option for PCOS?

Laparoscopic procedure used to be performed to wedge resection of ovaries and was carried out as a measure to induce ovulation and treat infertility in women with PCOS. This type of treatment is not performed nowadays, as Clomid tablet is a reliable medication to induce ovulation and for the fact that scars may remain after ovarian wedge resection.

Some of the PCOS surgeries performed today are:

  • Ovarian drilling: Tiny holes made in the ovaries can reduce the levels of androgens being produced.
  • Oophorectomy: Surgery removes one or both ovaries.
  • Hysterectomy: This involves removal of all or part of the uterus.
  • Cyst aspiration: Fluid is removed from the cyst.

Medical Treatments for PCOS

Medications are the main form of treatment for both the menstrual and hormonal symptoms of PCOS as well as associated medical conditions.

  • Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs, birth control pills) are recommended to some women with PCOS to establish a regular menstrual cycle and to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer. 
  • Another treatment for PCOD is to reduce the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer through intermittent progestin therapy. 
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a diuretic (water pill) recommended by some doctors to reverse effects of excess androgen produced during PCOS. A medication taken by men to treat hair loss can also block the effect of androgens. Note: these medications should not be used if pregnancy is desires as it can affect the development of male fetus. 
  • Clomiphene (Clomid) is prescribed as part of PCOD treatment.
  • Metformin (Glucophage) is a medication used to treat type-2 diabetes. This drug affects the action of insulin and is sometimes used to treat women with PCOS.
  • If all these treatments are unsuccessful, women with PCOS and infertility may require other, more aggressive, treatments for infertility such as assisted reproductive technologies like IVF and IUI.

Natural Remedies for PCOD Symptoms:

  • Should include all the basic nutrients in the daily diet. Taking multivitamin pills can help a lot in the treatment of PCOD.
  • The key is to be relaxed and stress-free. Psychological stress can affect the hormones more than Physical stress.
  • 8 hours of sleep daily is necessary for a good rest.
  • 10-15 minutes of exercise daily have a positive effect on your mental as well as physical health.
  • Avoid exposure to Endocrine Disruptors, as they are chemicals that interfere with endocrine hormones.
  • It has been found that alternative and complimentary Treatments like Acupuncture and acupressure can help in some cases.

FAQs:

Q: How to prevent PCOS?

A: Since the cause of PCOS is poorly understood, it is not possible to prevent PCOS. However, maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle are important in preventing and controlling many of the conditions that may be associated with PCOS.

Q: How can combined hormonal birth control pills be used to treat women with PCOS?

A: PCOS patients are prescribed with combined hormonal birth control pills but it increases the chances of infertility in the long run. These pills contain estrogen and progestin, which help to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce hirsutism and acne by decreasing androgen level. 

Q: What can be done to increase the chances of pregnancy for women with PCOS?

A: Chances of pregnancy increase with successful ovulation. Weight loss and medications during PCOS also encourages ovulation. Surgeries on ovaries are performed during infertility cases when other treatments do not work.

Infertility treatments like IVF and surrogacy are also performed to increase the chances of pregnancy. If you are looking for IVF specialists or hospitals contact us at +917899912611.

Recommended Reads:

PCOS or PCOD – Cause, Symptoms, Treatment And More

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS Sign and Treatment

Natural Remedies for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS

Normoz Tablet Benefits, Side effects and Uses

Health Measures in PCOD

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Srilatha Gorthi
Hyderabad

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi is an infertility specialist and laparoscopy surgeon located in Hyderabad. Her area of expertise lies in the field of Gynae diseases and conditions, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She provides a number of services that comprise of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), ICSI, TESA, MESA, Gynae Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, treatment of Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps and so on. Dr. Srilatha Gorthi practices at The Birthplace Hospital, Revive Multi Specialty Clinics and Fertility Centre, and The Birthplace Clinic and has a rich experience of more than 18 years. Dr. Gorthi has won 9 Gold Medals in MBBS.She is a reputed member of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), European society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and British Medical Association, UK, and British Fertility Society. You can get her information at www.elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Signs of a healthy and normal menstrual cycle menstrual cycle, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome pcos sign and treatment PCOS, Elawoman - 2017
  3. 5 reasons for irregular periods Irregular Periods, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Tryptomer tablets uses, side effects, dosage and composition Depression and anxiety, Elawoman - 2017
  5. How to track ovulation with irregular period cycle ovulation, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Can clomid tablet result in twins or multiple births? Clomid tablet, Elawoman - 2018
  7. 5 best emergency contraceptive pills in india Oral contraceptive pills, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Infertility symptoms, causes and treatments treatments for infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Where do you get ivf IVF, Elawoman - 2017
  10. Drugs, monitoring, procedure for iui IUI, Elawoman - 2017

8 Comments

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Harshita Baxi

Few days before I was diagnosed with abnormal uterine bleeding. I will try to follow the natural remedy listed in the article. Hope it works!

Sept. 29, 2018, 3:16 p.m. 4.5

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Chitra Verma

My sister had Cyst aspiration surgery and it really worked. It is simpler and risk-free surgery.

Sept. 10, 2018, 5:20 p.m. 5.0

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Sangeeta Grewal

I never heard of PCOS before. Thanks for sharing!

Aug. 17, 2018, 9:34 a.m. 5.0

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Gayatri

Please suggest me with some contraceptive pills to treat PCOS. Is i-pill safe to use??

July 28, 2018, 9:23 a.m. 5.0

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Sandhya Roy

I had IUI treatment to conceive, as I had PCOD. I conceived within a month after treatment. It is safe and economical.

July 15, 2018, 4:25 p.m. 5.0

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Sikha Kapoor

My sister has PCOD problem and she conceived with IVF after 10 years of her marriage.

June 30, 2018, 12:58 p.m. 5.0

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Sakshi Agarwal

I too have PCOS. Infact I know many women who have PCOS. It's a very common problem these days but it can be controlled with good diet and lifestyle.

Sept. 28, 2017, 5:06 p.m. 5.0

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Shrabani Saha

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be a major reason for not getting pregnant and can cause severe other health issues. If it isn't treated over time it can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and heart diseases.

Sept. 28, 2017, 4:52 p.m. 4.5

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