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PCOD facts you need to be aware of

The most common symptom of PCOD is missed period. Sudden weight gain and infertility may be other warning signs. @Shutterstock

PCOD is not life-threatening but it can affect your overall health. It can cause infertility, obesity and more. Read on to know all about this disease.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Updated : January 8, 2020 11:28 AM IST

PCOD is a common hormonal problem that affects women of childbearing age. It is a silent condition and many women may not even be aware that they suffer from this. The ovaries are affected by PCOD. It also has an impact on the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone. These are the two hormones that regulate a woman's menstrual cycle. It is characterised by multiple cysts or fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries.

Causes of PCOD

Medical experts are not very sure as to what exactly causes this condition. But some suspect that high levels of male hormones may be behind it. Other reasons may be genes, insulin resistance and inflammation. PCOD patients often exhibit elevated inflammation in their body. Obesity may be another reason.

Symptoms of PCOD

The most common symptom of PCOD is missed period. Sudden weight gain and infertility may be other warning signs. Sometimes, you may also experience heavy bleeding. Other symptoms may be unnatural grow hair on their face and body, acne outbreak, baldness, dark patches on skin and recurring headaches.

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Diagnosis

Your doctor will first check for high androgen levels and ask you if you have irregular periods. He will then check for cysts in the ovaries accordingly. Usually he will recommend a pelvic exam, blood tests and ultrasound to make a diagnosis. He may also recommend birth control pills along with other medicines to regulate the menstrual cycle and treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne. Metformin, a common drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, is widely used in the treatment of PCOD. Sometimes, your doctor may also recommend surgery if nothing else works.

Effect on health

This is a benign condition, but it can adversely affect your overall health. Infertility is a real problem for women with PCOD. You are also prone to weight gain. This puts you at the risk of obesity and associated health problems. It can also increase your risk of sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, and depression.

What you can do

Lifestyle modifications help. Loss weight if you have extra flab. Watch your diet and exercise regularly. You can opt for medication if these options don't work.

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