What is PCOD ?
By : Dr. Asha S Vijay Medical Director, GarbhaGudi IVF Centre, Bangalore
PCOD stands for PolyCystic Ovarian syndrome, wherein adolescent girls and adult women experience irregular cycles, weight gain, acne, excessive hair on their bodies and face and have difficulty in conceiving. This condition is alarmingly increasing in India. It was seen that less than 10% of people diagnosed as PCOS 15 years back. Now it has almost reached 30-40%. This is observed in rural women too, which I am noticing in rural camps conducted by our center.
This condition if not treated in time, can lead to extreme obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, endometrial cancer and infertility.
This condition is usually diagnosed on scan when small fluid filled structures called cysts are seen arranging at the peripheral margins of the ovaries giving it a necklace pattern. Herein, there is an imbalance of hormones – where the male hormones (called androgen) exceed and there is insulin resistance. This means that the body does not respond to insulin as it should. So the body sugar level increases, which then makes the insulin levels to increase further. This makes the insulin levels to increase even more which in-turn increases the androgen levels causing weight gain, extra facial hair, hair fall on the scalp etc. The high levels of androgen prevents ovulation (release of eggs) causing irregular periods infertility, oily skin, acne etc.
I have observed the word PCOD brings so much of fear and anxiety in patients. This need not be the case. It can be easily controlled and managed and future complications can be avoided, if a little care can be taken in terms of diet and exercise from early days of adolescence. Strict diet plan, sincere exercise routine, avoiding fast and junk foods, regular yoga and pranayama can bring in lot of changes in the patients.
Many newer treatment modalities and programs are available for patients – both young girls and adults – to enable them to conceive. I have observed at our GarbhaGudi IVF Centre that many PCOD patients, who had given up hope, conceive with proper treatment instituted for ovulation and weight loss.
I clearly want to articulate this –
Dear Friends. Do NOT despair, there is a solution for every challenge that life throws your way. Kindly approach your doctor at the earliest. They can help you have a beautiful life.