Women's Health: Caring for the carers!

Women’s health should not take a backseat as certain health conditions primarily affect women. PCOD is one such problem that affects more than 25% of women in India. Find out what is PCOD and learn of other vital health conditions under this section.

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Stressed about irregular periods, acne or mood swings? Talk to your gynecologist and understand the actual causes behind them. You’ll be astonished to know that approximately 22-25% of women in India suffer from PCOD. This condition affects women of reproductive age and can hinder your fertility, cause depression, and lead to other long-term conditions if not treated on time. Since PCOD develops at a young age, women and families should understand what is PCOD, the symptoms and causes of PCOD and the treatment of PCOD. Read on to understand more about what is PCOD and how it can affect your pregnancy.

What is PCOD?

PCOD stands for polycystic ovarian disorder. It affects women between 18 to 45 years of age. PCOD is a hormonal imbalance that leads to enlarged ovaries and small cysts around their edges. Another form PCOD that you may have heard about is PCOS. PCOS refers to polycystic ovarian syndrome and is a more severe form of PCOD. Understanding what is PCOD and how it is different from PCOD can help you manage your symptoms better. PCOD leads to an increased production of partially mature or immature eggs. It may also result in an increased production of male hormones. This leads to a hormonal imbalance. PCOS is a more serious condition. Apart from all the symptoms of PCOD, it may lead to anovulation. This is when your ovaries stop releasing eggs.

Symptoms of PCOD

Sometimes, the symptoms of PCOD may be subtle and go unnoticed. Some common symptoms of PCOD to watch out for are:
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation
  • Excess growth of hair on your body or face, also known as hirsutism
  • Acne that does not go away
  • Darker skin around the neck area
  • Weight gain, especially near the waist
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss or male pattern baldness
  • Infertility
You may experience some or all of the above symptoms. You may also experience more severe symptoms in case you are overweight or obese. So, be on the lookout for the symptoms of PCOD and take preventive measures.

Causes of PCOD

The exact causes of PCOD are not known but some contributing factors are:

High insulin production

Excess insulin may lead to an increase in the production of androgen. This is a male hormone that causes difficulty in ovulation.

Inflammation

Studies have shown that low-grade inflammation may lead to high level of androgen. This can cause problems in the blood vessels or your heart.

Genes

PCOD can be passed down to one generation from another. If someone in your family has it, you may have a higher risk of developing it too.

Increased levels of androgen

One of the prominent symptoms and causes of PCOD is an excess production of androgen. High level of these male hormones can lead to irregular menstruation, acne, facial and body hair growth as well as hair loss.

Treatment of PCOD

Unfortunately, there is no one-stop treatment of PCOD as of now. But you can manage it by treating the symptoms of PCOD. Such a treatment of PCOD involves either medication or by making better lifestyle choices. You may be given the following medication as a treatment of PCOD:
  • Medicines to correct your insulin levels and menstrual cycles
  • Medicines or ointments to treat skin conditions or excess hair growth
  • Fertility drugs that help treat infertility
  • Medicines that promote ovulation
These lifestyle changes can also help you treat PCOD:
  • Weight management (try exercise, yoga, outdoor activities)
  • Being more active (walking, jogging, or any other physical activity)
  • Changes in diet (consuming food low in carbohydrates)
Getting diagnosed and taking the steps above are important. When left untreated, PCOD may cause the following complications:
  • Increase your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol or glucose levels, or
  • heart problems
  • Sleep apnea
  • Risk of endometrial cancer
  • Liver inflammation
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
Now that you know what is PCOD, the causes of PCOD, and the symptoms of PCOD, watch out for important signs. If you notice anything concerning, consult with expert gynecologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. Simply book a teleconsultation from home to address the symptoms of PCOD with ease. You can also prioritize preventive care by getting complete body checkups. The lab test packages on Bajaj Finserv Health are both affordable and simple to book. You do not have to worry about going to a lab as blood samples will be collected directly from your home. Further, you can avail cost-effective health insurance plans under Aarogya Care. Such plans help women put their health first with huge network discounts, comprehensive medical coverage, and free doctor consultations and lab tests.
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