Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) affects almost 17 percent of Indian women. Our expert lists some remedies to this highly feared hormonal imbalance condition.
This hormonal imbalance affects many women in India. A pan India survey was recently conducted by the Metropolis Healthcare Ltd, on 27,411 samples of testosterone over a period of 18 months. Out of these 27,411 samples, around 4,824, (17.60 percent) of the females faced hormonal risks including polycystic ovary syndrome.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), also known as Polycystic Ovary syndrome (
The following are symptoms of PCOD, which largely affects women of all age groups and may vary:
Changes in lifestyle, lack of exercise, dietary habits, exposure to environmental pollution, stress levels and loss of work life balance have become the primary causes of PCOD which can also lead to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, increased risk of uterine cancer and even cardiovascular diseases.
Experts suggest that if symptoms are identified at an early age and brought under control, it can help reduce the chances of having complications like diabetes and heart disease. However, the primary steps are eating right, exercising and not smoking.
Many women with PCOD are overweight or obese, which can resultantly cause many health problems. The way to manage PCOD is by eating healthy and exercising to keep weight at a healthy level. You can do the following:
You can also ask your gynecologist if you can include birth control pills and if so, which one’s suit you best. For women who don’t want to get pregnant, birth control pills are extremely helpful. They do the following:
The medicine Metformin (Glucophage) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin affects the way insulin controls blood glucose (sugar) and lowers testosterone production. It slows the growth of abnormal hair and, after a few months of use, may help ovulation to return.
Recent research has shown Metformin to have other positive effects, such as decreased body mass and improved cholesterol levels. Metformin will not cause a person to become diabetic.
Ovarian drilling is a surgery that may increase the chance of ovulation. It’s sometimes used when a woman does not respond to fertility medicines.
Medicines called anti-androgens may reduce hair growth and clear acne. Spironolactone (speer-on-oh-LAK-tone) (Aldactone), first used to treat high blood pressure, has been shown to reduce PCOD. These medications should not be taken if you are trying to become pregnant. In such cases, there are a few other options:
Some research has also shown that bariatric (weight loss) surgery may be effective in resolving PCOD in morbidly obese women (BMI of more than 40).
Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems in women with PCOD. Several medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOD become pregnant. Even so, other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used. Also, some fertility medications increase the risk for multiple births (twins, triplets).
The following are some treatment options:
Another option is in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which offers the best chance of becoming pregnant in any given cycle. It also gives doctors better control over the chance of multiple births.
Most women have symptoms that are normally associated with menopause. These include hot flushes, vaginal dryness, irritability, night sweats, or difficulty sleeping. Menstrual periods may be sporadic or stop completely. Some women may never begin having menstrual periods and may not go through the normal sequence of puberty.
So, while PCOD does pose a problem with respect to fertility, it must be noted that it is not incurable.
Dr. Sharmila Majumdar
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