If you are here, you or your close one must have recently been diagnosed with PCOD. If your doctor has already told you what PCOD is, you would surely want to know about what are the symptoms of PCOD so that you can easily relate to those symptoms.
So, let’s dive in!
Women in their childbearing age diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease found themselves under the cover in tears, frizzed up in physical, mental, and psychological torment. This is the time when women get accustomed to ignorant comments and meaningless suggestions. You can feel those eyes of judgment when you throw away innumerable negative pregnancy tests. PCOD conditions are even worse for women who have obesity as they don’t get to know if PCOD is the cause of weight gain or vice versa. PCOD comes with symptoms and there’s as such no particular test that detects the condition, but it’s difficult to explain what it feels like when you have no clue. Many times dealing with infertility and PCOD altogether feels exhausting because every day is a battle with physical pain and unexplained weight gain and much more! Now and then you start searching for ‘what are the symptoms of PCOD and what causes PCOD etc.
PCOD stands for Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is one of the most common conditions of hormonal imbalance in women begin to experience in their late 20s or 30s. According to statistics, 1 in 10 women experience PCOD, yet the condition is not diagnosed in around 50% of cases. This is because PCOD can be diagnosed by looking out for a list of symptoms criteria that must be met. Some common symptoms that women with PCOD may experience are obesity, mood swings, irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, male pattern baldness, insulin resistance, dandruff, acne, fatigue, infertility, unwanted male-pattern facial/body hair, recurrent miscarriage, excess sweating, heavy or irregular periods, memory loss, confusion, and aggression. But, apart from this, there are various other layers to this syndrome, all of which are challenging for any woman to experience.
If you experience at least two out of the three following symptoms, you have PCOD:
- 12 or more follicles (cysts) are present on at least one of the ovaries.
- Presence of high levels of androgens (male hormones), and/or PCOD symptoms indicating additional androgens (excess male pattern body hair growth, acne, weight gain, etc).
- Menstrual imbalance, including missed periods, irregular or heavy periods, and/or ovulation disorders.
What do statistics have to say about Symptoms of PCOD?
Signs or symptoms of PCOD usually take place at around the time of the first menstrual cycle at the time of puberty. Sometimes PCOD develops later, for instance, as a result of significant and sudden weight gain. Imbalanced, absent, or rare period cycles are all common symptoms of PCOD. Going by the statistics, an estimated 85% of women diagnosed with PCOD suffer menstrual disturbances. Hirsutism is another prominent feature of PCOD syndrome that affects around 70% of women. In hirsutism, women experience male-pattern hair growth on the chest, back, face, legs, and buttocks. Women with hirsutism also experience PCOD symptoms related to male-pattern baldness and begin to have crown patterned hair loss.
Statistics also reveal that at least 15%-30% of women diagnosed with PCOD have acne-related symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of PCOD are different for everyone and thus they vary from one woman to another. PCOD diagnoses are considered when a woman experiences the following symptoms:
Irregular periods. Infrequent, imbalanced, or extended menstrual periods are the most common symptoms of PCOD problems in women. Apart from irregular periods, missed periods, as well as lengthy and heavy periods, are also signs of PCOD.
Excess production of androgen: Increases in levels of male hormones have the potential to result in physical symptoms, like excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and infrequently severe acne and male-pattern hair loss or baldness.
Polycystic ovaries: The ultrasound scans showing a woman’s enlarged ovaries and containing follicles surrounding the eggs. During this situation, the ovaries might fail to work properly.
Infertility. When diagnosed with PCOD and related reproductive health conditions experience difficulties getting pregnant. Infertility is a condition in which women fail to achieve conception even after trying for a year or more.
Other symptoms of PCOD may include: –
- Abnormal bleeding and untimely occurrence of periods
- Sleep apnea or insomnia
- Depression and anxiety
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
PCOD signs and symptoms are usually more severe with obese women.
Is PCOD genetic?
Once you are diagnosed with PCOD, your mind is captured by many questions and women are always eager to know if PCOD runs in families. A research study performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that around 24% of women diagnosed with PCOD had mothers with a similar syndrome. It also revealed that over 32% of PCOD cases were reported in women where their sisters had polycystic ovarian disease.
Polycystic ovarian disease: diagnosis and treatment: –
There’s no particular analysis to conclusively detect PCOD. A fertility expert is likely, to begin with, an initial consultation of the patient’s medical history, including your menstrual cycle and weight imbalances. A physical analysis will include looking for symptoms of excess hair growth, insulin resistance, and occasional pimples.
Based on these signs or symptoms, a physician might then recommend:
- A pelvic examination: A physical examination visually and manually examine the reproductive organs for masses, developments, or other disorders.
- Blood tests: Blood tests are performed to analyze hormone levels. Blood work can eliminate likely causes of menstrual disorders or androgen excess that mimics PCOD health condition. The physician might also recommend additional blood testing to examine and analyze glucose tolerance and fasting cholesterol levels.
- Ultrasound scans: The physician examines the appearance of the ovaries and the thickness of the uterine lining.
- If a woman has a diagnosis of PCOD, her physician might recommend additional tests to detect the occurrence of complications. Those tests can include:
- Periodic analysis of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol
- Testing for depression and anxiety
- Testing for obstructive insomnia or sleep apnea
After having a clear understanding of symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment associated with PCOD, it is important to learn about some useful and effective tips for women with PCOD.
How to treat PCOD?
If beating PCOD has become your #1 priority, you are on the right page. Below are some effective tips that can help you eliminate your PCOD symptoms by combating the syndrome.