PolyCystic Ovarian Disease / Syndrome (PCOD / PCOS)

Introduction to PCOD
Polycystic ovary disease (PCOD) is one of the most common female hormonal disorders in which there is an imbalance in a woman's female sex hormones. An estimated 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffer from PCOD. Women suffering from polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) have multiple small cysts or abnormal fluid-filled sacs in their ovaries. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) eventually becomes more evident as it turns into the most severe Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

The principal features of PCOS are obesity, irregular or absence of menstruation, acne, difficulty in conceiving, excessive amounts of male hormones and excessive hair growth. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among women. If PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is left untreated, it can lead to various life-threatening conditions including hypertension, kidney problems, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease.

Signs / Symptoms of PCOD
The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman. Some of the common symptoms of PCOS are as follows:

  • Infertility or inability to conceive
  • Irregular or absence of menstrual periods
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Cysts on the ovaries
  • Weight gain or obesity (usually around the waist)
  • Pain in lower abdominal area
  • Development of male sex characteristics due to excess of male hormone:-
    • Decreased breast size
    • Male-pattern baldness or thinning of hair
    • Deepening of the voice
    • Enlargement of the clitoris
    • Increased hair growth on the face, chest, nipples, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
  • Skin related problems:-
    • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
    • Dark brown or black patches of skin on the armpits, neck, breasts, thighs or groin
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Poor memory
  • Panic attacks
  • Constant thirst
  • Dizzy spells
  • Extreme cravings
  • Mood swings
  • Thyroid problems
  • High cholesterol

Related Tests to PCOD

  • Levels of different hormones that may be tested include:
  • Estrogen levels
  • FSH levels
  • LH levels
  • 17-ketosteroids
  • Androstenedione
  • Testosterone 
  • Other blood tests that may be done include:
  • Glucose (sugar) levels 
  • Glucose tolerance test (GTT)
  • Lipid Profile
  • Pregnancy test (serum HCG)
  • Prolactin levels
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Other tests may include:
  • Pelvic or Vaginal Ultrasound (USG)
  • Pelvic laparoscopy