PCOD or PCOS? What you need to know!

Polycystic Ovarian Disease/ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome 



PCOD or PCOS is a condition that affects a woman's ovaries, which are reproductive organs that produce the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which help regulate the menstrual cycle, as well as small amounts of the hormone inhibin, relaxin, and androgens, which are produced by men and are known as male hormones. 

The PCOD condition affects over 10% of women worldwide. The number of male hormones produced by PCOS-afflicted women is larger than that of PCOD. Because of this hormonal imbalance, they skip their cycles and have trouble conceiving. 


PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a medical disorder in which a woman's ovaries frequently generate immature or partly developed eggs, which eventually develop into ovarian cysts. As a result, the ovaries enlarge and release a lot of androgens, which can lead to infertility, irregular menstruation periods, hair loss, and unnatural weight gain. Dietary changes and lifestyle adjustments can help with PCOD management. 


PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a metabolic condition that affects women during their reproductive years by causing hormonal imbalance (between ages 12 and 51). Due to an increase in male hormones, women may miss menstrual cycles, experience irregular ovulation that makes it difficult to become pregnant and experience abnormal hair growth on their bodies and faces at the same time. These conditions can eventually cause heart disease and diabetes. PCOS is a significant medical disorder that needs either appropriate medical care or surgical treatment. 

Signs/ Symptoms

Some females start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period, some women only discover when they have gained a lot of weight or have trouble getting pregnant. The most common signs and symptoms of PCOD Problem or PCOS in females are: 

  • Irregular menstruation (Oligomenorrhea) 

  • Skipped or absence of menstruation (Amenorrhea) 

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding (Menorrhagia) 

  • Excessive Hair growth (face, body - including on back, belly, and chest) 

  • Acne (face, chest, and upper back) 

  • Weight gain 

  • Hair loss (hair on the scalp gets thinner and falls out) 

  • Skin darkening (Neck, the groin, and under the breasts) 


Causes of PCOS/PCOD 

Exactly how women get affected by PCOS is not known, however, these are some significant factors: 

  • Excess insulin production: excess insulin levels in the body might increase androgen production (a male hormone which is very less in females) that causes difficulty with ovulation 

  • Excess androgen production: The ovaries produce abnormally excess androgen hormones that can lead to acne and hirsutism (hair growth on the face and body) 

  • Low-grade inflammation: As per a recent study, females with PCOS are having low-grade inflammation that causes an increased level of androgen production which can lead to blood vessels or heart problems. 

  • Heredity: Women with PCOS show a certain genetic correlation 


Complications of PCOS / PCOD problem 

These are the complications of PCOS or PCOD problems that require medical attention: 

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding 

  • Infertility or hypertension Infertility 

  • Type 2 diabetes 

  • Preterm labor and premature birth 

  • Metabolic syndrome (risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke) 

  • NASH (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) 

  • Depression (Many women end up experiencing depression and anxiety due to unwanted hair growth and other symptoms) 

  • Sleep apnea (More common in women who are overweight, causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep) 

  • Endometrial cancer (Due to the thickened uterine lining) 

  • Miscarriage (spontaneous loss of pregnancy) 


Diagnosis of PCOD / PCOS 

To diagnose PCOD or PCOS, a gynecologist may recommend: 

  • Pelvic examination: Physically checking the reproductive organs for masses, abnormalities, or any growth  

  • Blood tests: Blood tests will help to understand the hormone levels, these include fasting lipid profile (to check the levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides levels, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)), and glucose tolerance tests. 

  • Imaging test: Ultrasound imaging test to check the size of ovaries, the lining of the uterus, and cysts in ovaries 

Apart from the above, the gynecologist might recommend additional tests to check for complications. These may include: 

  • Periodical monitoring of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels 

  • Screening for anxiety and depression  

  • Screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) 



Maintaining a healthy body weight

BMI (body mass index) ranges from 18.5 - 24.9 considered as ideal and healthy for females, above 30 is considered obese and not healthy. Maintaining healthy body weight or weight loss help in improving overall body cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes maintaining ideal insulin levels and androgen levels that also restore the ovulation phase in the menstrual cycle. Consult a dietitian for a weight-loss program to reach a healthy BMI. 

Limiting carbohydrate consumption

If you have PCOD or PCOS follow a low-carb diet or complex carbohydrates diet that helps in maintaining insulin levels. Eat fish, meat, eggs, vegetables that grow above ground and natural fats (like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and butter) and avoid sugar and starchy foods (like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, and beans) 

Do regular exercise and be active  

If you have PCOD or PCOS doing regular exercise and becoming active will help in regulating blood sugar levels and keep your weight under control. 


PCOD / PCOS treatment focuses on managing your individual problems, such as irregular periods, obesity, infertility, acne, or hirsutism. Treatment usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle. 

Treatment will depend on the symptoms like hair growth, acne, and metabolic disorders. This includes: 

  • Regulate the menstrual cycle by medication to treat hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance 

  • Ovulation induction (the quality and quantity of the ovulation) through oral medicines and injections 

  • Infertility treatment through fertility drugs 

  • Lowering excessive hair growth 

  • Skin treatments for acne and pigmentation 

  • A laparoscopic procedure - ovarian drilling to destroy androgen-producing tissue in the ovaries, in case of PCOS patients not responding to hormonal treatment. 

The best treatment for PCOD and PCOS will consist of on-time diagnosis and the appropriate treatment modalities can help to overcome the symptoms. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is equally important to treating hormonal imbalance and conditions related. 


Dr. Roshni Gautam 

Danphe Care