PCOS/PCOD is a common disease affecting 10% to 20% of women (in India), affecting their fertility. It is marked by irregularity in periods.
Females with PCOS get only 7-8 periods in a year. There is no single exact reason that causes PCOD. there can be myriad causes, including genetic ones.
What is PCOS/PCOD?
It is short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Disorder. A polycystic female does not complete the menstrual cycle that stimulates ovulation.
The eggs contained in the ovaries do not become mature enough to be released into the uterus. Consequently, ovulation does not occur and the immature eggs stick to the ovarian walls and form cysts. Hence the name.
What causes PCOS
PCOD can be induced due to several reasons. The exact cause is not distinct. However, it causes a hormonal imbalance that hampers ovulation. women with PCOS have inadequate production of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone(FSH & LH).
Consequently, they undergo limited follicular development. Hormonal imbalance is also found to be linked to insulin resistance.
Does PCOS affect fertility?
PCOS causes an imbalance of female hormones which leads to fertility issues. Also, levels of male hormones such as androgens and testosterone increase. Abnormal hormones formulate a range of symptoms and some of them affect conception.
Generally, affected women need medical assistance to get pregnant. It is because then they do not ovulate every month. Moreover, weight gain decreases fertility and can delay conception.
However, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is treatable and women can get pregnant and have healthy children.
Such patients have higher chances of infertility than other women, even so, they require contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy.
How can I Manage My PCOS Condition?
With help from your doctor, you can remarkably reduce PCOD symptoms, be fertile, get pregnant, and lead a healthy life generally.
According to Dr. Shivani Bhutani, you can very well manage the impact of polycystic ovaries by adopting a combined therapeutic approach.
You can manage PCOS on three levels
- Medical treatment
- Natural ways
Managing PCOS with Medical Treatment
As your doctor would advise, various medical therapies are available to overcome fertility problems, as well as manage PCOS symptoms.
The main objective of medicines is to control symptoms like irregular periods, infertility, abnormal hair growth, acne, and weight gain.
Various drugs given to the patient maintain the appropriate hormone levels, decrease insulin resistance, control weight, and reduce stress. These may
- Metformin- for insulin resistance
- Contraceptive pill- for regular menstruation
- Gonadotrophins- to stimulate FSH & LH
- Drugs to induce ovulation
- Anti-anxiety pills- to relax nerves
Managing PCOS with Lifestyle Changes
Dr. Shivani from Eva IVF & Infertility Hospital, Ludhiana advises lifestyle changes to manage the symptoms of PCOD and prevent future complications.
Reduce Carbohydrate & Sugar intake
Most polycystic women suffer from insulin resistance. As a result, the body doesn’t utilize the insulin hormone to metabolize the sugar and carbohydrate intake.
This causes abnormal blood sugar and calory release. Focus on foods that are low in fat and sugar, but high on fiber.
Put a cap on carbs, especially refined ones. Avoid soda, canned juices, and load up on vegetables, fruits, poultry, and grains.
Optimize body weight
Not all, but most women with PCOS are overweight and become obese. Losing excess weight substantially brings down the severity of symptoms.
Regular workouts correct the body mass index decreases insulin resistance and reduce stress. Exercising also balances the production of important hormones such as testosterone.
Managing PCOS in natural ways
Adopting healthy habits and letting go of harmful things like smoking, or excessive drinking is great.
So are some natural and alternative ways, whichever may suit. You can take your doctor’s advice on them.
There are yoga asanas, supplements such as vitamins, fish oil, and herbal naturopathy in the form of tablets or concoctions. It entirely depends on the individual case and the problem you want to address.
PCOS or PCOD does affect your fertility but it can be entirely handled. Apart from pregnancy, one can manage its symptoms very effectively with advice from your specialist doctor and cover all the risk factors and complications that may occur in the future.
Last but not the least, the earlier you treat your condition, the better it is in the long run.