PCOS For Dummies
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A Main Cause of Female Infertility

PCOD also known as PCOS

Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) is also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Polycystic ovarian disease consists of numerous cysts that grow in their ovaries. The cysts are caused by an abnormal menstrual cycle. The abnormal menstrual cycle that causes the cysts to grow could be caused by the body producing too many hormones or having issues with hormone imbalance. It should be noted that just because there are cysts growing in the ovaries, it does not necessarily mean that you would have PCOD. There are multiple reasons women may have cysts growing in their ovaries.

OvaryCredit: By Fwfu at en.wikibooks [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons


PCOD on UltrasoundCredit: By Je Hyuk Lee (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia CommonsNumerous symptoms can be associated with this disease. PCOD is one of the main causes of women being infertile. If you are not able to conceive a child then this could be a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Other symptoms of PCOS could include heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle as well as amenorrhea or lack of menses. A doctor can check your hormone levels and be able to tell if you have abnormally high hormone levels that are associated with PCOD. High androgen levels may be an indicator that you may have polycystic ovarian disease. Other common indicators that a woman may have PCOD could include weight gain, high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol levels.


Treatment Options

The treatment options will vary depending on the cause of your PCOD. Many women may be prescribed birth control pills. This will often help to regulate the period as well as lower the chance of uterine cancer. There are numerous treatment options available to the doctor. If you want to get pregnant then instead of prescribing birth control pills he can instead prescribe a medication called clomiphene which brings on ovulation. This is a powerful drug, however, and your doctor should monitor the patient who takes it.  Also, most doctors do not prescribe clomiphene for two consecutive menstrual cycles because of the side effects including moodiness from fluctuating hormone levels and the threat of hyperovulation (which is painful!). There are numerous methods a doctor has at his disposal to fight this disease. Your doctor may also recommend that you lose some weight. If you are overweight then simply losing the excess weight can help to regulate the menstrual cycle naturally without any drugs or treatment.

PCOD DietPCOD diet(98736)Credit: www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Women who suffer from polycystic ovarian disease are at a higher risk of suffering from diabetes and heart disease. A diet will often be recommended so that the woman can lose weight and eat healthier. A diet will help to regulate the menstrual cycle as well as lessening the chance of diabetes and heart disease. A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean protein is great for those with PCOD trying to lose weight.

Extreme Treatment Options

If changing your diet and basic treatment options does not alleviate the symptoms of this disease then there are multiple and more radical treatment options available. Among these radical treatment options is a procedure called ovarian drilling.

Ovarian drilling consists of a needle being placed into the ovary via laparoscopy and then an electrical current is run to it and it kills off some of the ovarian tissue. This is definitely not the first choice among doctors; however when everything else fails this procedure has proven to be very effective in controlling and curing PCOD. The main goal in treatment is not to cure this disease but to control it. By keeping your PCOD under control you will have a much lower chance of getting heart disease and diabetes and improved fertility. If you are diagnosed with this disease then it is important that you visit your doctor regularly and update him on any changes as well as eating a healthy diet to help keep your weight under control.

Lastly, I suffered with PCOD for years and it is now under control with the use of birth control pills.  I took clomiphene to conceive and had ovarian drilling done twice.  PCOD is no picnic.  On the upside, I have two healthy beautiful daughters as a result of my struggle with this disease.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  Just make sure you do research on the condition to empower yourself if you have PCOS or PCOD.