The Hormonal Imbalances in PCOD & Their Impact

March 26th, 2024 | 10:06 am

Women’s health concerns are diversified. Among them, the complex health condition of Polycystic Ovary Disease, or PCOD, is the most frequently observed worldwide. There are millions of women who are suffering from PCOD, a condition caused by genetic hormonal imbalances, and it results in various symptoms that worsen physical and emotional health. Comprehensive surveys and analysis reveal that about 20% (or one-fifth) of Indian women suffer from PCOD, which are very alarming statistics.

What is PCOD?

A hormonal condition affecting many women of reproductive age is called PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease). It is defined by the huge amount of immature or partially developed eggs that the woman’s ovaries produce, which eventually develop into ovarian cysts. This results in enlargement of the ovaries and increased secretion of androgens, the male hormone responsible for infertility, irregular menstruation periods, hair loss, and excessive weight gain. PCOD causes the ovaries to function abnormally, which affects hormone production and causes a chain reaction of symptoms that affect several bodily systems.

Hormonal Imbalance in PCOD

PCOD is mostly caused by a hormonal imbalance. Dysregulation of the endocrine system, which controls hormones, is observed in women with PCOD. A defining feature of this medical condition is that insulin resistance causes elevated blood insulin levels, which in turn causes the ovaries to produce an excess of androgens. Men and women both have androgens, which are male hormones; however, men normally have more of them. The delicate balance of essential female hormones, such as progesterone and oestrogen, is upset by high testosterone levels in PCOD, resulting in irregular menstruation cycles and other symptoms.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Physical and mental well-being might be negatively impacted by the diverse ways that PCOD’s hormone imbalance symptoms can appear. During the first menstrual cycle, PCOD usually starts. However, a few months after your first period, you could sometimes start to experience PCOD symptoms.

PCOS symptoms might differ. Experts advise that if you have two or more of the following symptoms, you should be diagnosed with PCOD:

  • Period Irregularities: Experiencing periods that are irregular and last for a number of days. For example, you experience less than nine menstrual cycles in a year, sometimes occurring over a period of 35 days or longer. Under these circumstances, becoming pregnant might be all but impossible.
  • Body Irregularities: Other noticeable signs include facial acne and male-pattern baldness.
  • Hirsutism: The development of male-pattern facial and body hair is caused by an overabundance of androgens, known as hirsutism.
  • Polycystic Ovaries: When you have too much testosterone, your ovaries get larger. Many follicles containing immature eggs may grow near the ovary’s border, and such ovaries may not operate normally.
  • Weight Gain: Because of hormonal imbalances and the body’s decreased sensitivity to insulin, many women with PCOD struggle to control their weight. Elevated insulin levels have the potential to stimulate the synthesis of androgens, which are male hormones, leading to unexpected weight gain, especially around the abdomen. 

Is it possible to become pregnant with PCOD?

Yes, it is possible to become pregnant while suffering from PCOD. However, the pregnancy may be delayed due to anomalies in the ovulation process. Furthermore, pregnant women with PCOD are at an increased risk of developing the problems listed below:

  • Endometrial cancer – Cancer of the uterine lining.
  • Miscarriage or preterm delivery.
  • The metabolic syndrome includes elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. 
  • Gestational diabetes.

Therefore, receiving prompt treatment for PCOD symptoms is essential prior to marriage and/or pregnancy.

What causes PCOD?

Though its precise cause is yet unknown, a mix of lifestyle, environmental, and genetic variables are thought to play a role in PCOD development. The majority of PCOD cases are hereditary in nature and predominantly run in the family. However, there are also a number of other physiological reasons. So let’s explore them now:

  • Production of Insulin: The pancreas produces insulin. It is a naturally occurring hormone which helps in controlling the body’s blood sugar levels and metabolism. Studies show that an elevated insulin level causes PCOD. Moreover, it can also be caused by the body producing more testosterone as a result of too much insulin in the body.
  • Inflammation: The body may also experience low-grade inflammation as a cause of PCOD. Inflammation in the body’s tissues can also result from a number of autoimmune disease types. This causes the body to produce more male hormones, which ultimately causes PCOD.
  • High Androgen Levels: Excessive body hair, acne on the face, skin conditions, etc., are all associated with the male hormone androgen. These problems also rise in proportion to an increase in this hormone. PCOD is eventually caused by these medical conditions.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Unhealthy choices, including binge eating, smoking, and drinking excessive alcohol, can also cause insulin abnormalities. In females, this may further result in the development of PCOD symptoms.

Any one of these factors may contribute to PCOD. However, it’s critical to treat them as well after you’ve determined the problem.  

Complications Associated with PCOD

The problems associated with Polycystic Ovarian Disease, or PCOD, can have a substantial negative influence on a woman’s health and overall well-being.

  • Unusual bleeding in the uterus. 
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Miscarriage
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypertension or infertility 
  • Preterm labour and premature birth
  • Chronic liver inflammation

Treatment Options for PCOD

In order to treat hormonal imbalances, reduce symptoms, and lower the risk of long-term problems, PCOD is usually managed with a multimodal strategy. Dietary changes, optimal physical activity, and controlled weight loss are frequently the initial stages of PCOD treatment. Women with PCOD need to have healthy lifestyles, eat a balanced diet, and exercise frequently. For women with PCOD, there are many healthy lifestyle options available; however, it is advised that you follow a PCOD diet that is high in carbs and low in fat. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, this would prevent any unplanned rises in your blood sugar.

The next line of treatment is to start taking medications if the symptoms of PCOD do not considerably improve over several sessions. Oral contraceptives to control menstrual periods, anti-androgen medicines to lessen excessive hair growth and acne, and insulin-sensitising medications to enhance insulin resistance are examples of conventional treatment choices.

Under exceptional conditions, your doctor may perform laparoscopic ovarian drilling to help trigger ovulation or the release of the egg from the ovaries. The best PCOD treatment may be achieved by treating the symptoms as soon as possible and using the appropriate treatment techniques. 

Why Choose Giggles Hospitals?

Women who have been diagnosed with PCOD should keep track of their health in order to avoid any potential difficulties down the road. For impacted women to have a better future and to reduce the risks connected with these diseases, regular health monitoring and proper medical care are crucial.

Select Giggles Hospital if you want compassionate treatment and excellent medical attention. We provide a variety of reproductive treatments and are here to assist you in realising your goal of becoming a parent thanks to our top-notch laboratories, internationally trained physicians, and imported technology. We aim for excellence in every facet of healthcare delivery, from thorough diagnosis to cutting-edge therapies.