Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a common condition affecting 5% of women. The disorder appears to be increasing especially in young and teenagers perhaps related to more sedentary life and eating habits leading to obesity.
In this condition the ovary stops cyclic maturation of follicles (Water filled sacs containing egg) leading to anovulation or non production of mature eggs. This leads to increased production of male hormones and unbalanced production of estrogen which is the principal female hormone. There is also absence of progesterone, the hormone which comes only after ovulation and balances the side effects of increased estrogen production. Clinically these changes are manifested as :
Menstrual irregularity : This may range from short irregularcycles, having menstrual bleeding which stops only with medicines or abnormally delayed or absent menses.
Obesity : increased weight is both a cause and an effect often PCOD
Hirsutism : Increased hair growth on face and other parts of the body due to increased male hormones.
Polycystic appearance of ovaries. These are small egg containing sacs which increase in size but do not attain full maturation and thus enlarge the ovary and give it its classical look. These are not tumors or growth and do not require operation for removal.
If the condition remains untreated the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems is greatly increased.
Infertility : Since there is no ovulation or timely egg release infertility is the most common problem.
Diagnosis depends mainly on ultrasound appearance of ovaries, anovulation and features of increased male hormones. Blood tests are only helpful to find out any association thyroid disorder, diabetes or increased prolactin secretions.