What is PCOS or PCOD? Signs, Symptoms, Tips and more

70% of women do not realize they have PCOS. We have made it easier to understand its symptoms.

Updated on Dec 14, 2018 01:32 PM IST  |  2.3M
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PCOD/PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disorder. It is a hormonal imbalance that causes a number of different symptoms in women of reproductive age. PCOS affects a woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone — hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce a small number of male hormones called androgens. Most women with PCOS have cysts in their ovaries, some affected women do not. These cysts in the ovaries restrict the ovulation of egg. This ovulation is responsible for the monthly cycle. Hence, a common symptom in women with PCOS is an irregularity in the menstrual cycle and the presence of excess male hormones (androgens).


What causes PCOS?

While the causes of PCOS is unknown, it is believed that it could be genetic, i.e. inherited from the genetic pool. The doctors believe that high levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally.


What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Some women see the symptoms of PCOS around their first period. Others only find out about PCOS when they have gained a lot of weight or have trouble getting pregnant.

If you have your doubts, here are some of the most common symptoms of PCOS:

  1. Irregular Periods
  2. Heavy Bleeding
  3. Acne
  4. Hair-growth on face and body
  5. Weight gain
  6. Male--pattern baldness
  7. Dark patches on the skin
  8. Headaches (for some women)
  9. Mood swings due to the hormonal changes in the body​


How does PCOS affect your body?

Since PCOS results in hormone imbalance, it can affect a woman’s health in many ways. These issues are seen in most women with PCOS.

  1. Infertility
  2. Sleep apnea
  3. Increased insulin levels that lead to diabetes
  4. Metabolic Syndrome that results in obesity
  5. Endometrial Cancer
  6. Depression ​​


How can you diagnose PCOS?

PCOS can be diagnosed with a few simple tests.

  1. Ultrasound is the most common test done to find out if you have cysts in your ovaries.
  2. Blood tests help you determine the hormone levels in your body
  3. Irregular periods is one of the most common diagnoses. However, not everyone with irregular periods has PCOS. Your hormone levels or polycystic ovary determines that.
  4. If you have any of these symptoms, it is advised to see a gynaecologist. ​


Let us know in the comments section below if you have any more doubts related to this condition, what kind of a diet follow, home remedies and even medical care.

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3 years ago
Why has PV put Sara Ali Khan's pic with this article?