What Is PCOD? Know It’s Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

By Nikita Banerjee +2 more

PCOD stands for Poly Cystic Ovary Disease. The condition affects the ovaries in women by causing cysts. This leads to a hormonal imbalance with the body producing more male hormones than needed. The hormonal imbalance leads to problems in menstruation and fertility apart from other issues. Women with PCOS may have irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles, as well as high levels of the male hormone androgen. The ovaries may produce a large number of tiny collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to release eggs on a regular basis. If left untreated, PCOD can cause more serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. Read on to find all you need to know about PCOD Problems.

What is PCOD?

PCOD Causes

In PCOD, many small sacs fill up with fluid inside the ovaries. Each of these contains an immature egg that never triggers ovulation. The absence of ovulation leads to a hormonal imbalance with a high release of male hormones. Research hasn’t pointed out the exact reasons why PCOD problems happen. However, certain factors contribute to it. They are:

  • Genetic makeup
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Obesity
  • High levels of inflammation
  • Excess insulin
  • Excess androgen

Did You Know

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder in females of reproductive age. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • The cost to the healthcare system for diagnosing and treating PCOS is approximately $4 billion annually in the United States. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • PCOS is associated with an increased risk of infertility, metabolic syndrome, obesity, impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Insulin excess and obesity are common environmental factors that contribute to the development of PCOS. [source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

PCOD Symptoms

PCOS signs and symptoms usually appear around the time of puberty’s first menstrual period. PCOS can develop later in life, for example, as a result of significant weight gain. Many women do not realize that they are suffering from PCOD. There are certain common symptoms of PCOD problems:

  • Irregular Menstruation: One of the most common signs of PCOD is irregular menstruation. Due to a high amount of male hormones, the body prevents ovulation. Many patients of PCOD have fewer than nine periods a year.
  • Heavy Bleeding: Since the periods are irregular, the buildup of the uterine wall is more. This leads to heavier bleeding whenever the periods happen.
  • Acne: due to higher amounts of male hormones, the skin secretes more oil causing more acne.
  • Hair Growth: Most women, who suffer from PCOD, have hair growth on their face, back, stomach and chest. The condition is known as hirsutism.
  • Weight: Most women who suffer from PCOD are obese or overweight.
  • Crown Baldness: Most women with PCOD suffer from male pattern baldness with the hair thinning on the crown. Some even suffer complete hair loss.
  • Headaches: Headaches are triggered by hormonal imbalance.
  • Skin Darkening: Those who suffer from PCOD observe a darkening of the skin in the groin and the neck region.
  • Increased androgens: Excessive male sex hormones can present physically as excess face and body hair, as well as male-pattern baldness.

Unwanted hair on face, neck and other body parts is a symptom of hormonal derrangemts as in PCOD. People often opt for hair removal sessions but do not reach out to doctors. Plz, consult your endocrinologist and gynecologist if you notice signs of unwanted excessive facial and body hair

Dr. Arpit Verma, MBBS, MD

Complications due to PCOD

  • Infertility

PCOD causes infertility as it reduces the frequency of ovulation in the body.

  • Diabetes

PCOD causes insulin resistance in the body leading to diabetes.

  • Heart Disease

PCOD increases the blood pressure in the body leading to vulnerability towards heart problems.

  • Endometrial Cancer

Because there is delayed ovulation, the body experiences a thickening of the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. This increases the odds of getting endometrial cancer.


  • Depression

Many women suffer from depression due to hormonal imbalance in the body.

evidence is accumulated on women with PCOS potentially being at high risk for CNS and cardiovascular disease. Many of these women have extremely high levels of serum lipoprotein, blood glucose, and cholesterol, which also increase the risk of insulin resistance. Women with PCOS may also be at high risk for endometrial cancer.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD


PCOD has yet to be identified as a disease with a cure. You may, however, manage the illness with correct treatment and lifestyle changes. Ultrasound and blood tests help to diagnose PCOD.

  • Most patients are recommended to lose weight to reverse the effects of PCOD. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and regular exercise help in the condition.
  • Birth control pills and hormonal medication are also used in treating PCOD.
  • While there are various lifestyle suggestions for women with PCOD, you are recommended to follow a PCOD diet that is low in fat and carbohydrate.

PCOD can be treated with the correct lifestyle and medications. Consult your gynaecologist if you feel you may have PCOD.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.



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