Understanding PCOD: Symptoms, Causes, and Management

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOD) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It affects approximately 5-10% of women worldwide and is a leading cause of infertility. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of PCOD, covering its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, management, and much more.

Causes of PCOD


PCOD often runs in families, suggesting a genetic component to the disorder. Women with a family history of PCOD are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance, where the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, is another leading cause of PCOD. This resistance can lead to increased insulin levels in the blood, which in turn triggers the ovaries to produce more androgens, such as testosterone.

Hormonal Imbalance

An imbalance in hormones, particularly elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone, can disrupt the menstrual cycle and lead to the development of cysts on the ovaries, characteristic of PCOD.

Symptoms of PCOD

PCOD manifests through various symptoms, which may vary in severity from woman to woman. Some common symptoms include:

Irregular Periods

Women with PCOD often experience irregular menstrual cycles, with periods occurring less frequently or more frequently than usual.

Excess Hair Growth

Hirsutism, or excess hair growth in areas such as the face, chest, and back, is a common symptom of PCOD. This is due to the elevated levels of androgens in the body.


Hormonal imbalances in PCOD can contribute to the development of acne, particularly along the jawline and chin.

Weight Gain

Many women with PCOD struggle with weight gain or difficulty losing weight, especially around the abdomen.

Diagnosis of PCOD

Diagnosing PCOD involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and various tests, including:

Medical History

Your doctor will inquire about your menstrual history, symptoms, and family history of PCOD or related conditions.

Physical Examination

A physical examination may reveal signs such as excess hair growth, acne, or signs of insulin resistance, such as darkened skin patches.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are conducted to measure hormone levels, including testosterone, estrogen, and insulin.


An ultrasound of the ovaries may reveal the presence of cysts, which are a hallmark feature of PCOD.

Management of PCOD

While PCOD cannot be cured, its symptoms can be managed effectively through various approaches, including:

Lifestyle Changes

Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help regulate menstrual cycles and improve insulin sensitivity.


Birth control pills, anti-androgen medications, and insulin-sensitizing drugs are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms of PCOD.

Surgical Options

In some cases, surgical interventions such as ovarian drilling or ovarian wedge resection may be recommended to improve fertility or reduce symptoms.

Complications of PCOD

Untreated PCOD can lead to several complications, including:


PCOD is a leading cause of infertility in women due to irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation altogether.


Insulin resistance associated with PCOD increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Heart Disease

Women with PCOD are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and coronary artery disease.

PCOD and Mental Health

PCOD can take a toll on mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, or poor self-esteem, particularly due to its impact on physical appearance and fertility.

PCOD and Pregnancy

While PCOD can make conception challenging, many women with the condition can still conceive with appropriate medical intervention and lifestyle modifications.

PCOD Diet Plan

A balanced diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, and low in processed foods and sugars can help manage symptoms of PCOD and promote overall health.

Natural Remedies for PCOD

Certain natural remedies, such as herbal supplements, acupuncture, and stress-reduction techniques, may complement conventional treatment approaches for PCOD.

PCOD and Exercise

Regular physical activity, including aerobic exercise, strength training, and yoga, can help improve insulin sensitivity, regulate menstrual cycles, and manage weight in women with PCOD.

PCOD in Adolescents

PCOD can also affect adolescent girls, often presenting with irregular periods, acne, and hirsutism. Early diagnosis and management are crucial to prevent long-term complications.

Myth Vs. Fact about PCOD

Dispelling common myths and misconceptions surrounding PCOD can help increase awareness and understanding of the condition.

Support and Resources for PCOD Patients

Various support groups, online forums, and healthcare resources are available to help women with PCOD navigate their condition and connect with others facing similar challenges.


PCOD is a complex hormonal disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. While it can pose challenges to fertility and overall health, timely diagnosis, lifestyle modifications, and appropriate medical intervention can help manage symptoms effectively and improve quality of life for women with PCOD.

Dr. Anusha K. S.

Gynaecology Expert

+91 8660534318


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Dr. Anusha K. S.

Gynaecology Expert