Polycystic ovarian syndrome has emerged as a major issue affecting more than 10% of the female population between age of 12 to 45 years. It is called as a syndrome as it is a cluster of symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance in the female.
PCOD/PCOS is a combination of symptoms produced by imbalance in the hormones (fall in female hormones and hike in male hormones) in the female. The imbalance of hormone causes irregularity in periods and sometimes even amenorrhoea (absence of menses). Further there is no release of egg (due to increase in levels of male hormone/ androgens) and cysts are formed on the periphery of the ovaries. Due to high male hormones there in thinning of hair of scalp and hairiness on other body parts.
In PCOS insulin resistance may also be seen which does not let insulin act in the body and cause increase in levels of glucose which may further stimulate the body to produce more insulin to combat high levels of glucose in the body. These high levels of insulin would cause ovaries to produce more androgens/ male hormone (testosterone). This would further exaggerate the symptoms in the female.
Patient usually presents with the issue with her menses/ periods or inability to conceive as the menstrual cycles are irregular and anovulatory which means there is no egg released by the ovaries for fertilization causing infertility. Normally ovaries produce female sex hormones which help in release of egg and maintain normal functions. But ovaries also produce small amounts of male hormones also known as androgens which go out of balance in PCOD. this imbalance would suppress ovulation, would produce acne and increase hair growth on face and body. This imbalance stop maturation of eggs and take form of cysts on the periphery of ovaries thus called as polycystic ovaries.
The main four features of PCOS are:
Family history of PCOS would increase the chances of having it as PCOD runs in family.