Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD) is a complex hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. While it has various complications, one of the most pressing concerns for those with PCOD is its impact on fertility. In this article, we’ll delve into PCOD, its symptoms, how it affects fertility, and treatment options available for women facing this condition.
What is Polycystic Ovary Disease?
Polycystic ovary disease is a common hormonal disorder that disrupts the normal functioning of the reproductive system. A woman’s ovaries produce excess androgens (male hormones) in this condition. This hormonal imbalance leads to irregular menstrual cycles, cysts in the ovaries, and fertility issues.
While the exact cause of PCOD is not fully understood, it is believed to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If your family has a history of this condition, you may have a higher risk of inheriting this condition.
Women with polycystic ovary disease experience a range of symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Excessive facial and body hair growth (hirsutism)
- Mood swings and depression
- An elevated risk of type-2 diabetes (due to insulin resistance)
- Acne and oily skin
- Weight gain
- An increased risk of heart disease
- Heightened risk of uterine, breast, and endometrial cancer
How Does PCOD Affect Fertility?
Infertility is a common symptom of PCOD. Ovaries produce both female and small amounts of male sex hormones, with a balance necessary for normal bodily functions. However, in PCOD, there is an imbalance, leading to an excess production of androgens. This disrupts the natural ovulation, causing abnormal menstrual cycles and other health issues. Research indicates that excess secretion of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland in women with this condition can lead to immature follicles, potentially preventing ovulation and resulting in infertility.
Can You Conceive With PCOD?
While polycystic ovary disease can negatively impact fertility, it does not mean women with this condition cannot conceive. Lifestyle modifications and fertility treatments can help them achieve a successful pregnancy.
- Diet: Consume green leafy vegetables, broccoli, antioxidant-rich fruits, fatty fish, and protein while avoiding dairy products, red meat, junk food, and high-carbohydrate foods.
- Exercises: Regular exercise, including morning walks, yoga, and meditation, can significantly mitigate the risks associated with PCOD.
- Medication: A fertility expert may recommend birth control pills, progestin therapy to regulate periods, and other drugs to control PCOD and infertility symptoms.
- Surgery: In severe cases, a healthcare provider may perform laparoscopic surgery to remove ovarian cysts that are causing problems, potentially restoring normal ovarian function.
Polycystic ovary disease is a common condition that can affect fertility and overall health. Early detection, lifestyle adjustments, and medical treatments can help manage the condition and improve the chances of conceiving.
If you suspect you have PCOD or are struggling with infertility symptoms, consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and guidance on the most suitable treatment options.