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PCOD Cause and Diagnosis

Causes  of PCOD

Causes of PCOD

Although no known causes have been found for the disease but some factors are seems to be linked or found to be associated with the disease. These are:-

Genes or Family history

Studies show that PCOS runs in families. Immediate relative like mother or sister with PCOS have 50% more chance of having the disease. Women with family history of type 2 diabetes also have high risk.

Insulin resistance & lifestyle

Insulin resistance means that cells of the body are showing insufficiency in using insulin.

Insulin is the hormone secreted by pancreas and responsible to convert sugar from the blood into energy. When cells are unable to use this insulin, sugar levels in the blood raise and in response pancreas is forced to secret more insulin.

These high levels can increase the production of sex hormones such as testosterone, in the ovaries. This contributes to excessive hair growth and acne, and can contribute to symptoms such as irregular periods, difficulty in ovulating, excess hair growth and acne.

Insulin resistance is present in up to 80 per cent of women with PCOS and this can contribute to an increased  risk of developing type- 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Insulin resistance is caused in part by lifestyle factors including being overweight because of a diet or physical inactivity. While women without PCOS who are overweight can have this form of insulin resistance, women with PCOS are more likely to have a particular form of insulin resistance caused by genetic factors separate from the insulin resistance associated with being overweight.

This means women with PCOS can have:

  • Insulin resistance as a result of genetic factors
  • Insulin resistance as a result of being overweight (related to diet and inactivity)
  • A combination of both of these factors

Health problems linked to PCOS

Women with PCOS appear to be at increased risk of developing the following health problems during their lives:

  • Insulin resistance (if they don’t already have it)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cholesterol and blood fat abnormalities
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease, heart attacks and stroke)
  • Endometrial carcinoma (cancer)

Sign and symptoms of PCOD

Symptoms may vary from patient to patient. Not every patient shows the entire symptom set. Patient with more than five to six from below mentioned sign and symptoms should be taken into consideration and further investigation. These include

  • Irregular menses: due to lack of ovulation Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Obesity: women with PCOD have difficulty in losing weight.
  • Excessive hair growth on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS
  • Acne
  • Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
  • Excessive thinning of hair
  • Dark patches on skin creases like neck, groin and under the breast.
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Decreased libido
  • Fatigue
  • High level of androgen
  • High cholesterol
  • High level of insulin

Diagnosis of PCOS:

Diagnosis is based upon the combination of clinical findings, ultrasound and laboratory features.

Clinical findings: – A full medical history about menstruation, changes in weight, physical examination for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration is important.

Laboratory Findings: –

Blood tests for check sex hormone levels, and other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease.

In Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), we find the reverse ratio of FSH to LH.

Normally it shows an equal ratio of FSH to LH or FSH being slightly higher than LH

In Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD), the ratio is reversed with a 3:1 of LH: FSH.

Ultrasound: – This test uses soundwaves to examine  ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb)

In polycystic ovary disease, enlarged ovaries with thickened sclerotic capsules and an abnormally high number of follicles are present.

In PCOD, usually advice patient to get their ultrasound of lower abdomen and pelvic area after menstruation. It will give more clear view.

Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
  • Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
    • Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
    • Acne
    • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Higher than normal blood levels of sex hormones.
  • Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries


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