Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease or Syndrome (PCOD / PCOS)
What is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
As the name introduces itself poly means multiple cystic means fluid filled sacs in ovary.
Polycystic Ovarian syndrome is a disorder of group of symptoms manifest due to disturbance in sex hormones in female.
PCOS is characterised by absence or irregular menstruation, excessive facial hair growth, acne, hair fall, obesity and many other associated symptoms.
It affects female in their reproductive age i.e. between menarche (commencement of menstruation) to menopause (permanent physiological stoppage of menstruation)
Prevalence of PCOS in India
A study conducted by the department of endocrinology and metabolism, AIIMS, shows that about 20-25 per cent of Indian women of childbearing age are suffering from PCOS, which is a major cause of women infertily.
PCOD Understand your disease
Ovaries are the part of female genital organ presents both sides of uterus in lower abdomen.
There are two major functions of ovaries, first it provides shelter to the egg, gets them mature and second as a gland it produces sex hormones which help the egg to be mature in every menstrual cycle.
At the time of birth each ovary is packed with life time reserve of eggs in the form of primordial follicle.
One of these follicles gets mature and release egg in the uterus for fertilisation with sperm. If fertilisation occurs it results in pregnancy, if fertilisation does not occur there is shedding of uterus lining results in menstruation.
All this process happens under the influence of hormones which gives signals for every event. These hormones released from brain i.e. first from hypothalamus, which gives signals to the pituitary gland and the hormones released from pituitary gland (LH, FSH) gives signal to the ovary to produce sex hormones (estrogens and progesterone)
FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) helps primary follicle to be mature and LH (luteinizing hormone) helps egg to release from ovary.
After getting signal from F.S.H and L.H ovaries secret estrogen and progesterone (female hormones) which are necessary for normal functioning of uterus and ovaries.
All normal ovaries also make a little bit of the androgen testosterone, a male sex hormone.
What happens in PCOD?
In polycystic ovary disease, there is an imbalance in hormones of brain (hypothalamus and pituitary) and ovaries. In PCOD, ovaries don’t get right signal from pituitary. L.H levels are too high that it does not allow ovary to release egg. Eggs in the follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they form very small cysts in the ovary- hence the name polycystic ovaries.
In the uterus, uterine lining continues to proliferate due to lack of signal for shedding.
All this process results in absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation and heavy menstrual bleeding.