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WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF PCOD?

PCOD, the polycystic ovarian disease is the most common endocrine problem infertile women and it is also considered as a multiple disorder which is having many reproductive and hormonal problems which affect differently to every woman in their early stages. Women with PCOD have a poor reproductive profile which also includes high risks of preeclampsia, hypertension induced with pregnancy, and gestational diabetes. Women with PCOD have not only a higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors like dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type-2 diabetes but also some other non-cardiovascular risks such as mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Dr. Poonam, Chief IVF And Infertility Specialist at Indira IVF Hospital, Explained that: “It has been seen that women with PCOD report a higher risk of endometrial cancer mainly during their premenopausal period as compared to healthy women not having PCOD.” Currently, it is not possible to clarify if the early and long-term risks of PCOD are totally due to PCOD or because of obesity. In any case, the main scientific societies like endocrine society and gynecological society agree to the point that women with PCOD are at an increased risk of cardiometabolic, obstetric, and psychological PCOD complications throughout their lives and it is recommended that women having PCOD should be accurately diagnosed with proper follow-up.

Several studies have been conducted on the short term and long term effects of PCOD on a woman’s health due to the increased incidence of early complications like infertility and obstetric outcomes. It also shows an increased percentage of late complications with increased cardiovascular, oncology, and metabolic risks. It is not easy to define the accurate limit of these complications. Moreover, the PCOD problems in women change throughout life, the changes in the functions of ovaries and in the metabolism.

Complications of PCOD

Complications of PCOD

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES

Generally, the symptoms of PCOD are developed during the first period of a woman and if it develops after that then the below-listed symptoms will tell you when to consult a doctor.

  1. ABNORMAL PERIODS

Irregular, prolonged or infrequent menstrual cycles are one of the most common symptoms of PCOD. If you have less than 9 periods in a year, very heavy periods or a cycle of more than 35 days, then it is time to consult a doctor.

  1. INCREASED LEVELS OF ANDROGEN

Increased levels of androgens (male hormones) result in physical appearances like excess body and facial hair and severe acne.

  1.  POLYCYSTIC OVARIES
    This situation the ovaries might get enlarged and as a result, the ovaries fail to function appropriately.

Other symptoms are high levels of stress, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, infertility, skin allergies, acne, dandruff, pelvic pain, depression, and low libido.

The main or apt causes of this condition are not known but the factors affecting the causes are HEREDITY, INCREASED LEVELS OF INSULIN and LOW-GRADE INFLAMMATION. According to some researches, heredity could be one of the reasons as there are some genes which might link to PCOD. Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the pancreas. It is the primary energy supplier of the body. When the body becomes resistant to the actions of insulin, the levels of blood sugar rises rapidly and due to which more insulin is might be produced by the body. Excess insulin can increase the production of androgen which can cause difficulties on ovulation. Studies show that all those women who have the problem of PCOD develop a type of low-grade inflammation which lead to the production of androgens.

All those having PCOD, the first question that might arise in their minds would be are there any complications associated with this problem? What are the complications of PCOD? The complications are divided into two parts, the early term complications, and the long term complications.

EARLY TERM COMPLICATIONS OF PCOD

INFERTILITY

Infertility is one of the main symptoms associated with PCOS. Studies show that PCOD is the most common cause of ovary dysfunctions which increase the rate of infertility. In the large population of women having PCOD, 50 percent reports of having primary infertility while 25 percent reports of having secondary infertility. Many other factors also contribute to infertility such as obesity and insulin resistance, which increases the risk of abortions and reduce the rate of pregnancies. Women having PCOD also reports of having endometrial abnormalities which sometimes result in infertility.

LONG TERM COMPLICATIONS

ENDOMETRIAL CANCER

Women having PCOD have higher chances of endometrial cancer. The risk of endometrial cancer increases with the period abnormalities (irregular or fewer periods). When a woman has a normal menstrual cycle, the endometrium works with the hormones like estrogens by which the lining gets thicken. But when ovulation does not take place mainly in PCOD, The Endometrium is exposed to a higher level of hormones for a prolonged period which makes the endometrium to grow thicker. In this situation, the chances of cancerous cells to grow become higher. To manage the PCOD, it is necessary to establish a normal and regular menstrual cycle to restore the hormonal balance. Some oral contraceptives, inositol, and metformin also help to improve menstrual cycles.

TIP- A healthy diet and exercise are the best options to cure any disease!

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

According to some studies, it has been stated that women having PCOD are at increased risk factors of cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. The nine risk factors which later found were smoking, dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, psychosocial factors, visceral obesity, regular consumption of alcohol, decreased consumption of vegetables and fruits and decreased physical activities. 

DIABETES

All those women having PCOD frequently have insulin resistance metabolic glucose properly. If not treated at the right time, the high glucose levels in the blood can cause diabetes.

HEART DISEASES

Having PCOD increases the chances of a woman getting heart-related diseases. This is because of the high levels of insulin associated with this problem and can cause further risks of blood pressure,  high triglycerides, and atherosclerosis. These conditions can lead to heart attacks and heart strokes.

METABOLIC COMPLICATIONS

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that generally occur together and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases for women having PCOD. The metabolic changes connected are high triglyceride levels, increased weight of abdominal, low good cholesterol level, high blood pressure and high levels of blood sugar. 

PCOD COMPLICATIONS DURING PREGNANCY

Women having PCOD are at risk of having complications of pregnancy and delivery. These women also have a risk of miscarriages at an early stage of pregnancy than other women who do not have PCOD, diabetes at the time of pregnancy due to which babies are affected, premature birth, preeclampsia which is the sudden elevation in blood pressure, and swelling in the body after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

During pregnancy you must take care of the following things:

– Blood sugar levels, while pregnant one must take care of the blood sugar levels at first visit. Check-up of blood sugar levels is necessary as recommended by the doctor either before the meals, two to three hours after a meal or at night. Ask the doctor about the apt numbers of your blood sugar, most of the pregnant ladies aim for the levels of blood sugars mentioned below:

One hour after the meal: 140mg/dL

Two hours after the meal: 120mg/dL

– Vitamins, Ask your doctor what vitamins do you need. The doctors mainly decrease the intake of folic acid once the first trimester of the pregnancy is finished i.e. 12 weeks.

– A healthy diet, You may need a dietician for that. A healthy eating plan will help you to get all the nutrients essential for you during pregnancy to gain appropriate weight. The dietician may ask you to eat three to four small meals a day.

TREATMENT    

There is no apt cure for this problem but the treatments are for factors that reflect the symptoms of polycystic ovarian disease. There are many treatment options which include:

  1. MEDICATIONS OF DIABETES: The medicines recommended for diabetes will help to manage it as increased levels of sugar can cause complications in this problem. It can be oral medicine or insulin
  2. FERTILITY MEDICATIONS: In infertility treatments, some medications are required which includes the usage of Clomid here and injectable medicines such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). And, in some cases, letrozole is also recommended by the doctors.
  3. TREATMENTS FOR INFERTILITY: Infertility treatments like IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF ( in-vitro fertilization), in these treatments some medications are given like spironolactone or eflornithine due to which excessive growth of hair is controlled.

SURGICAL METHODS

  1. CYST ASPIRATION

In this process, the fluid from the cyst is aspirated (removed). This process relieves the discomfort which improves the fertility of women having PCOD. Cyst aspiration is done only when cysts are not cancerous and it can be evaluated by ultrasound. After the surgery, the cysts will disappear and the fluid from the cyst will be removed which will be sent to the laboratory for a final evaluation if the cysts were cancerous or not.

  1. HYSTERECTOMY

Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus through the surgical process. Sometimes the removal of the ovaries, cervix and fallopian tubes is also included in the surgery. The process of hysterectomy could be total which is called as complete or partial which is called as supracervical and includes the removal of the whole uterine body except the cervix. It is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. Removal of the uterus left the patients unable to conceive with long-term effects and surgical risk. This surgery is commonly recommended only if there are no options left or after failed experiments like medications.

So, ladies! this was all about the PCOD health complications. If you have one, do consult with your doctor and get treated at the right time!

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