With changes in the modern lifestyle and eating habits, it has been noticed that women suffer from a number of gynaecological problems starting from a very young age. One of the most common gynaecological diseases that women suffer from is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD). Though commonly found in teenagers and young females, not many are aware what exactly it is and how it affects a woman’s health.

What is the difference between Polycystic Ovaries and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Before coming to the changes that are caused in a female body, let us first know the difference between Polycystic ovary/ovaries and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Polycystic ovaries are usually bigger in size than normal ovaries as they have sacs filled with fluid. These are quite common in women. One suffers from PCOS only when the polycystic ovaries cause hormonal disbalance in the body. Not everyone with polycystic ovaries suffers from this condition. But then one should be careful as it can give way to PCOS in no time.

How do I know if I suffer from PCOS or PCOD?

A person with PCOS and PCOD might see significant changes in the body. The most common signs are:
Irregular periods
Weight gain
Excessive facial and bodily hair growth
Darkening of skin

As the levels of insulin and androgens (male hormones) increase in the case of PCOS, one may suffer from the above-mentioned symptoms. Also, the levels of progesterone decreases causing no or irregular ovulation, hence no or irregular periods.

Apart from these symptoms, a woman may also suffer from serious health conditions like:
Infertility – irregular to no periods leads to infertility
Type 2 diabetes and/or high blood pressure
Depression, excessive mood swings and anxiety
Premature birth
Uterine or endometrial cancer

When should I visit a doctor?

Visit a doctor as soon as you notice any of the signs or symptoms like irregular periods, sudden weight gain, excessive facial hair, etc. According to the severity of your condition, the gynaecologist will plan out your treatment.

What should I do in case I have PCOS or PCOD?

Apart from the prescribed medication, it is necessary to change your lifestyle. Treatment of PCOS demands regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a calm mind. Follow the below-mentioned steps to control PCOS:
Go on long walks
Exercise religiously
Do yoga and/or zumba
Include green vegetables and fruits in your diet
Try to avoid sugar and salt
Sleep early, get up early

It is advisable to not take PCOS or PCOD lightly as the repercussions may not be very pleasing. Consult your gynaecologist at the earliest so that the common signs do not lead to serious conditions.

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