Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) affects women’s hormone levels. Women with PCOD produce higher than normal male hormones which can cause acne, unwanted hair growth on the face and body and can cause difficulty getting pregnant. Due to the complexity of the disease, we view the symptoms of PCOD as a spectrum instead of just one issue.
On one end of the spectrum, we have women with irregular cycles. Though these women don’t outwardly show any other symptoms, women may have difficulty conceiving.
On the other end of the spectrum, women have what we call insulin resistance. On this side of the spectrum, the pancreas makes insulin but its receptors will not accept it. These women experience an array of symptoms, including irregular cycles, being overweight, having oily skin and acne, and facial hair. On this side, they create more progesterone than estrogen.
Diagnosis for PCOD
The biggest telling sign of PCOD is your health history. When you come in for an appointment, we will talk about your past experiences. You should keep a health journal to track your symptoms over time.
When you come in, we will also conduct an ultrasound or a blood test. During your blood test, we will check your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. The vaginal ultrasound checks the physical state of your ovaries, including enlarged ovaries and cysts.
Treatment for PCOD
The first thing we will need to do to treat PCOD is regulating your cycle. Generally, birth control pills will balance out your cycle and your hormone levels.
Next, we need to find something to help your insulin connect to insulin receptors. We have a number of medications that will help your cells break down fats and sugars, which will help you lose weight and reduce acne.
PCOD patients trying to become pregnant should know that there is an increased risk of diabetes while pregnant. To avoid the risk of diabetes, we recommend that you stay on your medications and regularly check in with your doctor.
It is important to remember that there are treatments for PCOD that will help you lead a normal life. Schedule a visit to review your options today.