PCOS Symptoms – Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a problem associated with body hormones, mainly during the reproductive phase of life. If a woman is suffering from PCOS, there may be variations in the menstrual cycle.

Periods may come very often

Periods may last for many days

The condition is characterized by cyst formation in ovaries that eventually cause menstrual irregularities and hormonal imbalance.

Abnormally high levels of a hormone called androgen in the body (hyperandrogenism)

Types of PCOD symptoms

8 symptoms of PCOD

The most frequent presenting symptoms associated with PCOD are:

Obesity

Obesity is a complex condition wherein an individual has an excess of fat accumulated in various body parts. It is one of the most common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. According to research, obesity amplifies hyperandrogenism, which is indicative of PCOD. 

Hirsutism

Hirsutism is a hormonal condition that occurs in females leading to excess growth of male hair on the face, chest and back. Extra hair growth most often occurs due to abnormally high levels of androgen, which are male hormones like testosterone. The condition is caused by PCOS beginning from puberty in most cases due to alteration in levels of sex hormones. 

Amenorrhea 

Amenorrhea is absent in menstrual periods in females after the age of 15. Excess of androgen in PCOS leads to amenorrhea. 

Anovulation

Anovulation is when an egg or ovum is not released from the ovary during periods or menstrual cycles. The release of the ovum is essential for a female to get pregnant normally. The process of ovulation is dependent on multiple hormones, and PCOS is the condition wherein there is a lot of imbalance in the levels of hormones required for ovulation. Therefore, anovulation is also a major symptom of PCOD. Androgens at abnormally high levels prevent the maturation of the follicles from preparing them for ovulation.

Abnormal bleeding from uterus

A disrupted menstrual cycle causes dysfunctional bleeding from the uterus, causing anovulation. The hormone imbalance leaves the egg or follicles in the ovaries, eventually forming a cyst. Endometrium thickening occurs due to a hormonal imbalance that causes bleeding from the uterus for a longer period.

Irregular Menses

It is considered a hallmark of PCOD as any variation in hormone levels causes missing periods or irregularities. 

Infertility

Infertility or inability to have a baby is indicative of a woman suffering from PCOS as the hormonal imbalance cause anovulation and thus infertility. 

Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic alopecia is an abnormal condition of females wherein hair loss in a particular pattern occurs due to excessive production of the hormone testosterone contributing to PCOS.

The symptoms of PCOS may include: 

  • 1. Missed periods
  • 2. Irregularity in periods
  • 3. Very less periods
  • 4. Abnormally large ovaries with many cysts
  • 5. Excess body hair (On chest, back , and  stomach (hirsutism)
  • 6. Weight gain
  • 7. Fat mainly around belly (abdomen)
  • 8. Acne 
  • 9. Excessive oily skin
  • 10. Male-pattern baldness 
  • 11. Thinning of hair
  • 12. Infertility 
  • 13. Skin tags – Excess of skin present on neck and armpits
  • 14. Dark patches of thick skin present at the back of neck, and other regions like (breasts and armpits) 
  •  

Early symptoms of PCOD

Early symptoms that are indicative of PCOS are the ones that arise early in life and help in getting diagnosed earlier without leading to more complex health problems. Early symptoms start at or around the time when a girl gets her first menstrual period. In many cases, there are late symptoms that mostly develop later in life after women have already had their periods several times.

Irregular periods

Major irregularities in menstrual periods like very few periods with disturbing irregularity is major sign of PCOD. On another side, having periods for unexpectedly longer time or days than typical periods.  

Abnormally high androgen levels

Hormone androgen in excess amounts result in facial, chest or hair in other body parts, the condition called hirsutism. Severe acne, baldness and other such male pattern in hair due to high levels of male hormones.

Polycystic ovaries.

Ovaries become large due to development of cyst around follicles and immature ova or eggs. Their functioning gets disturbed due to cyst formation.

Early warning signs of PCOD

  • 1. Hair growth (with male-like pattern)
  • 2. Hair loss
  • 3. Acne or excessively oily skin
  • 4. Darkened skin
  • 5. Problems in sleeping
  • 6. Fatigue or feeling of tiredness
  • 7. Headaches
  • 8. Heavy periods
  • 9. Irregular periods
  •  

Natural treatment for PCOD

Diet changes are the first essential steps to consider in PCOD treatment

  • 1. Whole foods without artificial sugars must be inculcated into the diet
  • 2. Natural and unprocessed food should be prioritized
  • 3. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are good to go in the diet
  • 4. Balance carb diet with sufficient protein intake 
  • 5. Anti-inflammatory foods
  • 6. Increase iron intake by adding spinach, egg, and broccoli to your diet 
  • 7. Increase magnesium intake by adding almonds and cashews to the diet. 
  •  

Note: Increasing magnesium or iron intake must be done under the guidance of an expert doctor or dietitian

Avoid endocrine disruptors (present in canned foods)

  • 1. Dioxins
  • 2. Phthalates
  • 3. Glycol ethers
  •  

Reduce stress to help regulate levels of cortisol via cutting out on caffeine and getting proper sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the main reason for PCOD?

The main reason for PCOD is hormonal imbalance along with genetic factors.

Is PCOD a serious problem?

PCOD is not as serious as PCOS. Certain lifestyle changes help manage PCOD, but PCOS, an endocrine disorder, poses more threats to health.  

How can PCOD be cured?

PCOD can be managed by exercises, yoga, and other lifestyle changes. A complete cure for certain medical issues is medicines, but healthy life can be led in PCOD.

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