With our hectic lives and unhealthy lifestyles, there has been an increase in the prevalence polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In fact, in India, 22.5% women, which equates to one in every 5 women, suffer from this disorder. However, since many of us use PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder) interchangeably with PCOS, it is sometimes difficult to understand the difference between PCOD vs. PCOS. Plus, there are many myths and misconception that misguide us about care and treatment of these conditions.
PCOD leads to small cysts being formed in the ovaries, which can enlarge over time and lead to excessive production of androgen, a hormonal imbalance that can lead to various bodily issues. But before you become worried, first take a look at all the myths and misconceptions and the truth behind them.
1. Irregular Periods Means PCOD/PCOS
Irregular menstruation occurs due to various reasons. It could be because of breastfeeding, improper diet or even hormonal changes. Women who suffer from uterine fibroids or pelvic inflammatory conditions might experience some irregularities in their cycle too. Assumptions based on the menstrual cycle could be incorrect and it is important to get diagnosed by an experienced gynecologist.
2. People with PCOD Cannot Conceive
This is absolutely untrue. Women who suffer from PCOD or PCOS might face some difficulties in conceiving vs a person who does not have these conditions. This is due to the issues with ovulation. Medical assistance, lifestyle changes and a healthy diet can help you to fulfil your dream of motherhood.
3. Everyone With PCOS is Obese
Although weight gain is a common side effect of PCOD, not every woman with the disorder gains excess weight. Excessive body fat can further complicate issues, since it can lead to the production of androgen, which is the male pattern hormone that can cause hirsutism and other issues. If the weight is the cause of PCOD, the most effective treatment is to lose weight through lifestyle changes and regular exercise.
4. Every Woman with PCOS/PCOD Should Go on the Pill
A doctor’s way to treat menstrual irregularities is through hormonal birth control. But your treatment would largely depend upon your specific situation and end goal. For instance, if you want to get pregnant, you will not want to go on the pill. While it is a widely used medicine, you need to address your hormonal health holistically. So, try reducing stress, ensuring an anti-inflammatory diet, etc. Consult your doctor to know more.
5. PCOS is a Rare Condition
Approximately 20% of the women of childbearing age are affected by this condition. That’s a lot of women! This makes the condition one of the most common disorders among women of reproductive age. Only less than half of the women with PCOS are diagnosed correctly, while many remain unaware. Usually this is the cause of fertility issues in women, since it leads to ovulation irregularities around 70% of the time.
However, if you are planning to conceive with PCOS, just remember it might be difficult but not impossible. Make sure to read up on various fruits to avoid during pregnancy, apart from regular check-ups with your doctor.