PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common medical problem. I have heard my patients say casually that they have PCOS in the family. The causes of PCOS is still not fully understood. It is true that the entire spectrum of PCOD is not very clear and it is still evolving. But every ultrasound that reports polycystic ovaries is not really PCOD.
We are concerned about PCOD since it causes irregular periods, excessive hair growth in women, infertility, risk of diabetes, metabolic diseases and possibly cancer. But before you label someone as PCOD, it is important to exclude other medical conditions that can possibly cause some or most of these symptoms. It may be something simple like a hypothyroidism or something more complex like an adrenal tumor or Cushing’s disease.
Treating PCOD is to target the specific reason why the patient approaches the doctor. This would mean addressing hirsutism (excess hair growth), irregular menstrual periods or infertility. But at the core of treating PCOD is the need to take care of metabolic syndrome and obesity and prevent diabetes, heart disease and cancer in the longer term.