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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is also known as PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease). It is one of the commonest causes of infertility. In this disease, the patient has multiple small cysts in her ovaries; these occur when there is a disruption of the regular changes of a normal menstrual cycle. The ovary gets enlarged and it produces much more androgen and estrogenic hormones than it should. This condition is also called the Stein-Leventhal Syndrome.
PCOD and related stress
Patients who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Disorder need to undergo regular cyclical treatment each month to help get their regular menstrual cycle. Sadly, most women who have this disease aren’t too sure about what it involves and what the best way to manage it is. The fear of infertility that is associated with it compounds the issue by adding to their mental stress.
Some unscrupulous doctors will cash in on this ignorance and the gullibility of these patients and tell them that they will have to come in every month for a hormone dose. Most PCOD patients suffer largely because of their ignorance rather than any hormonal imbalance. At the Malpani Infertility Clinic we ensure that each on our patients who comes in with this condition is informed about this disease, what its implications are and the principles of managing the disease themselves.
The basic principles of self management
These are the few basic principles that can help patients self manage their disease and it will help reduce their stress of having to visit the doctor every now and then.
- The patient needs to understand what PCOD is
- Its consequences
- They need to be aware that hormonal imbalances are a part and parcel of PCOD
- It’s far better for patients to schedule their monthly dose of progesterone hormone themselves- this ensures they get regular periods. If they miss a period, it created false hope and they then undergo a pregnancy test
- If they aren’t pregnant, it stresses them out and they then want to consult their doctor
The essential and safe treatment
The best course of option is to be proactive rather than reactive. The patient should get a pregnancy test on the 1st of every month. In case it comes back negative, she should start on her standard medications to induce periods. This medication is called medroxyprogesterone acetate; it is available in the market and goes by brand names such as Regesterone, Provera and Delvry. The patient is required to take 5 mg tablets twice a day for five days and will get 'withdrawal bleeding' for 2-7 days post the last tablet intake.
Many patients who visit our clinic for this monthly treatment state they they feel they may get addicted to this medication. It’s important for patients to understand that this is an essential and safe treatment.
Just as a diabetic patient needs regular antidiabetic medication to keep their sugar levels in control, PCOD patients require hormonal support. These medicines don’t have any sort of harmful side effects, even if they are taken during pregnancy. If the patient decides she wants to have kids, this treatment will then be supplemented with ovulation induction therapy.
Summary: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is also known as PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease). It is one of the commonest causes of infertility. In this disease, the patient has multiple small cysts in her ovaries; these occur when there is a disruption of the regular changes of a normal menstrual cycle. It requires continued medical self management using hormonal support therapy.
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