Polycystic ovary is a condition in women where immature or partially matured eggs transform into cysts inside the ovaries. They can cause either Polycystic Ovarian Disorder or PCOD, which is a milder problem that causes hormonal imbalances bringing about changes that are generally uncharacteristic to female bodies. These follicular cysts that are formed may also lead to another more consequential condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. When someone has PCOD, they display the same symptoms as those with PCOS, but the former’s list exceeds the latter’s in terms of effects.
Sarika got her first period when she was 13. The same year she noticed that her periods were extremely irregular. She found herself counting pimples on her face in the morning. Her worries escalated when she had to start waxing her upper lip regularly. Her mother and grandmother reassured her saying these were all extremely common and all girls go through these changes during puberty.
However, the situation did not improve in the least even after three years. By this time, the waist size of her jeans had increased from 28 to 34. The time gap between her menstrual cycles had widened and her acne did not seem like it wanted to ever leave her.
Finally, a doctor conducted tests and found the culprit: the numerous tiny cysts in her ovaries which prevented her from having healthy menstrual cycles. She was diagnosed with PCOD, and to balance the imbalanced hormones, she was put on birth control pills which were meant to control the levels of the female hormones in her body. She started taking other drugs as prescribed by the doctor too.
A lot of people think PCOD and PCOS are just about irregular periods and directly connect them to infertility. This, however, is not entirely the case. The more immediate and visible effects of these conditions are severe acne, excess hair growth of unwanted hair, period cramps, menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), a lot of weight gain, backaches and extreme mood swings linked to premenstrual syndrome.
Sarika was one of the luckier women who had access to good medical facilities who could identify the problem and prescribe treatment accordingly. But a majority of the women with this condition live their whole lives without knowing the name of their medical condition or realise it too late in life.
So, what are the problems these ovarian cysts cause to the skin and body weight? Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Acne is the breaking out of lesions on the skin in clusters that can be painful and irritable. This mainly happens when the natural oils that your skin produces to keep it healthy start getting produced in excess, clogging pores.
The production of testosterone in boys increases during puberty, which increases the oils produced by sebaceous glands at the root of hairs. Although testosterone is a predominantly male sex hormone (androgen), it is produced in women too, but in negligible quantities as compared to the other female hormones produced by the same ovaries.
But when one has Polycystic Ovarian Disorder or Syndrome, the hormone production in their body is not typical of their sex. The levels of androgens in the bloodstream of these women are above normal which causes oil glands to produce extra oil.
Hirsutism is the excessive hair growth on women’s bodies. Its major reason is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This too is caused by the excess amounts of androgens in the body. Generally, the estrogen produced by the female body acts against these androgens and reduces their effect. But when the ovaries are polycystic, this function of the female reproductive system gets hampered with. Thus, a hormonal imbalance is caused, which causes hirsutism. Not only does the hair grow more in number, but the strands also become thicker.
3. Other skin problems
Women with PCO have it tough when it comes to maintaining clear skin. They also commonly have skin tags, dandruff, itchy skin etc. While these problems may seem milder than the other two in comparison, a combination of more than two of these is enough to frustrate anyone.
4. Weight Gain
How are hormones related to weight gain? Polycystic ovaries mess with the production of insulin in the body. This hormone generally converts sugars and starches into energy. The lack of insulin not only increases your chances of developing other diseases but also assists in putting on weight easily.
Androgens too have a role to play in weight gain. Since their production increases, weight around the abdomen region increases too. This is because men usually carry their weight in this particular area. In some cases, the weight gain can be so severe that it causes obesity which puts you at the risk of another dozen health problems.
It is only human to care about physical appearances. We live in a world where we are fed the idea of a perfect physical appearance to an extent where we cannot escape the pressure even while consciously not trying to fall into those traps.
People go for several kinds of solutions to deal with their problems caused by PCOD or PCOS. Doctors prescribe birth control pills that help in the production of the female sex hormones, which in turn reduces the hormonal imbalance in the body. But like all hormonal medicines, they have their own set of side effects which include more weight gain and further increase the chances of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
As for acne and oily skin, there is a wide range of remedies available in the market ranging from ointments to soaps to facemasks to tonics. Not all of these work on everyone. A lot of people resort to permanent hair removal techniques such as electrolysis or laser hair removal when getting rid of body and facial hair on a regular basis is tiring and more expensive in the long run.
It’s important to remember that the right kind of food intake can provide your body the support it needs to heal faster and respond better to other treatments. This can also prevent diabetes, cardiovascular issues etc. Ask your doctor for a diet plan based on your nutritional requirements.
Make the best use of natural food items that are readily available at your own house.
Consume lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains etc. The body digests these foods more slowly which in turn slows down the process of insulin production. It doesn’t shoot up as quickly as it does when you consume, say, carbohydrates instead.
A study conducted on the effect of green tea on the metabolic and hormonal aspect of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in overweight and obese women suffering from PCOS concluded that:
“The consumption of green tea by overweight and obese women suffering from PCOS leads to weight loss, a decrease in fasting insulin, and a decrease in the level of free testosterone.”
Buy best PCOS tea online from Teatox Life. It is rich with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities, combined with its antimicrobial properties have been proven to treat acne and oily skin effectively.
The healthier you are on the inside, the better it shows on the outside. Besides, there’s no loss in trying out natural remedies as they don’t have side effects. So go ahead, and draw up that diet plan which will help you reach your goals quicker and live an active life!