PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder) is a hormone problem which affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. A major impact of PCOD is a lack of ovulation or irregular ovulation and therefore infertility. It is also referred as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
How PCOD causes infertility?
Irregular ovulation: A woman with PCOD releases high levels of androgens (male hormones). Increased production of androgens results in irregular or lack of ovulation.
Irregular menstrual cycle: Normal ovaries release female hormone progesterone for two weeks after ovulation. After two weeks when the progesterone levels drop, the tissue build up inside the uterus are shed in the form of menstruation. Irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation in PCOS affects this normal menstrual cycle, and the tissue continues to build upon the uterine wall lining. Therefore, women with PCOD have irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding during cycles. Irregular hormone cycle again affects the growth and release of eggs from ovaries during ovulation thus turning this entire cascade in a vicious cycle.
High insulin levels and type-2 diabetes: Women with PCOD have a high probability of infertility and frequent miscarriages. PCOD leads to increased levels of insulin, and glucose in the blood. Research suggest that high insulin level in PCOD patient is a prime reason for frequent miscarriages in them. Diabetes reduces the chances of having a pregnancy. Diabetes also leads to multiple complications during pregnancy.
Obesity: Hormonal changes caused due to PCOD makes women gain weight quickly by lowering metabolic rates and increasing tendency to retain water. Obesity affects women’s fertility.
Ovarian cysts: PCOD leads to the development of small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts interfere with the development of egg from follicles as well as their releases, thus leading to infertility.