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Here’s How to Manage PCOS and PCOD with COVID-19

November 9, 2020. 11 mins read

  • Managing PCOS or PCOD, along with COVID can be very challenging at times as people with comorbidities are at a higher risk of suffering from the adverse effects of COVID.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome can interfere with egg development and its release in a woman’s body. 
  • However, Polycystic Ovarian Disease is not considered to be a disease as it can be treated with the right diet and exercise.

You should never ignore pimples; they are not always a sign of genetic changes. Probability is that you might have PCOS. Over 3 to 10% of women in the world are impacted by polycystic ovary syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Disease.

The problem of PCOS usually in adolescence women who are at lower risk of catching the severe COVID-19— the younger ones.

COVID-19, whose symptoms are as common as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, can turn dangerous for people with comorbidities. Over 80% of the COVID deaths that happened in India were suffering from additional diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. And, that is what brings in the problem.

Managing PCOS and PCOD, along with COVID, can be very challenging at times, as it may lead to hyper-inflammation, low vitamin D levels, hyperandrogenism, and ethnicity predisposition. According to the emerging data, these symptoms are also linked to the risk of severe COVID-19. But this article is not being put up to create panic in you. In this story, we will help you understand how you can manage these problems with coronavirus smartly.

Let us start by understanding what causes this PCOS and PCOD?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disease that causes problems in hormones, which affects women between the age of15 to 44. PCOS attacks a woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organ that produces hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle — the estrogen and progesterone. It also produces a small number of androgens, the male hormones.

Women who suffer from PCOS also have chronic low-grade inflammation and multiple cardiovascular diseases; such an example will be type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension-- which can result in adverse COVID-19-related outcomes.

Whereas, the PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a condition where the ovaries release premature eggs which eventually result in little sacs filled with a liquid called cysts. This disease can further enlarge the ovaries than the normal size and cause problems with fertility and women’s bodies.

However, Polycystic Ovarian Disease is not considered to be a disease as it can be treated with the right diet and exercise.

How can I prevent this?

Growing evidence has shown that the intestinal immune system is an essential contributor to metabolic disease. Rather than fully depending on medicines, it is better if you focus on leading a healthy lifestyle to improve your hormonal imbalance. Taking more protein in your diet, limiting lactose intake, and avoiding carbohydrate and sugar intake can lead to a disciplined dietary plan and can be an effective PCOS problem solution.

Avoiding processed and junk foods like bread, pasta and noodles as they spike sugar levels in the body, therefore, making PCOS management difficult.

Birth control pills are usually advised for PCOS treatment as a PCOS solution to help control androgen levels. However, it does not work on everyone, as it has different effects on different people. But it is said that it may help control acne and excessive hair growth in some girls. Nevertheless, a doctor’s advice is highly recommended before consuming any pills and medicine.

The symptoms are quite common. How to be sure if I have PCOS or PCOD?

  • Hair growth in unconventional areas: You might have unwanted hair growing on your face or chin, breasts, stomach, or thumbs and toes. However, the hair on these regions can naturally grow as well. Thus, it is advised to refer to a gynaecologist to get proper information.
  • Hair loss: Women with PCOS and PCOD might see thinning hair on their head, which could worsen in middle age.
  • Acne or oily skin: Hormone changes due to PCOS can cause oily skin and pimples.
  • Darkening of skin- Acanthosis Nigricans is one of the symptoms that can be seen in women having PCOS. In this condition, you may have thick and dark patches under your arms, breast, back of the neck and in and around the groin area.
  • Sleeping disorder or feeling tired all the time: Not getting at least six hours of regular sleep during night time is a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle. You may also have sleep apnea; in this condition, one may feel tired even after sleeping for hours.
  • Weight gain: Being overweight is a severe symptom and trouble for women having PCOS. PCOS conditions may prevent you from losing weight; however, it can also worsen your PCOS situation.

Mental Health plays an important role in fighting any disease. So how do I manage PCOS, PCOD and your mental health in times of COVID?

COVID induced lockdown, and global pandemic itself has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. Increased levels of stress and anxiety can further worsen the PCOS condition, according to medical reports.

It also can be linked with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and increased risk of Cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

  • Connecting with your friends and loved ones, over a voice or video call can keep you engaged and active. It can also help you reduce your stress and anxiety and can be a great PCOS problem solution.
  • You can always do a distant learning course or learn a new language. Adding a skill can have a positive impact on your mind. This step will help in increasing your happy hormone serotonin and reducing cortisol.
  • To make sure that you don’t feel lethargic, you can always help in household chores. This is an important ritual that everyone should follow. This way, you can not only help your family members but strengthen your bond with them as well.
  • Having a sleeping disorder can harm your immune system. A healthy body needs rest in a disciplined manner and routine intervals. You must aim to get a good seven to eight hours of sleep at night as a healthy PCOS solution. It will be beneficial to have a proper daily routine as well.
  • Meditation or deep breathing exercises like Pranayam can help you reduce your stress. However, it is different for everyone; some people find music as a stress reliever too.

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