Hormones are chemicals in our body, which are produced in endocrine glands. From there, the hormones travel around the bloodstream to the tissues and organs. Hormones are very important to control most of the major bodily functions, such as metabolism, reproduction, sexual function, sleep cycles, regulating our mood and stress levels, etc. For the proper functioning of our body, it is very important that hormonal balance should be maintained. When there is too much or too little amount of any hormone found in the bloodstream, the condition is known as hormonal imbalance. Since the hormones play an essential role in our body, even a minor hormonal imbalance can cause side effects. PCOD is a common example of hormonal disorder in women. PCOD test is conducted to find out if the woman is suffering from PCOD or not after noticing certain symptoms.
PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease is a very common medical condition, which is caused by hormonal imbalance. It is common in women and affects about 5-10% of women in the age group of 12 to 45 years. PCOD strikes mostly at an early age and that’s why a large number of young women have to go through this problem. PCOD is often characterized by a number of small cysts in the ovaries of women. Gradually the cysts increase in size and make the ovary enlarged. Excessive production of androgen andestrogen hormones are also caused by PCOD, which further cause other bodily issues. Infertility is one of the major signs of suffering from PCOD.
PCOD test is not a single test. It is a combination of tests, which is conducted to find out if the woman is suffering from PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease. Some of the most common symptoms of having PCOD are irregular periods, skin pigmentation, stubborn acne, unusual facial and body hair growth, male pattern baldness, etc. A woman will be asked to undergo a PCOD test if any two of these symptoms are found.
PCOD can be diagnosed by conducting a variety of tests, such as a pelvic exam, ultrasound and a set of blood tests. A pelvic exam is done to check for any problems, such as any unusual growth in the ovaries or other parts of a woman’s reproductive tract. Ultrasound helps to check the appearance of the ovaries and the thickness of the lining of the uterus. Ultrasound is also used to look for the presence of cysts in the ovaries. Blood tests are done to check the levels of male hormones in the blood. You might also haveto undergo a few blood tests to check for your blood glucose level, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides, etc. Below we have discussed some of the most common blood tests that are done to check PCOD.
Luteinising Hormone or LH Test – This test is done to measure the amount of luteinising hormone in the blood. This hormone is linked with reproduction. It stimulates the ovary to release an egg during ovulation. If you have PCOD, the LH hormone levels could be higher than normal.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH Test – This is another blood test, which is conducted as part of PCOD test. FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone is associated with reproduction and the development of eggs. It plays a major role in getting pregnant. FSH test measures the levels of FSH in the blood. FSH levels might be lower than normal or even normal in women with PCOD.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone or TSH Test – TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone is produced by the thyroid gland. This test measures the level of TSH in the blood. Women with PCOD, usually have normal TSH levels. But this test is important to find out an underactive or overactive thyroid gland, which can further cause problems with menstruation, ovulation and affect the ability to get pregnant.
Anti Mullerian Hormone or AMH Test – AMH or anti-Mullerian hormone is present in a woman until she reaches her menopause. This test is helpful to check how well the ovaries are working. Women with PCOD normally have higher levels of this hormone.
Testosterone Hormone Test – This is a male sex hormone, which is also present in a woman’s body, but in a small amount. Those with PCOD have higher levels of testosterone hormone in their blood.
Prolactin Test – This test measures the level of prolactin hormone in the blood. Patients with PCOD can have mildly elevated levels of prolactin or can have normal levels. But, checking prolactin levels is important to rule out the existence of other problems, which can further cause PCOD related symptoms.
Insulin Test – This test measures insulin levels in the blood. The majority of people with PCOD have higher levels of insulin in their blood.
HbA1c Test – This test is the best way to know the levels of blood sugar in our body over a period of time. Those with PCOD, normally receive a higher reading, because women with PCOD have increased risk of developing prediabetes.
Along with these tests, there are few other tests that are conducted as part of PCOD test, such as DHEA-SULPHATE (DHEA-S) test, Average Blood Glucose test, Complete Hemogram Tests, etc.
Thyrocare Technologies Limited, India’s first and most advanced totally automated laboratory, offers an exciting package on PCOD test. The package includes a total of 37 tests for thorough checking of certain important health parameters, such as blood sugar, prolactin level, LH level, FSH level, TSH level, insulin level, testosterone level, etc. The package comes at a very affordable price.
Why get Tested for PCOD PROFILE
PCOD interrupts a woman’s normal menstrual cycle and thus makes it harder to conceive. A large number of women with PCOD face fertility issues. In fact, PCOD can also increase the risk of other pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage or premature birth. Those with PCOD can also suffer from high blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose during pregnancy. But, it is not all bleak. With proper treatment, women with PCOD can get pregnant and by losing weight and lowering blood sugar levels, they can also have a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, in order to avoid pregnancy-related complications and infertility as well, it is very important to undergo PCOD test. It allows the doctor tostart treatment immediately and increases your chance to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.
Most of the women with PCOD are insulin resistant. It means that their insulin levels are high in the blood, which makes it difficult to maintain a normal blood glucose level. This further increases the risk of diabetes. According to researches, 35% of women with PCOD have prediabetes and 10% can develop diabetes by the age of 40. We know that those with PCOD have higher levels of androgen levels. This also increases the risk of diabetes. To prevent diabetes, it is important to go for PCOD test.
We already said that women with PCOD have excess insulin in their blood. It can cause weight gain and normally it has been seen that women with PCOD tend to gain weight around their abdomen area. This belly fat is known as visceral fat. This further can cause higher levels of triglycerides and lower levels of HDL or good cholesterol. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. To keep your heart healthy and reduce the risk of heart diseases, PCOD test is important.
Along with these, women with PCOD have a higher risk of developing depression or anxiety-related disorder, sleep apnea, abnormal uterine bleeding as well as endometrial cancer. In order to reduce the risk of these diseases, it is recommended to undergo PCOD test, so that if a woman is diagnosed with PCOD, the treatment can start early and she can live a healthy life.
When to get Tested for PCOD PROFILE
Some of the common symptoms of having PCOD are Irregular menstruation, Heavy bleeding, Painful menstruation, Infertility, Abnormal hair growth on different body parts, such as chin, abdomen, chest, back, etc., Pigmentation or darkening of the skin around the neck area, Stubborn acne, Male pattern baldness, Obesity/uncontrolled weight gain.
If you notice any menstruation problems or suffering from infertility, you must see a doctor and seek his/her advice on undergoing PCOD test. PCOD is often characterized by higher levels of androgen hormone (male hormone). And elevated levels of male hormone in a female body can result in abnormal hair growth in different body parts, male pattern baldness etc. If you notice any such signs or symptoms, you must seek your doctor’s advice on undertaking a PCOD test. Researches show that PCOD can be hereditary. If you have a family history of PCOD, you must get yourself tested as well.
Preparation for PCOD PROFILE
You need to fast for 9-12 hours before undergoing a PCOD test. Only water is allowed and no other fluids are permitted.
Women often find out that they have PCOD once they face trouble getting pregnant. But if an individual has PCOD, the symptoms start to show up quite early, during their teen ages. Stubborn acne, hair growth on unusual places, skin pigmentation etc are some of the common symptoms of PCOD, however, they can also be dermatological problems. Undergoing PCOD test is the best way to determine whether or not a woman has PCOD. If the reports come positive, the treatments can be started immediately, which will allow a lot of PCOD related complexities to be avoided.
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