“The prevalence of PCO is 10-20% of all women in the reproductive age group”


Dr Sudip Basu

Kolkata :Statistics says, one in ten women in the reproductive age group suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Disease or PCO. Women with polycystic ovaries fail to ovulate every month resulting into delayed or no ovulation leading to absence of monthly cycles for variable time. The follicles in the ovary remain idle without getting recruited or mature and looks like small cysts, which gives the name -Polycystic. Though there are lots of efforts to educate health professionals , there are hardly any, to spread awareness among common people. Lack of multidisciplinary approach further complicates the future. Women often get misguided resulting into lengthy unproductive treatment. Shrishti clinic has introduced “PCO health Club” where advice from different specialists will be available under one roof along with latest information against nominal fee.  Abhijit Ganguly speaks to  , Clinical Director, Shristi about PCO.

Q) What is the  prevalence of PCO in India?
A) The prevalence of PCO is 10-20% of all women in the reproductive age group. Currently more than 10 million women suffer from PCO, with insufficient data from developing world, so it may be more. The trend is upwards. 30% of all infertility patients suffer from PCO and 70% of PCO patients suffer from infertility.
 It is showing an upward trend for increased awareness, better diagnosis and increased incidence among peripubertal age group for change in life style, increased consumption of junk food and lack of exercise.
Q) PCO is often dismissed as a ‘menstrual issue’ . What are your views.
A) Though common idea is PCO means menstrual disorder but it is not necessarily same. To diagnose PCO, we have to meet at least two out of three criteria.
Q)How does one diagnose PCO?
A) Ultrasound diagnose of PCO ( 10-12 follicles measuring 5-10 mm in each ovary with increased volume). Biochemical evidence of altered hormone levels like FSH,LH ratio reversed, increased male hormone and fasting serum insulin. Presence of symptoms like delayed or absent menstrual period, obesity, hirsuitism and infertility.
Q)Is a rise in PCO mainly due to the changing lifestyle or is it genetic?
A) There are more and more evidence that PCO is genetically linked but expression depends on changing life style, BMI, and food habits.

Q)What are the long term health risks of PCO?

A) Long term health risks are type 2 diabetes, obesity related problems, fatty liver, skin problems, hypertension, cardio vascular problems and endometrial cancer.
Q) Is having a PCO predictor of poor psychological function including anxiety and depression?
A) PCO can cause depression and suicidal tendency. Stress and anxiety are very common in PCO patients.
Q) Is there a cure?
A) PCO can not be cured but progression can be halted by reducing weight, taking health diet and doing regular exercise.