PCOS vs. PCOD: Is There Really a Difference? What You Need to Know

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PCOS: What is it?

PCOS is a hormonal condition that is prevalent in women who are fertile. It is typified by hormone imbalances, irregular menstruation, and ovarian cysts. The symptoms include irregular or nonexistent periods, high testosterone levels that cause acne and excessive facial or body hair, and unpredictable ovulation that makes it difficult to conceive. In addition to interfering with reproduction, PCOS can exacerbate metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, which raises the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Treatment usually consists of a mix of dietary and activity modifications, hormone-regulating drugs, and, in certain situations, fertility therapies for those who intend to get pregnant.Personalised treatment regimens and early identification are essential for controlling PCOS symptoms and lowering the chance of long-term consequences.


PCOD: What is it?

Polycystic Ovarian Disease, or PCOD for short, is a prevalent hormonal condition affecting women who are or may become pregnant. Combinations of ovarian cysts, irregular menstruation, excessive hair growth, and acne are its defining characteristics. Although the precise origin of PCOD is unknown, a number of variables, including inflammation, genetics, and insulin resistance, are considered to be involved. Up to 10% of women have PCOD, which is a highly frequent illness. It is more prevalent in women who have a family history of PCOD and who are overweight or obese.

Typical indications and manifestations of PCOD and PCOS

Menstrual cycle irregularities: Periods are erratic for women with PCOS; they can be extended, irregular, or nonexistent.

Overproduction of androgens: Excessive production of male hormones, or androgens, can result in symptoms including acne, hirsutism (excessive body or facial hair), and alopecia, or male-pattern baldness.

Ovaries that are enlarged and contain several tiny follicles, known as polycystic ovaries, which might resemble a “string of pearls” when viewed under ultrasound.

Gaining weight or having trouble losing it: A lot of women with PCOS gain weight, especially around the waist, and struggle to reduce their body weight.


Hormonal imbalances can lead to skin problems such as acne, greasy skin, and darkening of skin regions including the neck, groyne, and beneath the breasts.

Insulin resistance and metabolic problems: Insulin resistance can result in elevated insulin levels and a heightened chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It is frequently linked to PCOS. It might also make it more difficult to keep a healthy weight.

Infertility or trouble becoming pregnant: Problems conceiving may result from irregular or nonexistent ovulation.

PCOS and PCOD causes

Hormonal Imbalance: The two disorders are characterised by hormonal disruptions, namely an imbalance in sex hormones, which includes higher than normal amounts of androgens (like testosterone) in comparison to progesterone and oestrogen.

Insulin Resistance: PCOS may arise as a result of insulin resistance, a disorder in which the body’s cells do not react to insulin as effectively. Higher insulin levels may result from this, which may then boost the synthesis of androgens.

Genetics: Given that PCOS and PCOD frequently run in families, there may be a hereditary component to both disorders.

Inflammation: The development of these disorders may also be influenced by long-term, low-grade inflammation.

Problems related to PCOS/PCOD complications

 Menstrual cycle irregularities: Because of hormonal abnormalities, women with PCOS may have irregular periods or infrequent ovulation, which makes conception challenging.

Infertility: PCOS-related irregular ovulation can make conception difficult. However, with the right medical care, many PCOS-afflicted women are still able to conceive.

Metabolic problems: Insulin resistance, which results in high insulin levels in the body, is frequently associated with PCOS. Obesity, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels might be the outcomes of this.

Obesity and weight gain: A common issue among PCOS-affected women is obesity, which can worsen insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, and other health issues.

Acne and hirsutism: Excess androgens, or male hormones, in PCOS can result in symptoms like acne from increased skin oil production and hirsutism, or excessive face and body hair development.


Hair thinning or loss: Because androgens impact scalp hair, some women with PCOS develop male-pattern baldness or thinning of the hair on their scalps.

Sleep apnea: Women with PCOS are more prone to develop sleep apnea, most likely because of obesity and hormone abnormalities.

Mood disorders: PCOS has been linked to a higher incidence of anxiety, sadness, and mood swings. This association may be explained by hormone variations as well as the psychological effects of managing the illness.

Endometrial cancer: Women with PCOS may be more susceptible to endometrial (uterine) cancer due to irregular menstrual cycles, extended exposure to high amounts of oestrogen, and the absence of the counterbalancing impact of progesterone.

Complications associated with pregnancy and gestational diabetes: Pregnant women with PCOS are more likely to acquire gestational diabetes. They also have a higher chance of miscarriage, premature delivery, and pregnancy-induced hypertension (preeclampsia).

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