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What is the difference between PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD or Polycystic Ovary Disease and PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are two terms that are often used interchangeably however there is a significant difference between the two.

PCOD and PCOS is a condition in which your ovaries form cysts which prevents you from having regular periods and many other complications. This happens because your body produces more of the male sex hormones or androgens than is required by the body so a shorter term for it is hormonal imbalance.

PCOD or Polycystic Ovary Disease is a condition in which the ovaries release immature or partially mature eggs because of the imbalance of hormones and these eggs convert themselves into cysts. It is merely a hormonal imbalance in the reproductive system. The symptoms of these include irregular periods, abdominal weight gain, the possibility of infertility, and male pattern hair loss.

While on the other hand, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrinal disorder that makes the ovaries produce more androgens which in turn affects the development and release of eggs. Instead of getting released, the eggs remain in the follicles which get converted into cysts filled with fluid. The build-up of cysts causes the ovaries to become enlarged disruptive to the menstrual cycle. The color and size of the ovaries also change. The symptoms for these also include hair loss and irregular periods, but in cases, you might not have periods at all, obesity, excess hair, the risk of infertility, and challenging conception.

The other differences include:

Severity: PCOD is not considered that big a problem as it does not have many complications. It can also be managed by taking certain steps and measures and can be controlled.

On the other hand, PCOS is considered to be more severe as it is not merely a hormonal imbalance but an endocrinal disorder. This can lead to further complications and women with PCOS might not bleed throughout the year. It also includes metabolic disorders and is thus hard to deal with.

Occurrence: PCOD is a common condition in women and almost one-third of the women in the world suffer from it. This is usually common in unhealthy lifestyles.

Meanwhile, PCOS is less common among women because it is a severe disorder of the reproductive system.

Time of detection: PCOS is detected way too early in life as you start getting symptoms right from the time you have your first periods. It is accompanied by severe acne, excessive hair growth on the face and body, and excessive and unhealthy weight gain which is worsened by difficulty in losing weight.  Meanwhile, PCOD could be developed gradually in life due to inappropriate lifestyle.

Infertility: women who suffer from PCOD do not have a problem with the pregnancy. If they focus on their health, they can still menstruate regularly. As far as pregnancy is concerned, women can conceive successfully with a little medical aid and their pregnancy will, by and large, be smooth if taken care of. However, it can be a challenging and depressive process if you want to conceive but suffer from PCOS. Women need to take supplements to regulate the hormones in the body consistently and thus induce and align ovulation so that your ovum gets an environment where it can fuse with the sperm. Even if conceived, it can still be a rocky road ahead because chances are that you’ll lose your baby or give premature birth due to a serious threat to both you and the baby since it is dangerous to have high levels of androgens in the body when you are pregnant.

However, both PCOD and PCOS require care and consistent improvement in lifestyle and health to treat it. Both of them cannot be reversed or cured but the symptoms can be controlled by the same measure. Apart from these differences, there are also some similarities which should also be kept in mind.


Both PCOD and PCOS have similar symptoms since both of them involve the production of a higher amount of androgens which later lead to disturbances in the functioning of the body. Both of them will exhibit hirsutism which is a condition where you have excessive facial and body hair which will be most evident on the face, chest, abdomen, and back. You will also have irregular periods because of the interference of androgens in the ovulation process. Other symptoms will include acne, insulin resistance, high blood sugar level, psychological problems, abrupt weight gain, dark patches on the skin mostly near the groin, and male pattern hair loss.


Both PCOD and PCOS can be significantly controlled by vigorous exercises, keeping mental health in check, a nutritious diet, etc. Oral contraceptives can also help but you need to consult with your doctor. Progesterone pills can help regulate the menstrual cycle, but in some cases, the body may not react well to these pills so the doctor can then recommend you pills with a mixture of progesterone and male sex hormones. Losing even a small amount of weight helps in both the case to induce periods and regulate your ovulation.

Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week is required so that your body consistently burns fat. You might feel that it is a bit hard on you and you need to accept your weight but it is important to understand that the more you gain weight or fats, the more our body produces androgens which would, in turn, worsen all of the symptoms and will worsen you mental help too. Besides, you have a higher risk of heart-related diseases, and thus not exercising and stress-eating or excessive eating will not help in any way. While it is important to have portion diets, it is also important that you know that skipping meals worsens the situation. You need to eat more frequently and eat less each time you eat. You can divide your entire meal into portions and have three major meals in a day three to four hours apart and smaller snacks in between all of them. This will help you not feel hungry easily, get satisfied with what you eat, prevent overeating, and also help your body deal with blood sugar in a better way.

  So, the best way to deal with the problem is to know the severity and the extent to which the consequences can affect but. But this does not mean that you create a sense of panic if you are diagnosed with PCOS and just sit relaxed if diagnosed with PCOD. You still need to work on the problems but not exert excess pressure on your mind and body because you need to keep in mind that both of them also have implications on the mental health but it the hormonal imbalance affecting your brain or not having the “ideal” kind of body or appearance. So, you need to take it easy and slowly start working with what you can do and what are in your hands, and then gradually move a scale-up and push your limits. These changes do not happen overnight in your body, they may be genetic too, so they won’t be fixed overnight. If obesity or heart-related diseases run in your family, you are at a higher risk and chances are that no matter how hard you try you are not going to lose enough weight but at least you will be losing some. So, you need to look at the brighter side. Since PCOS is a metabolic disorder you might suffer from excess fatigue and less stamina while exercising but at the same time, it will also help with your sleep apnoea or reduce the risk of it.

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