Difference Between PCOS and PCOD

Do you often wonder if PCOS and PCOD are the same? Many women confuse themselves with these two terms and use them interchangeably. In reality, both of these conditions are pretty different, despite similarities like ovaries and hormonal disturbances. Let’s compare the two conditions and find out what makes them different from others.

Understanding the difference between PCOS and PCOD

What is PCOD?

Women have two ovaries that release an egg alternately every month. The ovaries produce male hormones or androgens in minute quantities. Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)  is a condition wherein the ovaries release immature or partially mature eggs, eventually resulting in cysts’ formation. Some common symptoms experienced by women dealing with this condition are abdominal weight gain, irregular periods, male pattern hair loss and infertility. Women’s ovaries usually become enlarged and secrete large amounts of androgen that disrupt female fertility. 


What is PCOS?

On the other hand, in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, the ovaries produce a higher level of androgen which interferes with the development and release of the eggs. Some of the eggs develop into cysts- tiny sacs filled with liquid. During ovulation, instead of being released, these cysts build up in the ovaries and, at times, even enlarged.

Now that we’re well familiar with the two conditions. Let’s understand what makes PCOS and PCOD different from each other. 

How are these conditions different?

Nature of the condition:

While PCOS is a serious condition that needs proper treatment, PCOD is not truly considered to be a disease. With the right diet and exercise, it can be manageable. 


PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system, while PCOD is developed when there is an imbalance of hormones. Hormonal imbalance and genetics play a pivotal role in both of these conditions. The simple understanding of this is that high levels of male hormones prevent ovaries from producing hormones and eggs normally. Excess androgen has been linked to insulin resistance and inflammation. 


The appearance of PCOD is more common among the two conditions; almost one-third of women around the globe suffer from it. The number of patients battling PCOS is lower.

It’s impact on pregnancy.

PCOD does not directly lead to infertility in all women and hasn’t proven to be an obstacle to pregnancy. For women experiencing PCOS, conception can be quite a challenge due to constant hormonal irregularities. The basic requirement for conception is a balanced hormonal cycle that creates an environment for the ovum to release and infuse with the sperm post-intercourse. Since the level of androgen secreted is higher in PCOS, conception can become a bit of a challenge.

It is imperative to maintain good health to prevent well as treat hormonal disturbances and conditions. The best treatment for PCOS and PCOD will include timely diagnosis and appropriate steps that need to be taken to overcome the syndrome. Moderate exercise has shown to improve the regularity of menstrual cycles and reduce androgens. Inculcate healthy habits and maintain a balanced diet.

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