People often confuse PCOD (polycystic ovary syndrome) with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), but they are two different conditions. Both cause hormonal imbalances and affect the ovaries, but they have different symptoms and require different treatments.
Many women and girls who menstruate suffer from PCOD or PCOS. However, due to myths and false information, many do not understand the difference between the two.
Let’s discuss their causes, treatments and other characteristics to clarify them.
In cases of polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), hormonal imbalance and genetic tendencies may be contributing factors. Whereas during a normal menstrual cycle, the ovaries usually release one mature egg at a time, ready to be fertilized.
Read more: PCOD – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
However, in PCOD, the ovaries can release immature or only partially developed eggs, leading to the formation of cysts – small sacs filled with fluid.
PCOD can cause the ovaries to swell and become enlarged. In addition, it can cause the ovaries to release an excessive amount of androgens (male hormones). These hormones can cause symptoms such as abdominal weight gain, irregular periods, and in some extreme cases, even infertility.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for PCOD. However, making lifestyle changes with the help of medical professionals (such as a gynecologist, endocrinologist, and dietician) can help manage it.
Exercise and a balanced diet low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in protein and fiber can effectively control PCOD and reduce weight gain. Even a 5% weight loss can significantly improve PCOD treatment.
To balance the hormones, individuals may sometimes be prescribed medications. However, second-line therapy, such as laparoscopic surgery, ovarian drilling, and aromatase inhibitors, is not very common. In addition, doctors may use skin treatments for specific symptoms of PCOD, such as acne and hair loss.
Most people can expect an uncomplicated pregnancy with minimal help needed to facilitate conception. However, according to date collected from Indian women, about 20% of cases may require fertility drugs or other fertility-enhancing treatments if they want to conceive.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is associated with several symptoms, such as weight gain, infertility, acne, and menstrual irregularities. PCOS can also put a person at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Read more: PCOS Diet – Symptoms, Causes, Foods & Diet Plan
In addition, it can cause sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts a person’s ability to breathe during sleep, resulting in interrupted sleep. In addition, due to the absence of ovulation, the lining of the uterus thickens each month, increasing one’s risk of endometrial cancer.
Treatment of PCOS often involves taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) that contain estrogen (a female hormone) and progestin (a substance that mimics progesterone, another female hormone). To regulate the menstrual cycle and manage other symptoms.
In addition, doctors may prescribe additional medications to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, diabetes, and acne and skin problems. To further promote the healing process, one should also lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
In both cases, overall weight gain or abdominal weight gain occurs. Aside from the distress due to the respective ailments and insecurities associated with hormonal imbalance, acne, weight gain, and difficulties in conceiving, women have a lot to endure when they suffer from these conditions. Therefore, focusing on yourself and taking steps to feel and look good can improve how you cope with the disease.
Download in such a situation Make me healthy, which helps you understand your body’s response to specific foods. A personal consultation with the nutritionist will help you know how to make small changes, such as incorporating frequent small meals.
Including good fats like seeds and nuts, the right amount of protein and changing the cooking medium can play a vital role in regulating your hormones.
In addition, mild stretches and yoga poses can help you get relief from such chronic conditions. The huge resource base at HealthifyMe is a facilitator and you can read to learn more about your condition.
The HealthifyMe note
Although PCOD and PCOS sound similar, they are quite different. With PCOD, the ovaries begin to secrete immature eggs, leading to hormonal imbalance, swollen ovaries, and other symptoms. However, PCOS results from endocrine problems that cause the ovaries to produce excessive amounts of androgen, which causes the eggs to develop cysts. Unlike PCOD, these cysts do not release, but accumulate in the ovaries.
PCOD vs PCOS: Which Is More Dangerous?
Now that we have discussed the similarities between PCOS and PCOD, let’s now explore the differences between the two. For starters, PCOS is usually a more serious condition. With PCOD, a few lifestyle changes may be all that is needed for management, and one may not need further medical care.
On the other hand, PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system, meaning it has more serious effects and is usually treated by taking hormones from outside the body.
PCOD is much more common than PCOS, with about a third of all menstruating women around the world having PCOD. For example at one studies conducted in South India and Maharashtra, about 22.5% of women were found to have PCOD, while only 9.13% had PCOS.
Ultimately, both PCOD and PCOS can lead to infertility; however, the degree of infertility varies. With PCOD, pregnancy is usually possible with extra precautions and minimal medical intervention.
However, PCOS has more hormonal irregularities, so conception is more complicated. Clomiphene is usually prescribed to increase fertility in people with PCOS, but this drug also often results in multiple births, which is undesirable.
PCOS vs PCOD: Highlighting the Differences
PCOS and PCOD are two different conditions that are caused by different factors.
- PCOS is a metabolic-endocrine disorder while PCOD results from hormonal imbalance due to factors such as eating too much junk food, obese or obesity, stress and genetics.
- Symptoms of PCOS include acne, weight gain, and excessive hair growth, while PCOD symptoms include abdominal weight gain, painful periods, and hair loss in men.
- PCOD is more common than PCOS, affecting one-third of women worldwide, while PCOS affects 4% to 20% of women of childbearing age.
- Women with PCOD can still ovulate and successfully conceive. But women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly because of a serious hormonal imbalance.
- PCOD is less severe than PCOS, but PCOS increases the risk of developing it diabetes mellitusheart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.
The HealthifyMe note
Although PCOD is not as serious as PCOS and does not affect fertility and metabolic health as much, It is still essential to get a timely diagnosis and maintain good health. Pregnancy can also be more difficult for women with PCOS due to hormonal irregularities. Therefore, it is vital to recognize the differences between the two conditions to ensure the best possible health outcomes. However, women with PCOS or PCOD can still get pregnant with medical help and guidance.
Healthy tips to manage the ailments
- Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help manage the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS by regulating hormones and the menstrual cycle. It’s best to avoid processed, preserved, and high-carb foods, as they can increase inflammation and insulin resistance.
- If you have PCOS or PCOD to lose weight, adjust your diet to one that is low in calories but still nutritious. It will also help reduce insulin resistance, make your menstrual cycle more regular and reduce the risk of related problems.
- Weight management also requires finding a suitable exercise routine. Avoid excessive physical activity, as this can affect hormone levels. Instead, consider walking, yoga, swimming, and aerobic exercise to reduce symptoms.
- Establishing a good sleep pattern is essential to improving PCOD/PCOS treatment outcomes. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and avoid factors that can interfere with sleep, such as caffeine, daytime naps, smoking, bedtime snacks, and screen time.
There is no denying that both PCOS and PCOD carry a sense of social stigma and misinformation in Indian society. While these are common conditions, we often treat them as something embarrassing to hide, similar to other topics related to menstruation. Unfortunately, due to the lack of conversations about these issues, we miss out on the necessary education beyond just learning about their biology.
Mental health plays an essential role when one develops body image issues or when one is unable to conceive. For example, painful periods in young girls can be debilitating.
It harms academic and professional performance. Even in a marital relationship, intimacy can be compromised. Talking to the HealthifyMe coaches can help you overcome these insecurities and fears.
It’s like having a confidante at every stage who empowers you to get through the tough times and move forward in life, albeit through supportive and healing touches.