Unveiling the mysteries: PCOD vs PCOS - Times of India (2024)

Terms like PCOD (polycystic ovary disease) and PCOS (

polycystic ovarian syndrome

) can make it difficult for women to navigate the nuances of their reproductive health. Cysts on the ovaries are a common feature of both illnesses, but there are important differences in their underlying causes, symptoms, and modes of therapy. At Manipal Hospitals Vijayawada, we prioritize patient education, so let's shed light on the distinctions between PCOD and PCOS with clear information.

Understanding PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease
Polycystic ovarian disease, or PCOD, is a

hormonal condition

. This syndrome is defined by ultrasound imaging showing several tiny follicles, which are frequently misinterpreted as ovarian cysts. These follicles may contain immature eggs that haven't fully developed. The prevalence of PCOD is high and it’s affecting up to 30% of menstruating women.
What is PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that involves more than just cysts. It is a complicated hormonal condition with three main characteristics:
Polycystic ovaries: Similar to PCOD, women with PCOS have multiple small follicles on their ovaries.
Irregular Periods: An irregular or infrequent menstrual cycle is a classic sign of PCOS.
Androgen Excess: High levels of androgens are linked to PCOS. The regular menstrual cycle is disturbed by this hormonal imbalance, which can also cause other symptoms.

Common symptoms of PCOD and PCOS
Despite having different underlying causes, PCOD and PCOS can present with some similar symptoms, such as:

  • Abnormal menstruation: These disorders can result in abnormal menstrual cycles, which can include long bleeds, infrequent cycles, or complete misses.
  • Hirsutism: This refers to excessive hair growth in areas where men typically grow hair, such as the face, chest, and abdomen. It's a common symptom in both PCOD and PCOS, and its severity can vary.
  • Acne: Excess androgen can aggravate acne breakouts on the chest, back, and face. Acne can worsen due to PCOD and PCOS.
  • Weight issues: For women with both diseases, weight gain and trouble decreasing weight are significant issues. Hormonal effects on insulin sensitivity and metabolism may be the cause of this.

What are the key differences between PCOD and PCOS?
While some symptoms overlap, crucial differences set PCOD and PCOS apart. Here's a breakdown to have a closer look:

  • Severity: Though PCOD and PCOS are related conditions that affect women's ovaries, they have distinct differences, such as PCOS is a more complex and severe condition compared to PCOD.
  • Hormonal Imbalance: PCOD may not necessarily involve significant hormonal imbalances, while PCOS is characterized by a clear disruption in hormone levels.
  • Ovulation: Women with PCOD may still ovulate regularly, while ovulation can be infrequent or absent in PCOS, leading to fertility concerns.
  • Fertility: PCOD doesn’t impact on the fertility. Women with POCD still can ovulate and conceive with the help of medication. With the use of medicine, women with POCD are still able to ovulate and become pregnant. Because PCOS impairs fertility, women are unable to ovulate.
  • Long-term health risks: PCOS raises the possibility of long-term health issues such as endometrial cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Even though PCOD may somewhat increase these hazards, good management is still very important.

What are the treatment options available?
The treatment approach for PCOD and PCOS differs based on the specific condition and the individual needs. Here's detail below to understand it better:
PCOD management
PCOD may not always be needed for specialized care. However, certain lifestyle changes can help with PCOD, including:

  • Healthy diet: Maintaining a balanced diet with a focus on whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can help regulate hormones and manage weight.
  • Frequent exercise: Exercise helps you manage your weight, becomes more insulin sensitive, and is good for your general health.
  • Stress management: Hormonal imbalances can result from long-term stress. As a result, it is advised that mindful practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing be used to assist manage stress.

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PCOS treatment
A multifaceted strategy is frequently required for PCOS management:

  • Hormone regulation: Birth control tablets and anti-androgen medications can help control hormone levels and treat symptoms including acne and irregular periods.
  • Ovulation induction: Fertility treatments or medication can assist in inhibiting ovulation if you're attempting to conceive.
  • Symptom management: Certain symptoms, such as excessive hair growth or acne, may be treated with medications or aesthetic procedures.

Although both PCOS and PCOD are

ovarian disorders

, their extent and clinical ramifications vary. For this reason, it's critical to comprehend the distinctions between PCOD and PCOS to properly control the illness. Finding the reasons and symptoms is also essential for a prompt diagnosis and customized care. Do not hesitate to seek medical advice from a specialist if you believe you may have any of these problems. Our team of professionals at Manipal Hospitals Vijayawada is committed to educating women and offering them complete care for PCOD and PCOS.
(Author: Dr Pidikiti Madhu Bindhu, Consultant- Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Manipal Hospital Vijayawada)

Unveiling the mysteries: PCOD vs PCOS - Times of India (2024)
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