What is difference between PCOD and PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOD) are two common yet often confusing conditions affecting many women worldwide. Both conditions involve hormonal imbalances and reproductive health issues, but they are not the same. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the differences between PCOD and PCOS, their symptoms, causes, and available treatment options.

What is difference between PCOD and PCOS
What is difference between PCOD and PCOS?

What is PCOD?

Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) is a prevalent endocrine disorder affecting the ovaries. PCOD is often a broader term that encompasses a range of ovarian and hormonal irregularities. It is commonly associated with multiple small cysts in the ovaries, menstrual irregularities, and hormonal imbalances.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a specific type of PCOD that is characterized by a combination of symptoms related to hormonal imbalances and the reproductive system. PCOS is a common condition that affects women of reproductive age and is often associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic complications such as obesity and diabetes.

What is the Difference between PCOD and PCOS?

While PCOD and PCOS share some similarities, they are distinct conditions with different diagnostic criteria and characteristics.

  1. PCOD is a broader term that encompasses a range of ovarian and hormonal irregularities, while PCOS specifically refers to a syndrome characterized by multiple cysts on the ovaries, hormonal imbalances, and reproductive issues.
  2. PCOD may or may not involve the presence of cysts on the ovaries. In contrast, PCOS is defined by the presence of these ovarian cysts.
  3. PCOS typically involves specific hormonal imbalances, including elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone. These hormonal imbalances often lead to symptoms such as acne, hirsutism (excessive hair growth), and irregular periods.
  4. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. PCOD, on the other hand, may or may not involve insulin resistance.

What are the Symptoms of PCOS and PCOD?

Symptoms of PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, which can vary in severity among individuals. Common symptoms include:

  1. Irregular menstrual cycles or absence of menstruation (amenorrhea).
  2. Ovulatory dysfunction, leading to fertility issues.
  3. Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, or back.
  4. Acne and oily skin.
  5. Scalp hair thinning or male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).
  6. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight.
  7. Insulin resistance, which can lead to high blood sugar levels.
  8. Darkening of the skin, particularly in body folds (acanthosis nigricans).
  9. Mood swings and depression.
  10. Pelvic pain due to cysts on the ovaries.
  11. Long-term health risks, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Symptoms of PCOD

Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) can also manifest a variety of symptoms, which may include:

  1. Irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles.
  2. Anovulation (lack of ovulation), leading to fertility issues.
  3. Ovarian cysts, although they are not always present.
  4. Hormonal imbalances, such as elevated levels of androgens.
  5. Weight gain or obesity.
  6. Insulin resistance, although it may not be as prevalent as in PCOS.
  7. Acne and oily skin.
  8. Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)

Common Symptoms between PCOS & PCOD

Both PCOS and PCOD share some common symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, hormonal imbalances, excessive hair growth (hirsutism), and, in some cases, insulin resistance. These shared symptoms often lead to fertility issues and can impact a woman’s overall health and well-being.

What are the Causes of PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is not well-understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Key factors include:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances: Elevated levels of androgens disrupt the normal ovarian function and lead to cyst formation.
  2. Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance can cause the body to produce more insulin, leading to increased androgen production and irregular menstrual cycles.
  3. Genetics: PCOS tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.

What are the Causes of PCOD?

Polycystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) can also have various causes, including:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances: Imbalances in hormones such as insulin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) can contribute to the development of PCOD.
  2. Genetics: Family history may play a role in PCOD.
  3. Insulin Resistance: Similar to PCOS, insulin resistance can be a contributing factor in PCOD.
  4. Lifestyle Factors: Poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and obesity can increase the risk of developing PCOD.

Common Causes between PCOS & PCOD

Both PCOS and PCOD share common causes, including hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and genetic predisposition. Lifestyle factors such as obesity and poor dietary habits can also contribute to both conditions.

Treatment Options for PCOD

The treatment of PCOD aims to manage symptoms and address underlying hormonal imbalances. Treatment options may include:

  1. Lifestyle Modifications: Weight management through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate menstrual cycles.
  2. Medications: Hormonal contraceptives, anti-androgen medications, and insulin-sensitizing drugs may be prescribed to regulate menstruation and manage symptoms.
  3. Fertility Treatment: In cases of infertility, fertility medications or assisted reproductive technologies (ART) may be recommended.

Treatment Options for PCOS

Treatment for PCOS is tailored to address specific symptoms and may include:

  1. Hormonal Birth Control: Oral contraceptives can regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels.
  2. Anti-Androgen Medications: These medications can help manage symptoms such as hirsutism and acne.
  3. Insulin-Sensitizing Medications: Metformin may be prescribed to improve insulin resistance and regulate menstrual cycles.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Weight loss, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity and overall health.
  5. Fertility Treatments: For women trying to conceive, fertility medications or procedures like in vitro fertilization or IVF Treatment may be recommended.


In summary, PCOD and PCOS are related yet distinct conditions that affect women’s reproductive health. Understanding the key differences, symptoms, and causes of these conditions is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective management. There is no cure for PCOD or PCOS, but there are a number of treatments that can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life. If you suspect you have PCOD or PCOS, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and personalized treatment options. With the right care and lifestyle changes, many women can successfully manage these conditions and improve their overall well-being.

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