Difference between PCOS and PCOD and should you be worried?

PCOD / PCOS is a leading lifestyle disorder, which is affecting a large number of women in India. We have often heard of these two terms and they are quite usually brought into use in place of each other. However, did you know that PCOD and PCOS are not the same? Although, both PCOD and PCOS are diseases related to the ovaries of a woman, they are quite different from each other. Let us understand the meaning of each.

The difference between PCOD and PCOS

In medical terms, PCOS is often referred to as an endocrine system disorder. On the other hand, PCOD is largely attributed to a situation of hormonal imbalance in the body. We have not been able to devise an exact reason why these two occur in women but hormonal balance and genetics are believed to play a major role in both cases.

What happens in the case of PCOS?

In a woman with PCOS, usually, the ovaries will produce a large level of androgens in the body. This increased level of androgens then interferes with the development of eggs within the ovaries and restricts their release through the fallopian tube. Some of these eggs may then develop into a cyst, something like a sac which is filled with liquid. Since they do not get released these cysts start developing in the ovaries and may also grow in size with time.

What happens in the case of PCOD?

In the case of PCOD, a large number of mature eggs get collected in the ovaries and do not get released due to hormonal imbalance. Again, these eggs can develop into cysts and may start a cycle of forming more cysts, which becomes a loop. It is believed that hormonal imbalances and stress are the leading causes of PCOD in women.

What are the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS?

In both cases, the normal function of ovaries is disturbed and affected. Irregular periods in women of reproductive age is a common symptom in both cases. As the cycle goes on, women also undergo various other symptoms such as thinning of hair, increased hair growth on some parts of the body such as the chin and face, male pattern baldness on the scalp, and more.

Should you be worried?

Usually, PCOD is not as dangerous as PCOS as it is an issue with the system of endocrine functions. However, both PCOD and PCOS manifest themselves through various symptoms, which can deter a woman’s confidence levels. In later life, these diseases can also lead to issues with fertility and increase the chances of contracting long-term diseases such as diabetes and heart risks.

As such, there is no cure for PCOD and PCOS but it is believed that a healthy diet and regular exercises can contribute towards a healthy outlook for women suffering from these diseases. It can help control the symptoms of these diseases and bring a positive impact on their overall health to a large extent.

Author: Mitalee Mithal

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