Many people use the terms PCOD (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease) and PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) interchangeably, but they are two different conditions. Both disorders cause hormonal disturbances and are related to ovaries, but they have different symptoms and treatments.
Let’s take a closer look at these two conditions and see what distinguishes them.
What is PCOD?
Polycystic Ovarian disease is a disorder in which the ovaries produce immature or partially mature eggs. This excess production of immature eggs can lead to cyst development in the ovaries and increase male hormone release. The condition can cause various complications, including weight gain, acne and irregular menstrual cycle.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. It is characterised by irregular menstrual cycles due to imbalanced hormone levels, with increased production of male hormones (androgens). In addition, PCOS is a type of metabolic disorder that often has a complex link with other chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart attacks.
PCOD vs PCOS: The Difference
PCOS and PCOD are acronyms for polycystic ovary syndrome and polycystic ovary disease, respectively. Both conditions are characterised by the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries. However, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause fertility problems. At the same time, PCOD is a term used to describe a general condition of the ovaries that may or may not cause fertility problems.
Here are some other factors that make them different from each other.
PCOS is a metabolic-endocrine disorder, while PCOD is a condition developed by hormonal imbalance. Overeating junk food, being obese or overweight, stress, and hormonal disturbances give rise to PCOD. Nonetheless, genetics is also a lesser-known key factor in both diseases.
Since their teenage years, women who suffer from PCOS show symptoms such as acne, weight gain, and excessive hair growth due to metabolic disturbances. Common PCOD symptoms are abdominal weight gain, painful periods, and male pattern hair loss.
One-third of women worldwide suffer from PCOD, which is more common than PCOS. A study shows that PCOS affects 4%–20% of women of reproductive age worldwide.
Effect on Pregnancy
Women with PCOD don’t usually experience serious fertility problems. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help them overcome challenges. However, conceiving may be difficult for women with PCOS due to irregular hormones and metabolic irregularities. Women with PCOS also have a high rate of miscarriages.
Remember that all women with PCOS or PCOD can conceive with medical help and guidance. Therefore, these conditions should not be considered an unsolvable barrier to becoming pregnant.
PCOD is less severe than PCOS, and one can usually manage the condition with lifestyle and dietary changes. On the other hand, PCOS affects the entire endocrine system and can lead to metabolic disorders and cognitive dysfunction. Additionally, PCOS increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
The symptoms of PCOD and PCOS can be similar, but women with PCOD can still ovulate and conceive successfully. However, women with PCOS don’t ovulate regularly because of a severe hormonal imbalance that disturbs the ovulation process and menstrual cycle.
The HealthifyMe Note
PCOD is not as severe as PCOS and does not have as significant an effect on fertility and metabolic health. However, pregnancy can be more difficult for women with PCOS because of hormonal irregularities. Although there are some distinctions between the two conditions, getting a timely diagnosis and maintaining good health for both is essential.
Natural Ways to Improve PCOS and PCOD
There is no proven cure for PCOD or PCOS at the moment. However, diet and lifestyle play a significant role in managing PCOD and PCOS, making a considerable difference.
Some of the natural ways to improve PCOD/PCOS are listed below.
Healthy Eating Habits
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help control the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS. The right mix of nutrients can help regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle. In addition, processed, preserved, and carb-rich foods can increase inflammation and insulin resistance. Hence, it is better to refrain from consuming such foods.
The best way to lose weight if you have PCOS or PCOD is to modify your diet to one that is low in calories but still nutritious. Losing weight with such a diet will also help reduce insulin resistance, make your menstrual cycle more regular, and lower the risk of other problems related to PCOS or PCOD.
Besides diet, healthy weight management requires finding a suitable exercise regime. However, too much physical exertion can disturb your hormone level. Hence, make sure to opt for an ideal exercise routine, from walking and yoga to swimming and aerobics, to curb the effect of symptoms.
One of the essential lifestyle changes to improve the outcomes of PCOD/PCOS treatments is maintaining a quality sleep pattern. It means establishing a regular sleep schedule and avoiding factors that can disrupt sleep, such as caffeine, daytime naps, smoking, bedtime snacks and screen time.
PCOD and PCOS are both common disorders among women. However, PCOS is a more severe metabolic disorder than PCOD. Both conditions cause hormonal imbalance, resulting in symptoms such as irregular menstruation, acne, weight gain, and even infertility. However, maintaining an active lifestyle, following a balanced diet, and improving sleeping habits can help manage the symptoms of both conditions.