Women's Wellness 3 MIN READ 1437 VIEWS March 7, 2022

Understanding the Difference Between PCOS and PCOD

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Difference between PCOS and PCOD

PCOD or PCOS conditions affect women’s reproductive organs, mainly the ovaries that produce progesterone and estrogen hormones. These hormones help women’s bodies to regulate their menstrual cycle. Ovaries are also responsible for producing extremely small amounts of relaxin and inhibin, along with the male hormone androgens.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine-metabolic disorder that can affect women between 12 and 51 years and is much more serious than PCOD. It causes a hormonal imbalance with symptoms similar to PCOD but if left undiagnosed, can lead to heart diseases and Type-2 diabetes in the long run.

PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. About one in five (20%) Indian women suffer from PCOS. Patients with PCOS symptoms also face a higher risk of developing other health conditions like heart-related issues and Diabetes. Since it causes hormonal imbalance, treatment for PCOS will be given by your healthcare provider, especially if you plan on having babies.

Difference between PCOD and PCOS

PCOS is a serious medical condition and requires medical guidance or proper surgical treatment. The high quantity of male hormone production leads to the formation of more than ten follicular cysts in the ovary, causing anovulation (no egg release). A study showed the prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in India ranges from 3.7 to 22.5%.

Almost 80% of women suffering from PCOS are obese. The ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 but when it goes to 27-28, it can be alarming for a woman who has symptoms of PCOS. Conceiving a baby with PCOS symptoms can be difficult, with a nearly 40% chance of the female child developing PCOS if the mother has it. 

According to a statistical report made in 2020, 3.8% of female teenagers (below 19 years), 16.81% of young adults (20-29 years), 11.58% of adults (30-44 years), and 1.44% of older adults (45-59 years) suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The highest rate was seen in young adults, with the main causes being increased unhealthy eating patterns and irregularity in exercise.


What is PCOD?

PCOD, short for Poly Ovarian Cystic Disease, is a medical condition that causes women’s ovaries to produce immature or partially mature eggs that become cysts in the ovaries over time. This causes the ovaries to become large and produce more-than-normal amounts of androgens, causing hair loss, acne, weight gain, and infertility issues. 

It is a condition in which ovaries may produce immature or partially mature eggs, thus causing a temporary pause or irregularities in menstrual cycles. PCOD can happen because of obesity, poor lifestyle, and bad eating habits. It can be controlled by lifestyle changes and diet

How are the Two Conditions Different?


1. Impact on Pregnancy 

Patients with PCOD do not necessarily have infertility issues. In the case of PCOS, conceiving can be an obstacle due to hormonal imbalance caused by abnormal production of the male hormone, androgen. 

2. Severe Implications 

As opposed to PCOD, women suffering from PCOS have a high risk of developing Type- 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, and even endometrial cancer.

3. Symptoms 

About 70% of women who are likely to suffer from PCOS in future will start showing signs and symptoms from their teenage years. Symptoms of PCOD include hormonal acne, excessive hair growth, and weight gain due to metabolic disturbances.

4. Occurrence

In comparison, PCOD is more common amongst women – one-third of women worldwide are affected by PCOD. PCOS is a more prolonged, serious condition that has a fairly lower number of patients. Symptoms of PCOS are more severe as well.

Difference between PCOS and PCOD

5. Diet 

Women suffering from PCOD or PCOS require similar dietary changes and regular exercise. However, with PCOS, the diet changes are more stringent, as it is closely linked with insulin resistance. Avoiding sugar, starch, and highly refined carb foods is pertinent for women with PCOS.


Both PCOS and PCOD cause hormonal imbalances and are related to the ovaries with certain marked differences. The major difference between PCOS and PCOD is that of the severity – the former being more severe. With proper medical or surgical methods, PCOS can be kept in check. Exercise and a well-balanced diet can help manage the symptoms of both these conditions.

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