PCOD vs PCOS – Is PCOD and PCOS same? Which is more harmful

PCOD vs PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common chronic endocrine disorders in females of reproductive age and is characterized by ovulatory dysfunction. Over 1 million (10 lakhs) cases per year reporting in India.

The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) isn’t well known but may involve a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

People have several questions regarding this topic. Some of them are:

  • What is PCOD and PCOS?
  • Is PCOD and PCOS same?
  • PCOD and PCOS symptoms.
  • Diet for PCOD and PCOS.
  • What is the best exercise for PCOS?
  • Does PCOS affect pregnancy?

Scroll down to know the answers to all these questions.

Table of Contents


In short words, PCOD is an abbreviation of Polycystic Ovarian Disease whereas PCOS is an abbreviation of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Both affect the normal functioning of the ovaries. Now, is PCOD and PCOS same? If not, what’s the difference? Let’s look into it.

Is PCOD and PCOS same?

A lot of people, especially women get confused between the two. Most of them use these two terms often interchangeably. As we already discussed, PCOD refers to Polycystic Ovarian Disease and PCOD refers to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Let’s understand the difference now.

You might already know or have studied that all women on earth have two ovaries and only 1 egg develops and is released during each menstrual cycle. The ovaries produce androgens, which is a male hormone in very little quantities.

PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a condition where the ovaries in women release a lot of immature or partially-matured eggs and is eventually turn into cysts (little sacs filled with liquid). In such conditions, abdominal weight gain, irregular periods, male pattern hair loss, and infertility and some of the common symptoms you can observe. In this particular condition, the ovaries usually become enlarged and secrete large amounts of androgens that can cause an impact on a woman’s fertility.

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PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a condition where the ovaries produce higher levels of androgen than usual, which interferes with the development and release of the eggs. Some of the immature or partially matured eggs develop into cysts (little sacs filled with liquid). These cysts do not release during ovulation and build up in the ovaries and at times even get enlarged.

PCOD is a condition developed by the imbalance of hormones and is not truly considered a serious condition since it can be managed with the right diet and exercise. PCOS, on the other hand, is a disorder of the endocrine system and is considered a serious condition.

PCOD and PCOS symptoms

How to know if you have PCOD or PCOS? PCOD and PCOS symptoms are easily detectable. The following signs and symptoms you might see if you have these medical conditions in your teens and early twenties.

  • Irregular or no periods.
  • Heavier bleeding than usual during the menstrual cycle.
  • The majority of women with these medical conditions experience abnormal hair growth on the face and body.
  • Excess androgen production, the male hormone can lead to oilier than usual skin and leads to acne.
  • Women with this medical condition experience abnormal weight gain and may also find difficulty in losing.
  • These medical conditions cause excessive hair thinning and lead to excessive hair fall.
  • Some women may experience Hyperpigmentation, darkening of the skin on the neck, under breasts, and around the groin.

PCOS symptoms become visible in a later teenage or early twenties. The symptoms of PCOD are much less severe compared to PCOS and most women with PCOD go their entire lives without a diagnosis.

Diet for PCOD and PCOS

PCOS patients are not always overweight but it is strongly associated with abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant. Their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively and over time blood glucose levels increase, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes.

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There is no particular diet for PCOD and PCOS, but there are certain points to keep in mind while making food choices. Research shows women with such medical conditions can be benefited by following a low-carbohydrate or low-glycemic index (GI) diet, which can aid in managing weight loss and reducing the risk of diabetes. This is also proved useful in treating PCOS.

diet for pcod and pcos

Remember the difference between a low carbohydrate and low glycemic index diet. A low carb diet means restricting carbohydrates in your diet and a low glycemic diet means minimizing simple carbs which cause fluctuations in blood glucose level (insulin resistance) and increasing complex carbs in your diet.

Recent studies also show that women with PCOS should consume less than or equal to 30% calories from fats in their diet. It is also recommended not to exceed 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day in your diet.

what is the best exercise for PCOS?

Women with PCOS experience insulin resistance compared to normal women who do not have any medical condition. As we already discussed, Insulin resistance affects your body’s ability to use glucose in the blood.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Doctors say that lack of physical activity is the main contributing factor to insulin resistance. Some studies prove that physical exercises can be beneficial for women with  PCOS and PCOD.

pcod vs pcos

There is no particular exercise that is beneficial to women with PCOS. All types of physical activities such as steady-state cardio, HIIT workouts, resistance training are proved to be beneficial. It is recommended to perform common physical activities such as brisk walking, skipping rope, cycling, swimming for 30 minutes regularly.

Does PCOS affect pregnancy?

PCOS has serious complications compared to PCOD. Women with PCOD may show up similar symptoms as PCOS. Those with PCOD do not have significant fertility issues as they can still ovulate regularly. By seeking a bit of medical help, women with PCOD can conceive successfully.

does pcod affects pregnancy?

On the other hand, women with PCOS suffer from infertility. They even have a higher rate of miscarriages.

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  • What is the reason of PCOD?

    PCOD is an abbreviation of Polycystic Ovarian Disease. It is a common health problem caused by hormonal imbalance in women. PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) is a condition where the ovaries in women release a lot of immature or partially-matured eggs and is eventually turn into cysts (little sacs filled with liquid)

  • Which is more harmful PCOS or PCOD?

    PCOS is an endocrinal problem (a metabolic syndrome), which is more serious whereas PCOD, largely happens through hormonal imbalance and can be corrected through a balanced diet and proper exercise. PCOD vs PCOS is clearly explained in this article.

  • Can PCOD be cured?

    PCOS and PCOD do not have any cures. However, these medical conditions can be minimized with a low carb or low GI diet and proper workouts.

  • Is milk good for PCOS?

    Women with PCOS should limit their dairy intake because dairy is high in lactose content. Excess consumption of dairy may lead to an increase in blood glucose levels.

  • How can I treat PCOD at home?

    > Follow a low carb or low GI diet.
    > Do some sort of physical activity regularly.
    > Add antioxidants to your diet.
    > Start your day with a heavy and healthy breakfast.

The conclusion

Both PCOS and PCOD have similar symptoms. In both cases, eating healthy and losing weight could be beneficial.

I hope this article(PCOD vs PCOS) is helpful for you. I’d love to know your opinion and queries about this blog post in the comment section below.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat or cure any medical condition or disease. Consult a healthcare professional to treat or cure any medical condition.
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Mujja Saikumar, founder of The Muscly Advisor is an Aeronautical engineering graduate formed an obsession with fitness and helping people to clear all the health and fitness-related doubts through Blogs, videos, and social media. Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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