PCOS And PCOD: Here Are The Differences And Treatment Options
These conditions are closely linked to the ovaries and hormonal processes.
Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD) and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are highly prevalent health conditions affecting individuals who menstruate.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition characterised by the excessive production of androgens by the ovaries, disrupting the development and release of eggs. Within the ovaries, certain follicles form small sacs filled with fluid known as cysts. Instead of being released during ovulation, the eggs become trapped within these cysts, leading to their accumulation and potential enlargement.
PCOS disrupts the hormonal balance in women, causing elevated levels of male hormones in the body. This hormonal imbalance can result in irregular ovulation, difficulties in achieving pregnancy, and the development of abnormal hair growth on various parts of the body and face.
If left untreated, PCOS can contribute to the onset of diabetes and heart disease over time. Due to its potential health implications, PCOS should be taken seriously and promptly addressed with appropriate medical intervention.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)
PCOD is a condition characterised by the excessive production of immature or partially mature eggs in the ovaries, resulting in the formation of cysts. Common symptoms of PCOD include abdominal weight gain, irregular menstrual periods, and infertility.
This disorder often involves the swelling of the ovaries and the release of high levels of androgens, which can negatively impact a woman's fertility and overall well-being.
Difference between the two
PCOS and PCOD are two separate conditions that impact the hormonal and reproductive health of women. However, there is often confusion as these terms are incorrectly used interchangeably or believed to be identical. In reality, while they do share certain similarities, they are distinct conditions.
PCOS is generally regarded as a more serious condition. PCOD can often be managed through informed lifestyle changes alone and may not require additional medical treatment. In contrast, PCOS is an endocrine system disorder with more significant implications, often necessitating hormonal intervention.
Moreover, the incidence of PCOD is higher in women as compared to PCOS. Approximately, one-third of women who menstruate globally experience PCOD. Conversely, although PCOS is not uncommon, it is less frequently encountered.
Finally, both hormonal disorders have infertility as a shared side effect, although the severity differs. With some extra precautions and minimal medical intervention, pregnancy is usually possible for individuals with PCOD. However, PCOS involves more hormonal irregularities, making conception more challenging.
Regardless of whether it's PCOS or PCOD, it is undeniable that both conditions carry a sense of social stigma and misinformation, particularly in Indian society. Despite being prevalent disorders, they are treated as something to be hidden, just like anything related to periods.
Currently, there is no known permanent cure for PCOD or PCOS however, these conditions can be managed through treatment and lifestyle adjustments to prevent significant medical complications. It is important to consult a medical professional, such as an endocrinologist, dietician, or gynaecologist, for an accurate diagnosis and a suitable management plan. The following methods can help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS and PCOD:
Lifestyle and dietary modifications
By implementing necessary lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and adopting a nutritious eating pattern, you can control the symptoms of PCOS and PCOD. A healthy diet can help regulate hormonal balance and menstrual cycles. Limiting the consumption of processed and high-carbohydrate foods can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation. By prioritising healthy eating and regular physical activity, you can decrease the likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome and improve insulin resistance in your body.
Various medications can be used to manage the symptoms of PCOS and PCOD. These include:
These medications work by blocking the excessive development of androgens in the body, thereby reducing the associated side effects.
Oral contraceptives contain hormones that help regulate the production of male hormones in the body and also assist in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Primarily used for treating type 2 diabetes, Metformin can also be prescribed for women with PCOS to help manage insulin resistance.
In cases where other treatment options have not been successful, surgery may be considered as a last resort. Surgical intervention aims to remove ovarian cysts that are causing significant pain or interfering with fertility.
PCOD and PCOS are intricate hormonal disorders that have a significant impact on a woman's well-being, particularly concerning metabolic and reproductive health. Although effective treatment options remain limited, it is possible to mitigate the associated side effects by addressing the symptoms. However, effectively managing these conditions necessitates a comprehensive approach encompassing lifestyle adjustments, dietary changes, and medications.Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.