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  • Writer's pictureRajat Chauhan

Difference Between PCOS and PCOD

Reproductive health problems have grown in frequency in our lives. Of them, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease) are particularly prevalent issues that impact a great number of women. Many times, these disorders combine with our daily routines, stress levels, and food choices to cause a range of symptoms that can interfere with menstrual cycles and general health. Though their names seem similar and they both affect menstrual health, PCOD and PCOS are different but linked reproductive illnesses.

Correct diagnosis and customized treatment plans depend on knowing the difference between PCOD and PCOS. For those affected, misunderstandings or misunderstandings of these phrases can result in inefficient treatment plans and prolonged pain.

Let's understand what PCOD and PCOS are, respectively.

What is PCOD?

A disorder influencing the ovaries' normal function is polycystic ovarian disease, or PCOD. Under this, female ovaries generate a large number of fully or partly-developed eggs that eventually develop into cysts. The ovaries therefore enlarge and release a lot of male hormones, which can cause irregular periods, unnatural weight gain, infertility, and hair loss. Applying certain dietary and lifestyle modifications may help to manage this illness.

What is PCOS?

Their hormone levels are affected by the disorder known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. Most often affected by this metabolic condition are women between the ages of 12 and 51. Under this, the body of the woman produces more male hormones, which causes an irregular menstrual cycle, trouble becoming pregnant, and abnormal facial and body hair development. Long-term, PCOS can result in cardiac problems or diabetes.

What is the Difference between PCOD and PCOS?

Let’s explore a few of them:


The difference between PCOS and PCOD is that, because of its complex effects on metabolism and hormonal balance, the former is acknowledged as a significant metabolic disease. Beyond the existence of ovarian cysts, it includes a range of symptoms including weight gain, excessive hair growth, irregular menstruation, and hormonal abnormalities. This categorization highlights the complex nature and possible severity of PCOS as well as its link to chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and possibly endometrial cancer.

By contrast, PCOD is usually considered a hormonal and reproductive disorder rather than a disease. Even if it and PCOS have some characteristics, including ovarian cysts and hormonal abnormalities, PCOS is usually seen as a treatable illness that can be controlled with lifestyle changes like eating well and exercising regularly. 


Although PCOS has a lower but still considerable frequency, PCOD is more prevalent worldwide. PCOD is a common reproductive health problem as it affects around one-third of the world's women. Menstrual cycle irregularities, hormone abnormalities, and ovarian cysts are common symptoms of this illness. Although polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is rather common, it is usually treatable with dietary and activity modifications.

Contrarily, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is known to induce infertility in women, but it is less common than other reasons. In India, PCOS affects about 20–25% of women of reproductive age, according to a study by the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences). This number highlights how PCOS can have a considerable negative influence on reproductive health, especially in certain groups.


The increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes mellitus is among the most worrisome consequences. High blood sugar levels, which can develop into diabetes if left untreated, are a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is characterized by insulin resistance. Another risk factor for cardiovascular issues including heart disease and stroke is hypertension, which is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

While PCOD does not cause serious health problems, they are usually manageable with lifestyle adjustments including eating healthier, exercising more, and controlling weight.


Signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often manifest in females with the onset of puberty, which occurs throughout adolescence. The metabolic abnormalities and hormonal imbalances that characterize polycystic ovary syndrome are believed to be the cause of its premature start. Acne, hirsutism, and weight gain are symptoms that arise as a result of hormonal alterations, including insulin resistance and high levels of androgens (male hormones).

While polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symptoms can sometimes manifest in adolescence, they are often milder and may not be as noticeable until much later in life. Odds of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include hormonal abnormalities and ovarian cysts, which can develop in adolescence but don't always cause symptoms.

Diagnostic Criteria

Polycystic ovaries shown on ultrasound, irregular menstrual periods, and hyperandrogenism symptoms like acne or excessive hair growth (hirsutism) are the three main components that make up a PCOS diagnosis.

Imaging investigations, such as ultrasound can show ovarian cysts, which are the main diagnostic criteria for PCOD, along with irregular menstrual periods. Ovarian cysts are an important diagnostic tool for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but they are not the only ones. Hormonal abnormalities and other symptoms also play a role.

PCOD vs PCOS: A Few Differences




Metabolic Disorder

Hormonal and Reproductive Disorder


Less Prevalent

More Prevalent


Can cause complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure

Does not cause real complications


Early onset

Can have early onset but isn’t visible till the end

Diagnostic Criteria

Imaging and ultrasound are the main diagnostic criteria, along with hormonal abnormalities

Ultrasound and hyperandrogenism symptoms

How do PCOS and PCOD Affect Menstruation?

The differences between PCOS and PCOD affect menstruation in different ways. 

Period irregularities are a typical symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome. Ovulation can be irregular or nonexistent altogether if there is a hormonal imbalance, such as insulin resistance or high levels of androgens (male hormones). As a result of irregular ovulation, menstrual cycles can also become irregular, and some women even go without periods for extended periods of time. Also, if you don't ovulate, the endometrial lining can accumulate without shedding during menstruation, which means you can have heavier or longer periods when they do come. Contrarily, menstruation can be mild or nonexistent for some women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Although menstrual abnormalities are prevalent in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), their presentation might vary. Hormonal abnormalities and ovarian cysts, which are symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can interfere with ovulation, much like PCOS. Periods of amenorrhea, uncertain period timing, and cycles of variable durations are all symptoms that can come with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Since ovarian cysts influence hormone production and control, they potentially play a role in menstruation abnormalities. Period abnormalities in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might be more or less severe and less frequent depending on the person.

Get the Relief you Deserve with Welme!

Now that you can distinguish PCOD vs. PCOS, both these conditions cause painful and irregular periods. Fortunately, period pain can be reduced and general well-being can be improved. Explore possibilities such as period pain relief devices if you suffer from painful periods. Through clinically verified TENS technology, this device blocks pain impulses and encourages the production of endorphins for natural pain relief and improved mood. Don't let period pain stop you; with Welcome, get the relief you deserve.

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