Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease are both health conditions associated with the ovaries and hormonal imbalance in women with comparable symptoms, abbreviations of which are often used interchangeably, but are they really the same? We got in touch with two experts to better understand the differences between PCOD and PCOS and bust some myths:
What Are PCOD And PCOS?
“PCOD is a medical disorder in which a woman’s ovaries frequently generate immature or partially mature eggs, which eventually develop into ovarian cysts. Due to this, the ovaries enlarge in size and release a lot of androgens. This can lead to various issues like infertility, irregular menstruation periods, hair loss, and unnatural weight gain.
A woman with PCOS will experience hormonal imbalance during her reproductive years. Increased levels of male hormones can cause women to skip menstrual cycles, have irregular ovulation that makes it difficult to get pregnant and experience abnormal hair growth on their bodies and faces at the same time. Over time, this can result in diabetes and heart disease. PCOS is a significant medical issue that needs to be treated surgically or with the appropriate medical care. Studies show that 20 per cent of Indian women (one in every five) have either PCOS or PCOD,” Dr Aruna Kalra, Senior Gynaecologist & Obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram explains.
Differences Between PCOD and PCOS
“PCOD is a condition in which ovaries produce many immature or partially mature eggs because of poor lifestyle, obesity, stress, and hormonal imbalance. PCOS on the other hand is a metabolic disorder and a more severe form of PCOD causing anovulation where ovaries stop releasing eggs. PCOD will not take a toll on one’s fertility, a woman still can ovulate and get pregnant while PCOS can cause infertility in women. If a woman with PCOS does become pregnant, there are chances of miscarriage, premature birth, or complications in pregnancy. PCOD will not have any serious consequences. But, ones with PCOS may encounter heart problems, and type 2 diabetes in later life,” Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar shares.
Talking about the similarities between the two conditions, Dr Aruna says, “both medical illnesses share the same symptoms and are linked to the ovaries and hormonal imbalance in women between the ages of 12 and 51 who are fertile. Losing weight, eating a nutritious diet free of processed and junk food, and exercising consistently have demonstrated remarkable improvement over time in both situations. You can control the harm done to or produced to your body with a healthy diet and prescription drugs. However, surgery may be necessary in some circumstances for PCOS treatment.”
Symptoms of PCOD and PCOS
“While some women discover they have symptoms around the time they get their first period, others don’t until they’ve put on a lot of weight or are having difficulties getting pregnant. The following are the most typical PCOD or PCOS symptoms in females:
Abnormal menstruation (Oligomenorrhea)
Absence of menstruation or skipped periods (Amenorrhea)
Extreme menstrual bleeding (Menorrhagia)
Excessive development of hair (face, body – including on back, belly, and chest)
Acne (face, chest, and upper back)
Hair fall (hair on the scalp gets thinner and falls out)
Skin colouration (Neck, the groin and under the breasts)” Dr Aruna reveals.
View this post on Instagram
Treatment For PCOD and PCOS
“The treatment of your specific issues, such as irregular periods, obesity, infertility, acne, or hirsutism, is the focus of PCOD/PCOS treatment,” Dr Aruna says. “Changes in lifestyle, such as weight loss, food, and exercise, typically come first in treatment. Even a small 5–10% body weight loss can influence your menstrual cycle. The course of treatment will depend on the symptoms, including metabolic issues, acne, and hair growth. This comprises:
1. Utilizing medication to control menstruation in order to treat hormonal dysregulation and insulin resistance
2. Through oral medications and injections, ovulation induction (the quality and quantity of the ovulation) is accomplished.
3. Using fertility medications to treat infertility, reducing uncontrollable hair growth, remedies for acne and discolouration of the skin
4. Ovarian drilling, a laparoscopic operation, is used to remove androgen-producing tissue from the ovaries in PCOS patients who have not responded to hormonal therapy. Your condition can benefit from a diet that helps you lose weight. Additionally, losing weight can lower insulin, lower cholesterol, and minimise the chance of developing diabetes and heart disease. Women can lose weight by exercising for 20 minutes, five days a week, at a moderate level. Exercise-induced weight loss also raises insulin and ovulation levels. The earliest diagnosis and use of the most effective treatment modalities can help manage the symptoms of PCOD and PCOS. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for treating hormone imbalance and associated disorders.” she shares.
“Myth: One becomes obese due to PCOD
Fact: A sedentary lifestyle can invite obesity which in turn leads to PCOD. Losing weight can be beneficial for those with PCOD and PCOS.
Myth: Any cyst in the ovary indicates Polycystic Ovaries
Fact: Do not panic as the polycystic appearance of ovaries on ultrasound may not be a sign of PCOS. A large number of women have cysts but don’t have PCOS.
Myth: PCOS is seen only in older women
Fact: This statement is false. PCOS can be seen in women of all ages,” Dr Surabhi concludes.