EH logo
General Fitness

PCOD vs PCOS : What is the difference and how to cure it

February 18, 2024

Are you among the millions of women who have heard of PCOD or PCOS but aren't sure what it means or how it could affect you? 

PCOD and PCOS are two conditions that can cause a wide range of symptoms, from irregular periods and acne to weight gain and infertility. But despite their similar-sounding names, PCOD and PCOS are not the same. In fact, the two conditions have distinct differences in their causes, symptoms, and treatment options. 

This article will explore the key differences between PCOD and PCOS and provide actionable tips for managing your symptoms and improving your overall health.

So, let's get started!

What is PCOD?

PCOD, or Polycystic Ovary Disorder, is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. In this condition, the ovaries produce multiple immature follicles instead of releasing a mature egg during each menstrual cycle. These immature follicles can accumulate and form small fluid-filled sacs called cysts.

Follicles are small sacs within the ovaries that contain immature eggs. Every month, one or more follicles develop in the ovary in response to hormonal signals. These follicles grow and mature until one releases a mature egg during ovulation.

In PCOD, hormonal imbalances interfere with the normal growth and maturation of follicles, accumulating immature follicles. These immature follicles can form small cysts, ranging in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. These cysts are usually harmless but can sometimes cause discomfort or pain.

The exact process of cyst formation in PCOD is not fully understood. Still, it is believed to involve a combination of hormonal imbalances and genetic factors. 

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic disorder characterized by the ovaries' overproduction of androgens (male hormones). This hormonal imbalance leads to multiple follicular cysts in the ovaries every month, which prevent the release of an egg and cause anovulation. 

Higher androgens levels can also cause acne, oily skin, and increased hair growth, particularly on the face, chest, and back. Women with PCOS may also experience weight gain, particularly around the waist, as well as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Notably, PCOS can affect women differently, with some experiencing more severe symptoms than others. Some women may also have cysts on their ovaries without experiencing any other symptoms. In contrast, others may have all the classic symptoms without visible cysts.

What is the difference between PCOD vs PCOS?

Let's discuss the differences between PCOD and PCOS more simply and understandably. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • PCOD is primarily a reproductive disorder that affects the ovaries and can lead to irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and infertility. It is not considered a disease; the situation can improve with the right lifestyle changes.

  • In contrast, PCOS is a more complex hormonal disorder affecting multiple body systems, including the reproductive, metabolic, and cardiovascular systems.

  • PCOS is a metabolic disorder that affects the body's ability to process insulin, leading to weight gain, diabetes, and other complications.

  • Women with PCOS often struggle with infertility, while those with PCOD can still ovulate regularly and have a better chance of conceiving with the help of lifestyle changes or medical intervention.

  • PCOS can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, cardiac-vascular issues, and even endometrial cancer. 

How to cure PCOD/PCOS naturally?

While there is no known cure for PCOD/PCOS, many natural ways exist to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for women suffering from these conditions. Here are some tips for managing PCOD/PCOS naturally:

  • Eat a balanced diet: Eating a diet that is low in sugar, processed foods and high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats can help reduce insulin resistance and improve symptoms.

  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help reduce weight, improve insulin resistance, and manage other symptoms. Choose activities you enjoy and make it a habit to exercise at least 30-45 minutes daily.

  • Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for managing PCOD/PCOS symptoms. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

  • Mindful breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. This, in turn, can help regulate hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS/PCOD.

  • Probiotics: Incorporating probiotics into your diet can help improve gut health and reduce inflammation, which may help alleviate symptoms of PCOS/PCOD. Some probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a complementary therapy that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points of the body. It has been shown to help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of PCOS/PCOD, such as acne and hair growth.

  • Yoga: Certain yoga poses, such as the butterfly pose and the reclining bound angle pose, can help improve blood flow to the pelvic area, reduce stress and regulate menstrual cycles.

Which treatment is best for PCOS and PCOD problems?

  • Lifestyle changes: The first step in managing PCOS/PCOD is to make healthy lifestyle changes. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress levels. Losing weight is also important as it improves insulin resistance and regulates menstrual cycles.

  • Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage symptoms like irregular periods, excess hair growth, and acne. Birth control pills can help regulate menstrual cycles, and metformin can improve insulin resistance.

  • Surgery: If medications and lifestyle changes are ineffective, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cysts from your ovaries. However, this is not a common treatment option and is usually only recommended for severe cases.

  • Naturopathy: Naturopathy focuses on using natural remedies to promote healing and balance in the body. Some natural remedies that may be helpful for PCOS/PCOD include herbal treatment, acupuncture, and yoga can also help reduce stress levels and regulate menstrual cycles.

It's important to remember that everyone's body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's always best to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or making significant lifestyle changes. 

In conclusion, PCOD and PCOS are two distinct conditions that affect the ovaries and female hormones. PCOD is a condition where the ovaries contain many immature or partially mature eggs. At the same time, PCOS is a metabolic disorder where the ovaries produce a higher quantity of the male hormone and form more than ten follicular cysts in the ovary every month.

The good news is that both conditions can be managed with the right treatment plan. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a balanced diet can help control symptoms and improve overall health. Additionally, medication such as birth control pills, insulin-sensitizing agents, and anti-androgens can be prescribed to manage symptoms and improve fertility.

It's essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for each individual case. Naturopathy and alternative therapies can also be used to complement medical treatments and manage symptoms.

With the right approach, it is possible to manage and even overcome the challenges associated with PCOD and PCOS. Empowering oneself with knowledge and taking action towards a healthier lifestyle can lead to a better quality of life for women with these conditions.