What is Difference between PCOD vs PCOS?

By Dr. Suruchi Desai in Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Apr 24 , 2023 | 5 min read

There is a difference between PCOD vs PCOS. PCOD and PCOS involve the ovaries and cause hormonal disturbances. However, there are several differences between the two. Learn about their symptoms and the best options for PCOD vs PCOS treatment.

What is PCOD?

PCOD is a hormonal condition in which the ovaries produce multiple immature eggs. Over time, these eggs turn into cysts on the ovaries. These ovaries increase in size and produce large quantities of androgen, leading to infertility and irregular menstruation. PCOD affects almost 10% of women of childbearing age.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a serious medical condition among women of reproductive age. The ovaries develop several follicles and fail to release eggs regularly. This causes infrequent or extended periods of excess secretion of androgen. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but timely diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of complications.

Common Symptoms of PCOD and PCOS

PCOD and PCOS symptoms are usually noticed around the first period or when women gain weight and have trouble getting pregnant. The most common symptoms are:

  • Irregular periods.
  • High levels of androgen cause excess hair growth, male-pattern baldness, or severe acne
  • Polycystic ovaries

Causes of PCOD and PCOS

Here are certain factors that can increase the risk of PCOD and PCOS:

  • Excess insulin production may increase androgen secretion and cause difficulty in ovulation
  • Excess androgen production can cause excess facial and body hair growth and severe acne
  • Low-grade inflammation and production of white blood cells in some women may lead to a high level of androgen secretion and heart problems
  • Research suggests that PCOS could be genetic

Complications of PCOD and PCOS

PCOD PCOS can cause the following complications:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Liver inflammation due to fat accumulation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Eating disorders
  • Cancer of the uterine lining or endometrial cancer

PCOD vs PCOS How are They Different?



PCOD, a common disorder, affects 10% of women worldwide.

PCOS, a serious medical condition, affects 0.2% to 2.5% of women worldwide.

It causes ovaries to produce many immature eggs, which turn into cysts. It occurs due to hormonal imbalance, unhealthy lifestyle, excess weight, and stress.

Excess androgen levels cause irregular periods and anovulation. It requires medical attention.

Women can get pregnant with the help of proper fertility treatment.

Women find it very difficult to get pregnant. Furthermore, the pregnancy can end in miscarriage or premature birth.

PCOD can be controlled by a change in diet and regular exercise.

PCOS requires proper medical attention or surgical treatment.

Diagnosis of PCOD and PCOS

The doctor will likely inquire about the patient's menstrual history and weight change. They will order a physical exam and a blood test. Other PCOD or PCOS tests include:

  1. Pelvic examination to inspect the reproductive organs for abnormalities or growth.
  2. Blood tests measure hormone levels to rule out any menstrual abnormalities. These tests also measure fasting cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and glucose tolerance.
  3. Ultrasound to help study the ovaries' appearance and the uterus lining's thickness.

PCOD vs PCOS Treatment

The best PCOD and PCOS treatment includes lifestyle changes, such as an appropriate diet and moderate-intensity exercise to lose weight. Treatment also depends upon PCOD PCOS symptoms, such as metabolic syndrome, excess hair growth, and acne. Here are some options for treatment:

  • Oral medications and injections for ovulation induction
  • Fertility drugs for infertility treatment
  • Controlling excessive hair growth
  • Skin treatment for acne


Diet plays a significant role in PCOD and PCOS treatment. Achieving weight loss with the help of a proper diet helps significantly improve ovulation rates in women with PCOD and PCOS.

Food Group

Food items


Fatty fish, plant-based proteins, and poultry.

Complex carbohydrates

Whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.

Antioxidants (bright-colored fruits and vegetables)

Apples, cherries, strawberries, beets, tomatoes, bell peppers, and leafy vegetables.

Healthy fats

Nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is more critical—PCOD or PCOS?

PCOS is more critical. It requires timely medical attention and surgical treatment. If left untreated, it increases the risk of several health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

2. How will I know that I am suffering from PCOD?

There is no test to confirm that you suffer from PCOD. However, if you experience irregular periods or abnormal weight gain, it may be due to PCOD. You may also suffer from severe acne or hair loss due to PCOD.

3. At what age does PCOS start?

Women generally suffer from PCOS during their childbearing years. It affects their ability to get pregnant as it causes irregular periods and ovulation.

4. What is the PCOD diet?

A PCOD vs PCOS diet should include foods low in carbohydrates and high in proteins and fiber that help lose weight, such as:

  • Foods are high in omega fatty acids.
  • Green, leafy vegetables.
  • Red-colored fruits.
  • Healthy fats.

5. How to cure PCOD permanently?

There is no permanent cure for PCOD, but one can manage the symptoms by changing one’s lifestyle and diet. Regular moderate-intensity exercise and a diet high in proteins and fiber and low in carbohydrates can help reduce weight. Reducing weight helps in better treatment.

6. Can a woman get pregnant if she has PCOD?

PCOD can be treated with medications to balance the hormones, and a healthy diet and lifestyle can help manage the symptoms. Once the PCOD symptoms are under control with the help of fertility drugs, or fertility-enhancing treatment, a woman can get pregnant and have a smooth pregnancy.

7. Can you have weight gain in PCOD and PCOS?

PCOD vs PCOS is caused by a hormonal imbalance. The ovaries, which generally produce a limited amount of androgen, secrete excess amounts in women suffering from PCOS. Excess androgen leads to weight gain, which, like in men, occurs in the abdomen.

8. How to cure PCOS permanently?

PCOS is a serious medical condition. If left untreated, it increases the chances of metabolic syndrome. While PCOS cannot be cured permanently, it can be treated with oral contraceptives that contain the female hormones: estrogen and progestin. This helps stabilize the menstrual cycle and manage a few symptoms. PCOD vs PCOS treatment also reduces the risks of endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, and skin problems.

9. What to expect from a doctor when going for an appointment?

It is important to share details regarding your PCOD vs PCOS symptoms and their severity. Inform your doctor about the last date of your period and if you have gained weight since your periods started. Your doctor would like to know if you are planning a pregnancy and if you have a family history of PCOS.