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Increased Hair Loss or Unwanted Hair Growth = PCOD or PCOS?

Increased Hair Loss or Unwanted Hair Growth = PCOD or PCOS?

Did you know that the PCOD disease and the PCOS syndrome are both interchangeably used despite being significantly different from one another? While you may know that both the diseases are associated with the ovaries, what many of us may not know is which condition is more serious than the other. Read on to delve deeper into these two seemingly identical yet different conditions and understand them in their entirety.

PCOD 101
PCOD or Polycystic Ovary Disease is the condition wherein the ovaries contain eggs that are either partially mature or immature. These immature eggs further turn into cysts. Eventually, the ovaries due to this condition get enlarged and secrete androgens that ultimately meddle with the body and fertility. The most common causes of the condition may be alluded to unhealthy lifestyle habits like eating junk, being overweight, stress, hormonal disturbances, among others. People with PCOD often experience symptoms including:

✓Abdominal weight gain
✓Male pattern hair loss
✓Irregular Periods that occur every 2-3 months
✓Heavy bleeding or Menorrhagia
✓Stubborn acne

All About PCOS
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome on the other hand is an endocrine system disorder that is more severe than PCOD. In PCOS, the ovaries are susceptible to produce the male hormones in huge quantities. This ultimately leads to the formation of over 10 follicular cysts in the ovaries every single month. The condition further is responsible to stop the release of eggs and adds to the inability to ovulate. Major symptoms experienced include:

✓Obesity
✓Hair Loss
✓Excessive hair growth on the face, stomach, chest, etc.
✓Infertility

Is PCOD the Same as PCOS?
While the answer may now be clearer, let’s unveil the major factors that differentiate the two.

Instances: It is estimated that at least 1 in every 10 women of child bearing age suffers from PCOD. As many as one third women across the world undergo symptoms of PCOD. PCOS on the other hand has a lower number of patients.

Severity: The effects of  PCOD can be managed with corrections in the diet, increasing physical activity, avoiding stressful situations and making positive changes in the lifestyle. PCOS, however, does not necessarily improve or become manageable with dietary or lifestyle changes.

Detection: PCOD is detected early in life with apparent symptoms visible since adolescence. Symptoms like acne, excessive hair growth in unwanted areas, extreme weight gain etc. are commonly experienced  early on in teenagers.

Complications: Patients with PCOS are more vulnerable to developing complications like cardio-vascular issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. People with underlying PCOS are also at a  higher risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Ovulation: Women with PCOD may retain the ability to periodically ovulate. However, those with PCOS may have difficulty ovulating as a result of severe imbalances.

Fertility: PCOD in patients often does not cause significant fertility issues. Therefore, the chances of successful conception with medical help are higher in case of PCOD.

Causative Reasons: As already mentioned, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome stems out of a disorder of the endocrine system. PCOD, on the other hand, is caused due to the imbalance of hormones. Factors like genetics, insulin resistance and inflammation are known to cause hormonal imbalances in both the conditions.

Since management of both the diseases becomes more effective if detected timely, it is important that you get yourself examined as soon as you experience abnormal menstrual symptoms and changes in hair growth, skin, bodyweight etc.

By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2020-09-13

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