Here is everything you need to know about the differences between PCO and PCOS.
What is PCO vs. PCOS?
A polycystic ovary (PCO) is a large ovary with 12 or more follicles instead of a single dominant follicle. These cysts are typically harmless and do not cause symptoms in most women.
PCOs are commonly detected during an ultrasound or other forms of pelvic imaging.
What are the differences between PCO and PCOS?
PCO is more common than PCOS
PCO is found in 19%-33% of women with or without symptoms. PCOS affects 5%-10% of women between 15 and 44 years.
PCO is not a disease, whereas PCOS is a metabolic condition
PCO refers to a large ovary with 12 or more follicles that measure 2 to 9 mm. Women with PCOS may have PCO along with these symptoms:
- Long menstrual cycles of more than 35 days or complete absence of menstruation
- Increased male hormones
- Less ovulation
PCOS can lead to other complications, whereas PCO doesn’t cause many
Some of the complications associated with PCOS include:
- Pregnancy complications (such as gestational diabetes)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Endometrial cancer
PCO typically doesn’t cause any complications as opposed to PCOS.
Pregnancy may be difficult with PCOS, but women with PCOs can still get pregnant
Ovulation may be difficult with PCOS compared to PCO
As PCOS is associated with hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, and excess androgen secretion from the ovaries, ovulation becomes difficult with this condition. However, PCO doesn’t cause any hormonal imbalances, thereby leading to frequent ovulation.
PCO may or may not cause symptoms, whereas PCOS can cause various symptoms
PCOS can cause symptoms such as acne, infertility, infrequent menstrual periods, and excess hair growth. PCO may be accidentally identified during an ultrasound because most women do not exhibit any symptoms.
Polycystic Ovary Versus Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-59745-108-6_4
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos
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