Endometriosis vs PCOS: A Helpful Guide

Endometriosis1 vs PCOS 2can be a difficult concept to understand because they contain many similarities in their pattern, but luckily for you, IcyHealth is here to sort it out through this article, read on!

Endometriosis vs PCOS: A Helpful Guide

Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are medical conditions found in reproductive-age-possessing women.

This article will describe the causes, symptoms, and treatment for Endometriosis vs PCOS. Both of these conditions have many similar symptoms. However, they are two different conditions.


Let us know about the responsible factors for these two different conditions:


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The endometrium is the tissue present in the lining of the uterus. Endometriosis is a painful disorder where this tissue grows out of the uterus resulting in endometriosis. 

Due to the lack of a way for the tissue to leave the body, this overgrown tissue3 becomes trapped in the pelvis and the abdomen region. This particular situation also causes scarring and lesions when surrounding tissues are affected.

It may also develop bands of fibrous tissue, which causes the pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other. This tissue thickens outside the uterus, breaks down, and bleeds during the menstrual cycle.

This situation is associated with a high estradiol level, a type of estrogen responsible for the growth of uterine tissue. 4

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is a health condition caused by reproductive hormone imbalance.5

Proper balance and regulation of reproductive hormones are essential for the regular menstrual cycle and reproductive health. An imbalance in the hormones also affects the ovaries of an individual.

The ovaries are the part of the female reproductive system associated with egg formation. The egg formed by the ovaries is released every month as a part of a healthy menstrual cycle.

Due to PCOS, there can be problems related to egg development or the ovulation process, and it hinders the normal process of menstruation. 6

Endometriosis vs PCOS:

Based on the above-given information, it is clear that the causes for the occurrence and development of both the diseases, Endometriosis and PCOS, are very distinct and specific to the disorder. 

Endometriosis is caused due to the excessive, uncontrollable growth of the uterine tissue known as endometrium, whereas Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is mainly caused due to hormonal imbalance.


Below listed are all the possible symptoms  a person suffering from endometriosis and PCOS might have:


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Due to the excessive growth of the tissue in the health condition endometriosis, an individual might suffer from one too many symptoms related to reproductive organs and others.

The symptoms may vary from person to person. Some females are affected badly, while some might not even show any signs.

The main symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • Pain during sex
  • Period pain while performing daily routine activities
  • Pain while passing out urine or stools
  • Pain in the pelvic region during periods
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea
  • Blood in urine during periods
  • Heavy periods.

Conditions like endometriosis can badly affect women’s mental health along with physical health. This might lead to mental health conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

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Image from Unsplash

PCOS is caused due to hormonal imbalances in the body. As a result, it affects many biochemical reactions going on in an individual’s body.

Symptoms of PCOS can also vary from person to person, and each symptom can vary from mild to severe.

The following are some common symptoms of PCOS:

  • Irregularity in the menstrual cycle
  • no menstrual cycle.
  • Hirsutism: It is the excessive hair growth occurring on the facial parts, chest, back, and buttocks of an individual.
  • Acne 
  • Hair loss from the head
  • Oily skin
  • acne and pimples
  • increase in weight
  • difficulty getting pregnant
  • infertility

Along with the above-mentioned symptoms, PCOS can increase your chances of getting several other diseases in later life:

  • depression
  • type 2 diabetes
  • hypertension
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep apnea 
  • cardiovascular diseases

Endometriosis vs PCOS:

Thus, both endometriosis and PCOS have similar symptoms and many distinct symptoms depending on the severity of the condition. 

Anyhow, the fact is both these diseases are different, and their occurrence depends on different causes. 


These diseases can cause bad impacts on one’s body, and hence it is crucial to get diagnosed and initiate treatment. 


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There is no cure for endometriosis, but several advance and basic treatments are available to take care of the pain and many other symptoms.

Treatments like:

  • hormone therapy 
  • pain medications
  • surgery

Hormone Therapy:

Hormone therapy treats the pain caused due to endometriosis. Hormones are packed in the form of pills, injections, or nasal sprays.

Hormone treatment stops the ovaries from producing the hormones like estrogen. These eventually lead to inhibiting the process of ovulation. Thus, the endometrium is slowed down due to this, giving some time to slow down the endometrial lesions and prevent new areas and scars.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) medicines:

GnRH inhibits the production of hormones responsible for the onset of the process like ovulation and menstruation, which sends the body into a menopausal state

GnRH medicine can come in the form of injections, medicines, or nasal sprays. However, certain side effects like headache, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, absence of periods, anxiety, depression, and joint pain.

Oral contraceptives or birth control pills. 

These medications ease the periods and make them light and more regular. The therapy consists of two hormones, namely estrogen and progestin, which help in this process.

Pain Medications:

Pain medications are prescribed for women with mild symptoms. Most non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed as pain treatment ranging from mild to strong prescriptions of pain relievers.

Surgical Methods:

As a procedure, some of the endometriosis patches can also be removed during surgery. However, surgical methods only provide short-term relief from the pain.

Surgical methods should have been opted for after appropriate consultation from the doctor and by carrying out thorough thinking. Some surgical methods are irreversible and could have a lifetime impact on you.

Surgeries like laparoscopy and laparotomy are practiced for endometriosis.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

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Image from Unsplash

PCOS treatment comprises treating the symptoms associated with the syndrome. Treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the symptoms one might have. 

Generally, lifestyle changes are considered very important as a treatment for PCOS. The diet of a person suffering from PCOS should include a lot of vegetables and fruits, whole food, lentils, chicken, meat, and fish. Overall, a healthy and balanced diet should be consumed.

Apart from these medications appropriate for treating the symptoms like hair growth and loss, acne, and irregular periods are prescribed accordingly by the doctor.

Sometimes surgery is also performed depending on the severity and growth of the syndrome.

EndNote: Endometriosis vs PCOS

Thus, it can be seen that both condition does not have a specific cure. Still, appropriate medication for reducing pain and maintaining health is administered to control both conditions. 

Treatments for both disorders focus on treating the symptoms associated with the condition as there is no proper cure.

For Endometriosis vs PCOS, it is depicted that both the conditions are very different than one another, whether be it the causes, symptoms, or treatment. However, a small range of similarities can be seen in some places.

Infographic That Shows 5 Common Reproductive Disorders In Women
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  1. Lebovic, Dan I., Michael D. Mueller, and Robert N. Taylor. “Immunobiology of endometriosis.” Fertility and sterility 75.1 (2001): 1-10. ↩︎
  2. Azziz, Ricardo. “PCOS: a diagnostic challenge.” Reproductive biomedicine online 8.6 (2004): 644-648. ↩︎
  3. Diwanji, Neha, and Andreas Bergmann. “Basement membrane damage by ROS-and JNK-mediated Mmp2 activation drives macrophage recruitment to overgrown tissue.” Nature communications 11.1 (2020): 3631. ↩︎
  4. Murphy, Liam J., et al. “Growth factors in normal and malignant uterine tissue.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 622.1 (1991): 383-391. ↩︎
  5. Khmil, Mariya, Stephan Khmil, and Mariya Marushchak. “Hormone imbalance in women with infertility caused by polycystic ovary syndrome: is there a connection with body mass index?.” Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences 8.B (2020): 731-737. ↩︎
  6. Berbic, Marina, and Ian S. Fraser. “Immunology of normal and abnormal menstruation.” Women’s Health 9.4 (2013): 387-395. ↩︎

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Anagha Dahake

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