4 Types of PCOS : Know Which One You Have {Take this Easy Quiz}

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 @

Read Time : 12 minutes

Have you been wondering what are the different types of PCOS and how to treat PCOS naturally at home?

This ultimate guide contains easy answers to this question and so much more.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Early symptoms of PCOS and how to know if you have it
  • Causes and Effects of PCOS
  • Types of PCOS and how they’re different
  • The best available Treatment Options for you and more..

And last but not least, you’ll also get a Quiz at the end to identify exactly which type of PCOS you have and how to fix it.

Let’s get started!

4 Types of PCOS - Which one is yours {Take this Easy Quiz}
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Chapter 1

What is PCOS? How can you diagnose the symptoms of PCOS on your own

Chapter 2

What are the Causes of PCOS in females? Learn about its effects and types.

Chapter 3

Type 1 - Inflammatory PCOS 

Chapter 4

Type 2 - Insulin resistant PCOS

Chapter 5

Type 3 - Pill Induced PCOS

Chapter 6

Type 4 - Adrenal PCOS aka ‘Hidden PCOS’

Chapter 7

Types of PCOS Quiz : Find out your type


What is PCOS? How can you diagnose the symptoms of PCOS on your own

1 in every 10 women suffer from PCOS, however, about 50% of these women are left undiagnosed.

In this chapter, you’ll get to know if you’re one of them with the help of 3 symptoms that indicate the presence of PCOS. You’ll also understand what this condition is; so that you can deal with it before it's too late.

Let's get started right away.

What is PCOS. How can you diagnose the symptoms of PCOS on your own
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What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) refers to a condition that deals with disorders of female hormones. It occurs due to an imbalance in the endocrine system of women of reproductive age.

To put it in simple terms, it’s essentially caused as a result of dysfunction by the hormones released within the internal glands of your body.

The production of excessive testosterone (the male sex hormone) in the female body is one of the many effects of PCOS. It causes problems from missed or delayed periods to acne, weight gain and excessive body hair.

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So how do you know if you’ve got PCOS?

Diagnosis of PCOS: Which Symptoms confirm the presence of PCOS?

Unlike other hormonal conditions, PCOS is not very hard to diagnose. Even upon noticing the symptoms, you might end up ignoring them due to lack of knowledge. You might pass off most symptoms as side effects of other diseases or simply attribute them to changes in lifestyle.

While your lifestyle has a large role to play in dealing with PCOS, it's not the only reason for it nor the only solution to deal with it.

So, let's look at what are the first signs of PCOS that can help you diagnose it?

Consistently Abnormal Or Irregular Periods

One of the most common and early symptoms of PCOS are frequent and regular irregularities in your period. Missing one or two periods without pregnancy doesn’t immediately lead to this prognosis. But if you face problems with your menstrual cycle repeatedly which includes, but is not limited to, irregular flow, excessive pain, abnormally long cycles, extremely heavy flow or skipped cycles; then that raises the red flag of PCOS for you.

Presence of Polycystic Ovaries

Another initial sign of PCOS is the presence of cysts on your ovaries. This might cause enlargement in your ovarian area.  The presence of cysts is not a necessary condition for suffering with PCOS. However it’s usually there and indicates the need to dig deeper.. A routine ultrasound every couple of months can help you check for this symptom.

Increased Male Hormones

Androgens (male hormones) are produced in excessive quantities in the bodies of women dealing with PCOS. Bodily changes like acne problems, increase in facial and bodily hair, decrease of hair on the head and patchy skin indicate the same. The magnitude of these symptoms can vary in people. There could be other symptoms depending on your body balance and hormone structure.

Early Symptoms of PCOS Infographic
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Apart from the major and usual symptoms that indicate PCOS, the prolonged presence of signs like depression, skin allergies, sleeping disorders and changes in your blood pressure also contribute as early signals of PCOS.

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Difference between PCOD and PCOS

The main difference between PCOD and PCOS is that there’s no ‘real’ difference between the two at all, apart from their names. Contrary to popular belief, they both mean the same thing and are used interchangeably

While you might find several resources that claim to differentiate between the two, there’s nothing substantial. You may have heard that PCOS is more dangerous than PCOS and what not. 

But if you try to understand the two conditions, everything ranging from the causes, the effects as well as the treatment alternatives are not just similar but identical! 

The condition was earlier referred to as PCOD widely. As the symptoms and effects were explored further overtime, it was found to be more serious than just a disorder. Hence, the name was changed to PCOS, i.e. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

So make sure that you don’t get misguided by the PCOS vs PCOD debate, because there’s nothing to be found there. There are no two conditions here to differentiate between, they’re the same in all aspects.


What are the Causes of PCOS in females? Learn about its effects and types

Now that you know how to identify the early signs of PCOS, let’s find out why it's caused in the first place.

In this chapter, you’ll learn about the 5 specific causes of PCOS in females. You'll also get a peek into the 4 distinct types of PCOS and it's risks; so that you can deal with them efficiently.

Let’s go!

Causes of PCOS in females. Effects and types of PCOS
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Causes of PCOS

PCOS in females is not because of a single cause per se. Since your symptoms may vary from other women, there isn’t a definite common reason that can be claimed as the cause in all women just like there is no specific treatment of PCOS for all women alike.

However, there are some causes that are probable initiators of PCOS, so let’s have a look at them.

Surplus Insulin Levels

The primary source of transporting glucose in your body is provided by Insulin, which helps fulfill the energy requirements of the body. The efficacy of insulin is reduced when the various cells of your body become resistant to it. Thus, it causes a rise in your blood sugar above normal levels.

This leads to an increase of insulin production in the body which in turn increases androgen levels, leading to the rise of PCOS. Obesity leads to insulin resistance and contributes to an overproduction of the hormone. Thus, this could be one of the foremost causes of PCOS in a female.

Hereditary Problems

Although the primary contributors to PCOS are the hormones of your body, many medical professionals believe that your genes might have a role to play in the initiation of the syndrome.

Genetics have a major role in shaping the functioning of your body and contribute towards hormonal balance. Since, hormones play a major role in instigating PCOS, there is an indirect relation in this aspect. Therefore the hereditary composition of your body can be attributed as one of the causes of PCOS. 

Low Grade Inflammation

If you have Inflammation in your body, it could be one of the most common causes of PCOS and can be called the root of most of the other causes, signs and effects. It facilitates the production of androgens in the body which are a male dominant hormones and hence, leads to PCOS.

Dietary Reasons

Another cause of PCOS is due to overconsumption of calories in your body that eventually leads to excess fat gain and possibly, obesity. If your intake of carbohydrates and sugars is excessive, insulin levels in your body rise, which ties into the first point mentioned above. Therefore, a poor, imbalanced diet can be one of the major causes of PCOS.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our own FREE 7 Day PCOS Diet Plan with super delicious and easy to follow recipes.  You can also build your very own customized plan with the comprehensive guide on PCOS Meal Planning: 7 Easy Steps to Make Your Own PCOS Meal Plan! This way, you can not only cater to your tastes but also lay more focus on YOUR problem areas with PCOS.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle which includes unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity and an inconsistent sleep schedule contribute to difficulty in breaking down excess calories in your body resulting in fat gain. Inactivity of the body also leads to muscle atrophy which reduces the metabolic rate of your body. It also increases the chances of gaining weight and causing PCOS.

Causes of PCOS Infographic
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Side Effects of PCOS and Associated Risks

Now that you’ve learned about the causes of PCOS, let’s move on to the effects and risks associated with the disease. PCOS risks the normal functioning of your body and increases your chances of contracting other diseases.

Like any other condition or disorder, PCOS could have many ill effects on your body. These might vary from woman to woman but the intensity of these effects and associated risks can have a severe impact if not catered to properly. To begin with the treatment of PCOS, it is first important for you to deal with the effects that have been caused in your body so far.

PCOS has a lot of impact on a woman from not only the health aspect but also from the mental and emotional aspect.

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The complications that can arise in your body due to PCOS include:

  1. Infertility or higher chances of miscarriages.
  2. Increase in blood sugar levels, leading to Prediabetes or Diabetes.
  3. Endometrial Cancer, which is caused as a result of thickening of your uterine lining. It forms in the absence of regular shedding during periods.
  4. Sleep Apnea, which is the pause in breathing during sleep, caused as a result of being overweight. The chances of this condition could increase by more than 5-10 times in you because of PCOS.
  5. Mental Illnesses, including depression and anxiety are amongst the major effects of PCOS.

With this, you know what PCOS is, its symptoms, causes and effects. Now let's move on to the most important aspect of this guide, the various types of PCOS, and learn how to identify each one of them. 

4 Types of PCOS: What Are They?

More and more women are learning about PCOS and even getting diagnosed for it. But you cannot get the right treatment for it unless you identify the specific type of PCOS you are dealing with.

There are 4 types of PCOS, each having similar yet quite different causes and effects, listed below:

  1. Inflammatory PCOS
  2. Insulin resistant PCOS
  3. Pill Induced PCOS
  4. Hidden PCOS or Adrenal PCOS

Let’s now uncover all of these types of PCOS in depth in the following chapters. 

The 4 Types of PCOS Infographic
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Type 1 - Inflammatory PCOS

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the first type of PCOS - INFLAMMATORY PCOS.

You’ll learn about the early signals for diagnosis, the effects it leads to and some measures to treat the condition. You’ll also understand the causes and risks associated with Inflammatory PCOS and how to deal with them.

So, let’s get started.

Types of PCOS - Inflammatory PCOS
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What is Inflammatory PCOS?

You must remember low-grade inflammation as one of the causes of PCOS, so this type will be easy to understand. Consistent and prolonged inflammation of the ovarian gland produce excessive amounts of testosterone in your body.

Stress, toxic waste in the body and the consumption of dietary inflammatory products like gluten are the major causes of Inflammatory PCOS.

You should keep your eye open for frequent headaches, pain in the joints, derma problems and constant fatigue or tiredness. These could be indicators for the Inflammatory PCOS type.

An increase in your blood test results for diabetes, or CRP sensitivity levels, are potential signs of Inflammatory PCOS.

In the upcoming section, you’ll get to know about some treatment options or cautionary practices for dealing with Inflammatory PCOS.

Practices to deal with Inflammatory PCOS {Some Preventive Measures}

There are no guaranteed measures that can be adopted to “cure” PCOS. But there are a couple of practices to help you deal with the symptoms and control PCOS from worsening.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

As mentioned earlier, one of the causes of Inflammatory PCOS is consuming foods that trigger inflammation in the body. One of the best ways to control inflammation is to avoid such inflammatory foods.

A few examples of inflammatory foods include sugary high fructose corn syrup, trans fat rich food, vegetable oils and refined carbs like bread and pasta. You can go a step further and follow a proper PCOS Diet Plan with healthier and tastier alternatives.

Increase the Consumption of Anti Inflammatory Foods

You can make certain additions to your diet to reduce the inflammation caused in your body. Make sure to increase the consumption of anti-inflammatory items like turmeric and make them a long term addition in your diet. You can also incorporate berries, grapes, avocados and green tea in your daily meal plan. Don’t forget to refer to the List of foods for PCOS: 8 Best food items for Everyday PCOS meals!

Conscious focus on Improving Gut health

It is vital to take efforts in increasing the gut immunity of your body. This includes imperative focus on maintaining a balance of bacteria, strengthening the threshold for dealing with bad bacteria and maintaining enzymes in your body. Eating fiber rich food and avoiding stress can help you do the same.

The above mentioned measures will help you as a precaution. They will also contribute towards lessening the impact already caused by Inflammatory PCOS. Further on, you’ll be looking at the remaining 3 types of PCOS.

Types of PCOS - Inflammatory PCOS Infographic
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Type 2 - Insulin Resistant PCOS

In this chapter, you’ll get to know about the most common among the types of PCOS: Insulin Resistant PCOS

Increase in insulin levels in your body is one of the major causes of PCOS. So here, you will get to find out how resistance to insulin causes PCOS and what are the various treatment measures that can be adopted by you to deal with it.

Types of PCOS - Insulin Resistant PCOS
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What is Insulin resistant PCOS?

Insulin Resistant PCOS is the most common amongst the 4 types of PCOS and is found in close to 70% women suffering from PCOS.

In this type of PCOS, the cells of your body don’t respond well to insulin. They can’t use the glucose properly from your blood for energy. Therefore, your body has to overcompensate by increasing the production of insulin. As a by-product of that, the level of male hormones generated in your body also multiplies.

The early signs include sudden weight loss, frequent fatigue, and out of time food cravings.

In essence, the symptoms of Insulin resistant PCOS are similar to those of prediabetes and diabetes. Regular blood sugar tests on seeing these signs helps confirm the diagnosis.

Other signs include bodily changes like sudden increase in acne or excessive body hair. To learn more, check out PCOS Facial Hair: Know the Causes and 3 Best Fixes to try NOW!

Practices to deal with Insulin Resistant PCOS {Some Preventive Measures}

The best way to combat Insulin Resistant PCOS is indeed to control the insulin levels within your body. Following are some measures and practices that will help you achieve the goal.

A big NO to SUGAR

The most important change to deal with Insulin Resistant PCOS is to minimize the intake of sugar and sugar related products. Consistent efforts in this area can work wonders and help massively in controlling this type of PCOS. It’s also advisable to reduce the consumption of carbs and include gluten free products in your diet. Instead, resort to PCOS snacks which are a healthy and nutritious way to fulfill your cravings.

Lifestyle Change

If you’re suffering from Insulin Resistant PCOS, you need to shift to a better and healthier lifestyle. Make sure you incorporate a balanced diet with focus on fiber and protein rich food. Keep your carbohydrates and sugar intake in check. Having a good sleep schedule with at least 8 hours of sleep and a consistent bedtime for restoration of your body is imperative. 

Magnesium Supplementation

Magnesium deficiency is quite common with PCOS. Balancing magnesium levels is extremely important for regulating insulin resistance and improving your sleep cycle as part of your lifestyle change. While consuming magnesium rich foods should definitely be your go-to, it’s often not enough. Opting for magnesium based supplements is the best option in such a case. 

Bio Optimizers’ Magnesium Breakthrough is a complete and wholesome magnesium supplement that not only fulfills your nutritional deficiency but also provides several benefits beyond that. As one of the best magnesium supplements, it primarily includes improving your sleep cycle and as a result, preventing your blood sugar levels from going haywire.

Magnesium Breakthrough is also great for fat-burning with Insulin resistant PCOS. Thus, make sure to definitely give it a try.

PCOS workout

Lastly, the right kind of workout is extremely essential to fight Insulin resistant PCOS. The correct combination of cardio, HIIT, and strengthening exercises will help you strike a balance in dealing with Insulin Resistant PCOS.  To understand more about the right kind of workout, refer to Best Exercises for PCOS: The Ultimate Guide!

The most important thing while suffering with Insulin Resistant PCOS is to deal with your weight issues. There are several approaches that you can adopt to lose weight with PCOS. Pick the right approach and stay committed to it for quick and effective results.

Furtheron, find out if you have any other type of PCOS to confirm the diagnosis, and how you can treat them.

Types of PCOS - Insulin Resistant PCOS Infographic
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Type 3 - Pill Induced PCOS

Having covered the two broad types of PCOS, you’ll now get to know about a type of PCOS that is a secret side effect of one of the most common forms of medication women take.

In this chapter, find out about Pill Induced PCOS and how you can deal with it.

Types of PCOS - Pill Induced PCOS
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What is Pill Induced PCOS?

Pill Induced PCOS, also known as post pill PCOS is caused as a result of suddenly stopping the oral contraceptive pill. The cases of this type of PCOS are constantly on the rise. The pill, being a contraceptive, affects your hormones and often causes an imbalance. 

The main identification criteria of Pill Induced PCOS is that the primary symptoms of PCOS arise only after the birth control pill is used and were absent previously.

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Since the primary motive of the pill is to control ovulation, this type of PCOS is often temporary. As the effects of the pill reduce in your body, so do the effects related to PCOS. In most cases, these effects reverse after your body strikes its natural balance. But in some adverse cases, these may prolong for long periods of time and may need extra efforts to get better.

Another indicator is that the severity of the symptoms is often lower in case of Pill Induced PCOS. 

A good diet and adapting a good lifestyle can help in speeding up the road to recovery for PCOS.

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Unlike other types of PCOS, dealing with Pill Induced PCOS is easier as it’s caused by external stimuli.

You’ll now get to know about the last type of PCOS in the upcoming chapter, which is also the most hard to diagnose type. In fact, this type is also called ‘Hidden PCOS’ because of how often it tends to go undiagnosed. Not anymore!

Types of PCOS - Pill Induced PCOS Infographic
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Type 4 - Adrenal PCOS aka ‘Hidden PCOS’

PCOS is amongst the highest occurring disorders amongst women and the victims of this disease are constantly rising.

The alarming part is that you might have PCOS and not even know it! This leaves no scope for treatment or in depth diagnosis!

In this chapter, you’ll learn about the fourth and least known type of PCOS - Adrenal PCOS aka ‘Hidden PCOS’. You’ll also get to know about it’s adverse effects and how you can adopt treatment measures to deal with it.

Types of PCOS - Adrenal PCOS
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What is Adrenal PCOS?

Adrenal PCOS, also known as Hidden PCOS, is a simple yet complex condition. Now, you must be wondering what exactly does ‘Hidden PCOS’ mean? It’s simply a type of PCOS that is caused by excess stress levels in your body.

Early signs of Hidden PCOS may resemble those of the other 3 types, but the effects and causes are not the same. Other diseases like Thyroid dysfunction or deficiencies of important minerals like zinc and iodine in your body can also cause it. Once you deal with the primary problem, the effects of Hidden PCOS also start to subside.

The reason why it is called Hidden or Adrenal PCOS is that everything in your body seems to appear normal on the surface. However due to other diseases or rise in stress levels, the androgen levels in your body increase, leading to the condition of PCOS. 

Practices to deal with Adrenal PCOS

{Some Preventive Measures}

To deal with Hidden PCOS, the following measures can prove to be extremely helpful for you:

Stress Management

Since it’s the foremost contributor to Adrenal PCOS, dealing with stress should be of utmost priority to you. There is no better way than taking charge of your mind and minimizing stress.

Take Rest

Get good sleep and avoid the consumption of caffeine and any other stimulants at least 4 hours before bed. It’s also advisable to temporarily lay low on exercises requiring high energy commitments. To cope with Hidden PCOS, it’s important that you get proper physical as well as mental rest. 

Types of PCOS - Adrenal PCOS Infographic
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Now that you’re aware of the 4 types of PCOS, the next and final section contains a simple Quiz to help you find out exactly which type of PCOS you have. 


Types of PCOS Quiz

You now know how different types of PCOS are caused and what are the available treatment options for each specific type of PCOS. However, even after knowing all of this, it can be confusing for you to diagnose yourself accurately.

In this chapter, you can take a short quiz to identify the specific type of PCOS that you’re dealing with; in just 2 minutes.

Let’s go!

Types of PCOS Quiz
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To find out about the specific type of PCOS you’re suffering from, just answer these few basic questions in the quiz below:

Once you get to know what exactly you’re dealing with, you can use the treatment options mentioned in the previous chapters with respect to each type of PCOS and fight with the effects that PCOS has on your body. 

Now it’s Your Turn

And this sums up your ultimate guide to the 4 types of PCOS and identifying the type that you have. Now that you know everything about your specific type of PCOS, it'll be much easier for you to deal with it.

Which type of PCOS do you have? And which treatment option will you adopt first?

Tell us with a quick comment down below 🙂

Now it's your turn - Comment Below
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  • Wow! It seems I’ve been struggling with inflammatory PCOS. I’ll definitely be changing my diet to a more anti inflammatory routine and adding probiotic fermented foods. I have been suffering some of my problems since adolescence but now at almost 40 I feel like I have some real hope. Thank you so much!

    • I’m SO glad you found this helpful! I hope you’ve downloaded the Inflammatory PCOS report that gets sent to your email right after taking the quiz. Try out all the suggestions mentioned in it for a week and please do report back here for an update on how that has helped your symptoms.

      And if you ever need any help or further guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us either here or by simply replying to one of our emails. We’re here for you, always! 🙂

  • Ok, here’s what I did. I cut all dairy out of my diet and cut way down on gluten. I added fermented foods like kimchi for gut health. For exercise all I did were some basic pilates and stretches. By the end of the week I was feeling less bloated. I measured my tummy and it was an inch smaller than usual. I also noticed my face was less oily and the slight tenderness I always seemed to feel in my breasts is subsiding. Thanks you for the wonderful information!

    • Definitely. Following the PCOS meal plan has helped in so many ways. I have to dress formally for work and every day my pantyhose felt like they were cutting me in half but with the reduction in bloating and inflammation I hardly feel anything now. It was also just good to get rid of the white carbs since so many of us PCOS girls are at risk for diabetes. Good luck, Kim!

  • I was diagnosed with PCOS 1 year ago. I have kept a diet and exercised for 5 months. It was the first time I have ovulated. Then, I have stopped everything and went back to unhealthy foods. Now i have started again and I am determined to reduce the symptoms and eventually fall pregnant!

    • The takeaway here should be that as long as you eat well, exercise and lead a healthy life… PCOS can be beaten!
      Don’t worry about the lapse from before, Deni. You’ve done this before and you can do it again. Keep at it and you’ll for sure get to where you were and even better! 🙂

  • Two years ago I came across FG4L and my life began to change instantly. I began to finally not just manage but beat the symptoms of my inflammatory PCOS. I’ve lost nearly sixty pounds. I have hips and a waistline. My skin is so much less oily and my overall mood is so much better! I had terrible brain fog for several years and that has improved too! For the first time in my life I feel beautiful, feminine and confident. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

      • I really couldn’t have done it without you. The information and inspiration I received from FG4L not only changed my life but saved it too. Reproductive issues run in my family: my mom had fibroids, one cousin had endo and there were several miscarriages as well. Sadly, we didn’t talk about these things openly back then but these days we can all empower each other with knowledge and that’s what you did for me and I want to do that for others. Thank you again.

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