Abstract Polarization dependent loss (PDL) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD) coexist in an optical network system. So, PMD emulation is normally complicated by PDL. In this paper, an analysis of the implications of PDL on PMD statistics is done using a 35-PMF section emulator. The first order PMD (FO-PMD) and second order PMD (SO-PMD) statistics of the emulator with a PDL value of 0.06dB approached the theoretical Maxwellian and Foschini et al. distributions respectively. On increasing the PDL value to 4.59dB, both FO-PMD and SO-PMD statistics were distorted away from the above theoretical distributions even with presence of high number of random mode coupling sites.