Is Your Excess Body Hair Caused By PCOS?


Excess body hair can just be down to our genes, but in some cases it can be a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (POCS). Read on for some advice on recognising when your excess hair could be a sign of PCOS.

excessive hair and pcos

Excess Body Hair


Body hair is normal for women and most of us will have some darker, coarser hairs appearing in places where we don’t want it. The most common locations include the back, chest, face, stomach and arms. Some women will only have a few stray hairs in a small number of locations, but others can have large patches of hair in several parts of the body. For many women, unwanted body hair is just normal growth caused by their genes, but in some cases it can be a sign of the hormonal imbalances caused by polycystic ovaries.

Is PCOS to Blame?


Signs that your excess hair could be due to PCOS include:

  • The hair appeared at an unusual time, rather than during puberty or as you approach the menopause. Symptoms of polycystic ovaries are usually spotted in your 20s or 30s, when you are unlikely to be growing much new body hair (though a little bit is normal).
  • The rest of your female relatives have less hair. If hairiness doesn’t run in your family, it’s less likely to be down to your genes.
  • You have other symptoms that could be caused by polycystic ovaries, such as: irregular periods, thinning hair on your head, weight gain, or acne. However, PCOS affects everyone differently so you might not notice any other symptoms.

What You Can Do About It?


If you have excess hair that you think is linked to PCOS or you’re experiencing any other symptoms, the best option is to consult a gynaecologist. A specialist should be able to quickly identify the cause and recommend the right treatment approach. Getting treatment for polycystic ovaries may help to alleviate the symptoms, including excess hair growth. However, some women do still suffer from excess body hair despite treatment. You may need to rely on waxing or cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal if you want to get rid of body hair.

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