The arrival of PCOS in women is signalled by various symptoms, some of which are seen & some are deep-rooted. Every face of PCOD is equally important & interlinked. Every thread interlinks and so is excessive body and facial hair. This is called ‘Hirsutism’.
Hirsutism is indicated by coarse, black hair on the face, chest, abdomen, back, upper arms, and upper legs. Hirsutism is a sign of androgen hormone-related medical problems. Androgen is the primary cause of this.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of androgens, is the most common cause of hirsutism, and may affect up to 10% of women. Hirsutism is a common condition that improves well with medical treatment. Prompt medical attention is important because delaying treatment can have prominent effects, which makes the treatment more difficult and may have long-term health consequences.
Hirsutism is more than hair growth which impacts overall personality.
Understanding the process of normal hair growth will us understand hirsutism better. Each strand of hair grows from a follicle beneath the surface of your skin. Hair will continue to develop as long as these follicles are not completely damaged, even if the shaft, or the part of the hair that appears above the skin, is plucked or removed. Except for the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands, hair follicles cover every surface of your body. Of the approximately 50 million hair follicles covering your body, one fifth is located on your scalp. After birth, the number of hair follicles does not increase, but it decreases gradually until around the age of 40.
There are two types of hair in adults: vellus and terminal. Vellus hair is silky, fine, and usually colorless, with a short length. Terminal hair is long, coarse, dark, and sometimes curly. Vellus hair covers the face, chest, and back of most women, giving the appearance of “hairless” skin. Terminal hair covers the face and body in most men. Both men and women have terminal hair on their scalps, pubic areas, and armpits. Both men and women have a mixture of vellus and terminal hair on their lower arms and legs. If you have excessive hair growth mainly on your lower legs and forearms, you don’t have hirsutism and hormonal therapy won’t help.
Excessive face and body hair are generally caused by an excess of androgens in the body. Males and women both have androgens, but men have significantly larger amounts of physiologically active androgens. Androgens are predominantly produced by the testes and adrenal glands in men. Androgens are produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. Estrogen reduces the effect of androgens in women to some extent.
Androgens cause oily skin and acne by increasing sebum production. Ovulation and menstruation can be irregular or absent when there are too many androgens in the body. Extremely high androgen levels, such as those found in the presence of a tumor, can result in male-like baldness, a deeper voice, increased muscular mass, clitoris enlargement, and decreased breast size.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic hormonal condition that affects 5%–10% of women. PCOS is diagnosed using a combination of clinical, ultrasound, and laboratory features because of its variable nature. PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of androgen. It is one of the most common causes of hirsutism. Multiple small follicles develop in the ovaries in women with PCOS, resulting in cysts, hence the term “polycystic.” These small cysts are immature ovarian follicles that haven’t matured enough to ovulate.
You should be as precise as possible when describing your symptoms to your physician. Your medical history and physical examination may point to PCOS. To confirm the diagnosis and exclude certain other associated conditions, your physician may measure your blood hormone levels. If you have irregular menstrual bleeding, your doctor may do an endometrial biopsy to ensure that your uterus is free of precancerous cells.
You should be tested for PCOS if you’ve had menstrual irregularities and/or increased hirsutism since puberty.
Hirsutism is a common condition that may usually be successfully managed with medicines. Electrolysis or laser treatment can be used to permanently decrease or remove any remaining unwanted hair after medical treatment. If previous female members of your family have had excessive hair growth, keep an eye out for early indications of hirsutism in yourself and your children, particularly during adolescence.
Hirsutism is frequently a result of PCOS. When hirsutism and PCOS are diagnosed at an early age, they are easier to treat. Hirsutism, acne, irregular or heavy menstrual periods, lack of ovulation, and infertility are all symptoms of PCOS. Diabetes, uterine cancer, high cholesterol, and heart disease are all related to this condition. Despite the fact that the causes of PCOS remain unclear, progress has been made in both understanding and treating the condition. Your goals and concerns may be addressed in a very short amount of time if you are diagnosed with hirsutism or PCOS, and treatment is generally successful.
Nevertheless, alternative treatments may offer some relief, but evidence-based modern medicine offers deeper views on causes & concerns, addresses the short term and long term impacts of PCOS.
You should get a consultation from a Gynaecologist to address hirsutism in totality and face the world with new vigour and energy.
Beat the Hirsutism with winning stroke of evidence-based medicine and expert recommendations.