“Signs and Symptoms of Hirsutism | FAQs from Women,” answers 10 frequently asked questions related to Hirsutism.
Hirsutism, excessive or superfluous hair growth in women is very common. And, hormone imbalance, especially in women, often leads to this condition.
Are you afflicted and struggling to find answers? Do you know someone else trying to cope? You may be the bridge or support to help a family member or friend.
What is Hirsutism? | Excessive Hair Growth.
Hirsutism is a condition common in as many as 1 out of 10 women in the USA, according to the National Center for Information (NCBI).
It is identified by male-pattern hair growth. For example: facial hair on chin, neck, and upper lip also chest, back, and legs in women. It is considered unnatural and unsightly in many cultures.
Hormones sometimes act contrary to their natural function. And this may result in the over production of male hormones, androgens, in women.
On the other hand, small amounts are normal compared to the amounts present in men.
The hair in hirsute individuals are darker and thicker in the areas of concern. For this reason, it’s quite noticeable and draws more attention than anyone is comfortable with.
What Causes Hirsutism? | It’s Complicated.
There are quite a few reasons, mainly a hormonal imbalance. So if your hormones seem to be out of control, it could make you emotional on several levels.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is the most common cause of hirsutism, and is only one side effect of PCOS. Others are multiple cysts on the ovary, irregular menstruation, infertility, and obesity.
- Hormone Imbalance: The adrenal glands produce an excessive or abnormal amount of sex hormones, which indicate male and female hair growth pattern.
- Tumors: Some tumors in the ovaries or adrenal gland can cause hirsutism by secreting cortisol. This is a hormone that controls some of our emotions.
- Heredity: Certain members in one family can be affected by hirsutism, meaning they carry the genes.
- Medication: Hirsutism can also be a side effect of some oral or topical medication through skin-to-skin contact. These are used to treat endometriosis, which affects the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and pelvis lining.
There are also other conditions that show temporary signs of hirsutism:
- Adolescence: Androgens increase during this period of time for both male and female. Hence, the fine vellus hair gets thicker becoming terminal or more permanent hair.
- Pregnancy: So many changes take place during this period of time, and what appears to be a case of hirsutism may be short lived. Subsequently, things get back to normal.
- Menopause: This is usually a very stressful time for most women. Hirsutism is also sometimes a part of the journey but ends after a while.
What Are Some Signs and Symptoms of Hirsutism?
The most common sign is facial hair on women, while obesity is another feature in some cases. But the underlying reasons will be the determinant factor.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a combination of conditions that present themselves. And hirsutism belongs to this group.
What Role Does Genetics Play in Hirsutism?
Genetics sometimes play a role in women developing hirsutism. It affects several generations although not every female member of the family will be affected. They either don’t carry the genes or the genes aren’t dominant.
Are Only Women Affected by Hirsutism?
Women are generally diagnosed with hirsutism, although some men have excessive hair growth which may appear to be abnormal. Furthermore, what is abnormal to some people and cultures is quite acceptable and embraced by others.
Also, women and men with excessive hair growth are referred to as being hirsute.
When Should I Be Concerned About Facial Hair?
A woman displaying facial hair may not be affected by hirsutism. On the contrary, it could be a temporary or very mild case due to stress, some drugs, pregnancy, or menopause.
So, if it appears to be abnormal for you, get advice from your doctor, dermatologist, or endocrinologist. It’s best to control any condition that may be caused by something even more serious.
I’m Overweight. Should I Be Concerned?
Your out-of-control weight gain could indicate you’re afflicted with hirsutism. But other signs may point to a link between the two. Furthermore, obesity and hirsutism are both side effects of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Get diagnosed by a specialist if your efforts to control your weight gain isn’t helping. You may also consider working with a nutritionist to ensure you’re on the right path.
Which Medical Doctor Specializes in Hirsutism?
An endocrinologist specializes in hirsutism and other diseases pertaining to hormonal imbalance.
And a dermatologist handles hair and skin conditions. So he or she may be the first to diagnose your symptoms and refer you to a endocrinologist.
What Is the Connection Between Hirsutism and Irregular Menstruation?
Individuals suffering from hirsutism may also have irregular menstruation. And this may be linked to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). That is the main cause of both hirsutism and irregular menstruation.
Should I Remove My Facial Hair and Forget About Other Symptoms?
Facial hair in women could be an indication of a deeper problem which needs attention. Although facial hair is the cosmetic side, there may be an underlying condition caused by hormonal imbalance.
Therefore, efforts made to remove hair in isolation of treating the main cause may be futile. It could also result in more serious complications if ignored.
There are several hair-removal methods including electrolysis, laser hair removal, waxing, tweezing, and shaving. And each method has its pros and cons. Click here for more information.
In Closing | Other Resources
So, here’s the thing: “Signs and Symptoms of Hirsutism | FAQs from Women,” is meant to answer some of the questions you may have.
Much of the information found on the subject is written in medical jargon. So non-medical individuals would find it difficult to understand.
This website was created to address topics related to hirsutism. Check out other articles to get more of your questions answered and to be informed.
You may have concerns that are not addressed here. Please feel free to leave your questions or comments below. I will do my best to address them.
Here are some of the resources I used in my research: