PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. It is a complex condition that can cause various symptoms and health problems.
PCOS is characterized by multiple cysts or small follicles on the ovaries, which can interfere with normal ovarian function. These cysts are often visible on ultrasound but do not always show symptoms.
Common symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular periods: Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual cycles or may not have periods at all. This is because hormonal imbalances can interfere with the normal ovulation process.
- Excess androgen production: PCOS can cause increased levels of androgen (male hormones) in the body, leading to symptoms such as acne, male-pattern baldness and excess facial and body hair. This is often referred to as hirsutism.
- Insulin resistance: Many women with PCOS also have insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain, high blood sugar, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Other symptoms of insulin resistance may include fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulty getting pregnant: PCOS can interfere with ovulation and make conceiving more difficult. Women with PCOS may also be at increased risk of miscarriage.
- Weight gain: PCOS is often associated with weight gain, particularly in the abdominal area. This may be due to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.
- Skin problems: Women with PCOS may experience acne, oily skin, and dark patches of skin (acanthosis nigricans) on the neck, armpits, and groin.
- Mood changes: Hormonal imbalances can also affect mood and emotional well-being. Women with PCOS may experience depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
- Sleep disturbances: PCOS has been linked to sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, which can further impact overall health and well-being.
Causes of PCOS
The exact causes of PCOS are not fully understood. However, it is believed to be related to genetic and environmental factors. Some of the possible causes of PCOS include:
- Insulin resistance: Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps the body use glucose (sugar) for energy. Insulin resistance occurs when the body's cells become less sensitive to insulin, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This increase in insulin can stimulate the ovaries to produce more androgens, leading to the development of PCOS.
- Hormonal imbalances: PCOS is associated with an imbalance of several hormones, including insulin, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and androgen. LH and FSH are produced by the pituitary gland and help regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation. In women with PCOS, the ratio of LH to FSH is often higher than normal, which can interfere with ovulation.
- Genetics: There is evidence that PCOS may be hereditary, meaning it can be passed down through families. Some studies suggest that certain genes may play a role in developing PCOS. Still, more research is needed to understand the genetic factors involved.
- Inflammation: Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to various health problems, including insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. Some studies have suggested that PCOS may be associated with low-grade inflammation.
- Environmental factors: Certain environmental factors may also contribute to the development of PCOS. For example, exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, has been linked to hormonal imbalances and reproductive disorders.
How is PCOS associated with facial hair?
PCOS can cause increased levels of androgen in the body. Excess androgens can cause hair follicles to grow longer, thicker, and darker than normal. This can lead to unwanted hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and other body areas. Also known as hirsutism, it is a common symptom of PCOS, affecting up to 70% of women with the condition.
In addition to excess androgen, other hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS can contribute to facial hair.
It's important to note that not all women with PCOS will experience hirsutism, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely. Suppose one is experiencing unwanted hair growth or other symptoms associated with PCOS. In that case, it's important to talk to a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment available for facial hair caused by PCOS
Facial hair growth caused by PCOS can be treated through lifestyle changes, medication, and cosmetic procedures. Here are some of the most common treatments for hirsutism associated with PCOS:
Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular exercise can help to reduce insulin resistance. A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also help manage PCOS symptoms.
Several medications can be used to treat hirsutism associated with PCOS, including:
- Birth control pills: Oral contraceptives can help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels, improving hirsutism and other symptoms of PCOS.
- Anti-androgen medications: These medications block the effects of androgen on the body, reducing hirsutism and other symptoms associated with PCOS.
- Insulin-sensitizing medications: These medications, such as metformin, can help to reduce insulin resistance and improve hirsutism and other PCOS symptoms.
If hirsutism is particularly bothersome or persistent, several cosmetic procedures can help to reduce hair growth and improve appearance, including:
- Laser hair removal: This procedure uses a laser to target and destroy hair follicles, reducing hair growth over time.
- Electrolysis: Electrolysis uses a small electric current to destroy hair follicles, permanently reducing hair growth.
- Waxing or threading: These hair removal methods can be effective in the short term but do not provide permanent results.
Laser hair reduction (LHR) by UnCover
UnCover offers LHR treatment to remove facial hair permanently. This cosmetic procedure uses a laser to remove unwanted hair from the body. This treatment is becoming increasingly popular for managing excessive hair growth caused by conditions like PCOS.
What is the LHR process?
The laser in LHR targets the pigment in the hair follicle, which absorbs the light energy and converts it into heat. This heat damages the hair follicle, preventing it from producing new hair. Over time, this results in a permanent reduction in hair growth in the treated area.
The process of LHR typically involves the following steps:
- Preparation: The patient must shave the treatment area before the procedure and avoid sun exposure, waxing, or plucking for several weeks before treatment.
- Treatment: The laser is passed over the treatment area, emitting pulses of light that target the hair follicles. The duration of the treatment depends on the size of the area being treated. It typically ranges from a few minutes to an hour.
- Follow-up: Patients may experience redness, swelling, or itching in the treated area immediately after treatment, but this typically resolves within a few days. Multiple sessions are usually needed to achieve the desired results, spaced several weeks apart.
Cost of LHR-facial at UnCover
UnCover offers around eight different packages for LHR. Among the eight packages, face parts is one. UnCover LHR-facial starts at Rs. 1,800 for one session. Three sessions of Facial LHR will cost Rs. 5,250 (Rs. 1750/session), six sessions for Rs. 9,600 (Rs. 1600/session) and Rs. 12,800 for unlimited sessions for up to one year.
PCOS-related facial hair can be treated
PCOS is common in several women today. It can make them feel tired and unwell and cause other problems, such as facial hair. PCOS hair growth on the face is irritating but, thankfully, not untreatable. There are several permanent and temporary processes to remove unwanted facial hair. One of the most effective ones is laser hair reduction.
CTA: If you are tired of the PCOS beard and unwanted facial hair, UnCover is your ultimate and reliable destination. UnCover offers eight different packages of LHR treatment, including Facial LHR. The experienced medical practitioners at UnCover offer the best treatment for your skin and hair-related problem. So, connect with UnCover to book your appointment.