30 Useful Facts about Hirsutism

When trying to learn more about hirsutism, its causes, treatment and natural remedies, many get overwhelmed by the huge amount of information available. We’ve compiled a list with useful facts to help you with your research.

No matter whether you’re just been diagnosed or are already in the middle of a treatment, we’re sure our compilation below will be useful for you and help you learn something new!

  1. The most common cause for hirsutism is PCOS.

    According the the AAFP polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) accounts for 72 to 82 percent of hirsutism cases in women.

  2. The Ferriman-Gallwey score helps to quantify hirsutism.

    Ferriman and Gallwey originally published this visual method of quantifying hirsutism in women in 1961. The Ferriman-Gallwey has evolved since.

  3. Androgens are present in all women.

    While it is normal for women to have androgens in the system, an excess amount of those hormones can cause hirsutism and its symptoms like acne and male pattern hair growth.

  4. Hirsutism often runs in the family.

    Studies suggest that hirsutism can be inherited. If a woman suffers from hirsutism herself, she has a higher likelihood to pass it on to her daughter as well.

  5. According to estimations up to 10% of women have some form of hirsutism.

    The number of women affected by hirsutism is between 5 and 10 percent, which is rather high. Many of them, however, are undiagnosed and struggle with the symptoms.

  6. Harnaam Kaur used to struggle with her PCOS and hirsutism symptoms. Today she is a body activist.

    Harnaam Kaur was diagnosed with PCOS and hirsutism early in life. The condition’s symptoms caused her to become suicidal. She has managed to overcome her struggles and has become an advocate for those struggling with excess hair growth.

  7. Some celebrities have openly admitted to PCOS and hirsutism.

    Celebrities like Jillian Michaels, Victoria Beckham and Jools Oliver have openly spoken about their PCOS symptoms.

  8. Spearmint tea has anti-androgenic properties and can be a useful supplement.

    Spearmint tea has helped women in a study to lower testosterone levels and lessen hirsutism symptoms in only 30 days. 

  9. Estrogen and progesterone have strong anti-androgen effects.

    Because of their anti-androgen effects, estrogen or progesterone based hormonal hirsutism treatments are common.

  10. Stress can cause excess adrenal androgens.

    Stress can lead to a hormonal imbalance and in consequence to hirsutism, which is caused by excess male hormones in women. According to a study about 50% of PCOS patients have excess adrenal androgens

  11. Besides excess hair growth, hirsutism often causes acne.

    Male pattern hair growth is not the only symptom of hirsutism. Many women diagnosed with the condition also struggle with cystic acne.

  12. Obese hirsutism patients are often advised to lose weight.

    Obese patients are often advised to diet and return to a normal body weight. Excess body weight can lead to a hormonal imbalance. 

  13. Recent trials suggest that melatonin might help those affected by PCOS and hirsutism.

    Based on the results of a pilot study conducted in 2018, melatonin could be considered a potential future therapeutic agent for women affected by PCOS.

  14. Trials suggest that yoga can help hormonal imbalance.

    Besides its overall positive effect on fitness and body awareness, trials suggest that yoga might help normalize hormonal imbalances, which makes it more effective than other exercises for women hoping to treat PCOS and hirsutism symptoms.

  15. According to studies, women who smoke have higher levels of testosterone.

    It is not news that smoking has a negative impact on overall health. According to studies, it also linked to higher testosterone levels.

  16. Birth control is a common treatment for hirsutism.

    The estrogen in birth control helps to balance the androgen hormones in the system and can help reduce the symptoms of hirsutism.

  17. Lavender and tea tree oil may help reduce symptoms.

    Early studies suggest that topical application of lavender oil and tea tree oil may help to reduce the symptoms of mild hirsutism.

  18. Many girls and women still feel uncomfortable talking to their doctor about excess hair growth.

    Since many girls and women feel embarrassed and don’t discuss symptoms like male pattern hair growth with their doctor, a lot of hirsutism and PCOS cases remain undiagnosed.

  19. Spironolactone is the most commonly used anti-androgen for treating hirsutism.

    The most commonly prescribed anti-androgen for treating hirsutism is spironolactone. It should only be taken in combination with birth control, as it can cause birth defects

  20. Many women hide their symptoms even from their immediate family.

    Hirsutism is still stigmatized and many women don’t feel comfortable discussing their symptoms with their doctor. Some even hide the condition from their partners and immediate family.

  21. Hypertrichosis and hirsutism are different conditions.

    Hypertrichosis causes an excess amount of hair growth all over the body and not just male pattern hair growth. Hirsutism is a type of hypertrichosis exclusive to women and children.

  22. Hirsutism can be idiopathic.

    While the leading cause for hirsutism is PCOS, sometimes hirsutism can also be idiopathic, which means no specific cause can be determined. In such cases cosmetic treatment is often recommended to address the symptoms of hirsutism.

  23. PCOS is a common cause of hirsutism and a leading cause of infertility.

    70 – 80% of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) have hirsutism. Besides excess hair growth, many women who suffer from PCOS related hirsutism also struggle getting pregnant. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility.

  24. PCOS and hirsutism are linked to depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

    Studies have shown that due to symptoms of depression, suicide attempts are up to seven times more common in women with PCOS than other women.

  25. About 50% of women affected by PCOS go undiagnosed.

    It is estimated that 50% – 75% of women affected by PCOS go undiagnosed. Reasons for this are embarrassment and lack of knowledge regarding the disease and symptoms.

  26. There is a PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant that can help pay for laser hair removal.

    The PCOS Challenge Confidence Grant was created to help women struggling with PCOS related hair and skin issues. The grants are awarded in amounts of $500 to assist with the costs associated with laser hair removal, electrolysis and dermatology treatments.

  27. September is PCOS Awareness Month.

    PCOS and hirsutism are relatively unknown conditions. September is PCOS Awareness Month and the PCOSAA organizes various events and campaigns to raise awareness.

  28. Laser hair removal is the preferred removal therapy.

    According to studies, for women who choose hair removal therapy, photoepilation with lasers is the preferred choice. 

  29. Not all hair is the same.

    There is a difference between vellus hair and terminal hair. Terminal hair is dark, coarse and thick and the kind of hair most women with hirsutism struggle with.

  30. It can take a year to see results, even if you have all the right treatment in place.

    Unfortunately there is no easy fix for hirsutism, PCOS and their symptoms. Even with the right treatment in place, it may still take many months to see an improvement. It is possible to resort to cosmetic treatments, but you should still talk to your doctor to understand what causes the hormonal imbalance.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Vic - May 17, 2019

Great post! It’s nice to know about this. I’ll share this to my wife as she loves reading articles like this. Thanks for posting!

Au - May 18, 2019

Always choose a healthy diet. Be fit and healthy!


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