Awareness, Excess hair, Media, Newly diagnosed

How do you feel about excess facial hair?

That may sound like a really silly question… I mean, after all, what woman likes to have to be constantly removing hair from her face (not to mention other parts of the body)?!

As my role as Chair and PR manager of Verity I often get asked to participate in media interviews (radio, magazines and sometimes TV).  It’s not always about PCOS directly, but rather around a particular ‘symptom’ if you will, such as excess hair, infertility or hair loss.  These opportunities are a great way for us to be introducing the subject of PCOS not only to the media who can sometimes be very unaware, but also the public.  It help’s “connect the dots” for a lot of women.

My diagnoses with PCOS in 2005 came because I finally got off my butt to go and see my GP about my irregular cycles.  I didn’t go because I had a few hairs under my chin, or because I found I put on weight very easily and found it sometimes nigh on impossible to shift. 
My GP asked things such as, “do you have any excess hair on your face or body?” … “no” I answered, thinking that the hairs under my chin, on my big toes and bikini area were all hereditary.  “Do you get breakouts?” … at this point I was beginning to think my GP was a little nuts. Why was he asking me such things? We should be talking about my menstrual cycle!  It was only when the blood tests came back and he gave me the diagnosis of PCOS, a leaflet to take home (not forgetting that very common phrase that us PCOS women hear, “come back when you want to have a baby”), that the pieces of the jigsaw that I didn’t even really realise was there started fitting together.  It was a light bulb moment.

I had never heard of PCOS before I was diagnosed with it.  It was incredibly scary, as many of you will be able to relate with, but it was also somewhat of a relief to finally have an answer for the way things were they way they were.  My GP gave me a piece of paper he had printed out, he didn’t give me the name or website address of Verity or any other support group.  I had to find that for myself, and it took months for me to realise that there may have even been a support group I should try and find.

This is why I joined Verity as a Trustee in 2006.  With a background in PR and marketing, I wanted to do what I could to help other women like me… so that GPs would be able to recognise symptoms and put those pieces of the jigsaw together on our behalf so we didn’t have to, and so that when leaving with a diagnosis of PCOS, women would know that there is support available and where to go to get it.

I mention all of that to frame this post a bit. I was recently asked to sit on an advisory panel for a 1000+ women survey on excess facial hair and a then participate in a media campaign that will support the findings.  I jumped at it, and we had the first advisory board meeting on Tuesday evening.  Although the activity is not directly related to PCOS, as one of, if not the leading cause of excess facial hair in women it’s inevitable that PCOS will come up time and time again… making lots and lots of opportunities to spread awareness about the condition, it’s symptoms, impact on our lives and also of Verity.

I will be in a position to tell you more about the campaign in the coming weeks, but at this point I really wanted to reach out to you and ask that if excess hair is one of your PCOS symptoms (particularly excess facial hair) that you tell me how it makes you feel so that when I am speaking on your behalf that I am truly representing your views as best I can.

  • How do you feel about your facial hair?
  • What do you think other people think about your facial hair?
  • Does it stop you from forming intimate relationships?
  • How do you cope / manage it?
  • How do you think this aspect of your PCOS could be better supported by the NHS / your GP?

If you can spare a few minutes to either leave a comment below, or to email me your thoughts at then I would really appreciate it.

33 thoughts on “How do you feel about excess facial hair?”

  1. 1) I hate my facial hair (my hair under my chin and sideburns are blond), I pluck everyday. Yes, every day. Even though I know it would be diffcult for people to see it if I didn't pluck, I can still feel them with the tip of my index finger…so, I pluck.

    2) I'm afraid to know what other people think about my facial hair, especially my boyfriend of two years (no, he has no idea).

    3) No, but I also have treasure trail that I shave every other day or so so that affects me from being intimate. I would put my boyfriend's hands off my stomach if his hands gets close to it.

    4) I pluck, pluck, shave, and shave. And hope that nobody notices.

    5) There should be a cure created immediately….then me being insecure about my body would vanish. And I feel that the GP doesn't understand the severity of having hair on my what I want to call feminine body.

  2. How do you feel about your facial hair?

    I for one am dealing with it on a psychological as well as a physical level, it has made me severely depressed in the past. To the point that i now am recovering from mild agoraphobia/severe panic/very low self esteem.
    I do have to shave every day still. Always feeling very self conscious about if anyone can see the hair.

    What do you think other people think about your facial hair?

    Luckily i have a fiance that loves me for who i am and doesn't see me as a freak of nature. I also have a very supportive family behind me, they do joke that they are going to put me in the circus as the bearded lady, but it's all in fun. and it helps me deal with it- i find laughter is the best medicine for the self esteem.

    Does it stop you from forming intimate relationships?
    I was very scared in the early stages at what my fiance would think about it when i told him, i felt like i had to keep it secret- surely this did truly make me a freak..??
    But.. as covered in the question above, he accepts me for who i am and isn't bothered about the extra hair.

    How do you cope / manage it?

    I shave pretty much everywhere, but would like to get laser treatment for a more permanent solution. I also take hormones which stop my monthly cycle altogether (no bleeding at all)
    General weight loss from what i put on..

    How do you think this aspect of your PCOS could be better supported by the NHS / your GP?

    The hormone tablets have worked very well, and the weight loss is steady and i am being monitored for both of them..
    However, i feel that laser hair removal for women with pcos should be available on the NHS why should we with an actual syndrome which can be damaging to mental as well as physical health pay for treatment like that? when some people can get boob jobs on the NHS.. it's really beyond me..
    i feel if i got rid of the hair.. the other symptoms would be manageable.

  3. Only women with pcos know how other pcos sufferers feel. The worst thing for me is that i daren't leave the house until i have removed all my facial hair, i won't open the curtains or answer the door. The hardest thing about pcos is that it's a continual fight for treatment, from being diagnosed to getting help with the most often uttered words you need to lose weight first, then we can .. Pcos sufferers put on weight and it is the hardest thing in the world to lose the weight because our bodies don't respond in the same way that non pcos sufferers bodies do. I am so grateful to verity because it provides a source of comfort, support and education and you can talk to women that understand and are going through exactly the same as you.

  4. I feel suicidal at times. I hate it. I am blonde and so they aren't visable to anyone else, but I know they are there. I constantly touch my face to see where they are and I pluck them every single day.

    My husband has been very supportive and he kisses where they are saying I am beautiful, hairs or not. I see them as just another thing which makes me more like a man. No periods, no ovulating, hairs everywhere, losing the hair on my head, and not being able to get pregnant. I might as well be a man.

    He caught me once trying to drill a hole in a battery. I told him I needed the battery juice to put on my face. I told him I'd rather be scarred than have this.

    No one seems to understand what it's like (unless of course they have PCOS), even the medical profession are lacking in information.

    I HATE PCOS! It's ruining my life, I have no life, I've become a hermit. I'm scared of going out in case someone see's the hairs, or says anything about my lack of hair on the head.

    I wish I knew how to make this all better, but there are so many companies out there I have joined and spent money on promising cures of symptoms and “follow this diet” and they will help… it's all just a con! I can't afford to join anywhere else and I feel completely alone.

    I just found Verity, so I am hoping this will finally help me and not just be another failure waiting to happen!

  5. It's horrible, which is of course a massive understatment.

    I have to shave every day!!!! Sometimes twice if I go out in the evening. I also cannot leave the house etc without getting rid of the hair.

    It stops me from being, well, me. I would like to be care free but with PCOS and especially the facial hair it is impossible.

    Unless you have facial hair problems yourself then it is very difficult to put yourself in that position. Free laser hair removel for PCOS ladies would change so may lives for the better.

  6. I feel depressed, unattractive and powerless. I have hair all over my face just like normal people but I have a lot of hair under my chin, cheeks, and moustache area. I have to wax every 2 to 3 days but it does not get rid of all the hair. If I shave the area goes green, if I bleach it scars my skin as I have sensitive skin. Hair removal cream also burns my skin and I can feel the stubble after a few hours. I can always feel the stubble and I have scars from ingrowing hairs caused by waxing. I feel very unattractive and feel like a man. Also do not want to go out socialising any more as makeup does not hide hair and do not date.

    I think most people notice but they don't say anything. A few kids have said nasty things.

    Yes it does. I havn't been out with anyone since the year 2004. Before that year I was quite attractive. My weight, hair loss and hairy face puts guys off dating me. I also have no desire to go on dates. When I do go out guys talk to my friends. I work in a customer focussed fashion environment and I feel extremely depressed.

    I don't cope, I have been depressed about this issue since the year 2004. I also have to wash my hair everyday as my hair gets very greasy. It also has no volume so I can't wear hats. I've tried wigs but they are uncomfortable and don't look right. Also I can't wear wigs to the gym. I tried a topper but that did not look right and it would not stay clipped onto my existing hair. Again cannot go to the gym with it on. My hair has killed my confidence.

    When I finally plucked up the courage to go to the male doctor about my thinning hair and weight gain, the first one I went to had no clue about my symptoms and did nothing. I then went to the other male doctor at the practice who sent me to hospital for a scan , where it was confirmed I had Polycystic Ovaries. I was told by the specialist there that if I take Dianette he could guarantee absolutely that my hair would grow back. Its February 2010 and I'm still waiting lol! Was told to lose weight. Have managed to lose a stone but am still obese and need to lose another 4 stones. Very difficult to lose even though I go to the gym 3 times a week and follow a low fat, high protein diet.

    I then was referred to a dermatologist at the hospital who took 2 hours to tell me that she had no idea why I lost my hair and it might be genetic and it might grow back. At no point did she look at my scalp. Was prescribed Regaine. Been using it on and off for 2 years, still no hair…

    Was finding it impossible to lose weight so went to the doctor and got Orlistat. Managed to lose a stone.

    Discovered Verity last year on their some ladies had said that they had been able to get laser treatment for their facial hair on the NHS. I contacted the Skin Cinic who said that they just needed a letter from the doctor. I went to my doctor today who said laser treatment was not available on the NHS and that it does not work anyway. Electroylisis does work but not available on the NHS. Asked about how I can control my facial hair without NHS treatment and was prescribed a cream. I was told to come back in 4 months time. Still no help for the hair on my head….

    Went to work and checked Skin clinic to see if they do electrolysis, they only do laser treatments. Checked Argos and they have one handheld rio kit. It will take me years to put the electric tweezer on each hair…. Checked local beauty salons, no electrolysis available….

    I think there should be a centre dedicated to PCOS where we can go to get immediate medical treatment, psychological help, advice from a dietitian, trichologist, and advice and treatment on getting rid of unwanted hair and regrowing hair where it is needed. Also advice should be available on cosmetic procedures for hair if it does not grow back. I have a low income and cannot afford intralace systems and laser treatments so these things should be available on the NHS.

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  7. Simple I HATE my facial hair!

    I don't want to know what other people think.

    Yes, i'm currently single and it ruins my confidence. Always self concious when talking face to face with someone, especially when meeting new people.

    I have 15 minutes of epil pro every four weeks, between treatments i have to cut the hairs shorter (plucking would ruin the treatment). I have been doing this for eight years which means i've spent £1440 in this treatment. The hairs do take longer to grow back and some are lighter and finer now. Previously to this I had electrolysis every two weeks for three years. The results are the same but i find epil pro quicker and less painful.

    I have asked my gp about treatment on nhs and been told there is nothing. I once enquired anout laser treatment and was told it wouldn't be worth it as it's a hormonal problem. It could take ten or more sessions compared to two for someone who doesn't have pcos.

  8. I hate having PCOS. It has destroyed my relationships with men because I am so insecure about myself and I inevitably take it out on them. I never know what mood I will be in from day to day. I have uncontrollable bouts of crying about almost everything. I don't leave my home because I feel horrible about myself. I am married and I am not a good wife. My poor husband has to deal with a depressed woman constantly and it is so unfair to him. It is also unfair that I cannot have children. I have 16 nephews and nieces and it breaks my heart that I will never give birth to a child of our own. My facial hair is so embarrassing and all the other hair on my body. It is in all places except for my head. PCOS has controlled my life an it is so painful. Why doesn't the medical industry pay more attention to this? I can see how suicide is the outcome for some sufferers.

  9. I HATE my facial hair, it has shattered my confidence and ruled my life for the past 20 years. I have hair on my chest and stomach too and I can't control it. I have had all sorts of treatment to try and control. PCOS has ruled my life and it really gets me down, my doctor doesn't understand. PCOS is very cruel for a woman. I have had to have fertility treatment to help me conceive. PCOS is endless and I wish there was a dedicated specialist hospital or clinic which treated woman with this condition.

  10. Facial hair is a problem for me, particularly as I have dark hair. I always tweeze every day before leaving the house and don't like people looking at me too closely in case I have missed any of the thicker hairs. I have never had an intimate relationship. I can't begin to think of the exhausting ritual that would be required to remove /bleach hair from most parts of my body. I would like to think that some man out there would love me for me and I just have to be brave. I take vaniqua which is a topical cream which slows down hair growth. It is good but not a cure as I still have a bit of a “five o clock shadow” on my upper lip. I too have asked the GP for alternative solutions but he was unable to come up with anything. It is frustrating to think in this day and age, that this syndrome is still causing women untold misery.

  11. I am married with one child and on Metformin as we are trying to have a second child. My symptoms have become worse in the last six months. I get periods only once in 2 to 3 months and hence never know when I am ovulating. I have been dealing with the facial hair for years. Combine that with weight gain and I have no self esteem left anymore. I am generally a confident person but feel awkward meeting new people as I am soo conscious of my appearance now. Have tried everything for my facial hair. Laser, waxing, threading and even shaving. Today I start accupunture to help regulate my periods..hope it works.

  12. I have lived (or should i say existed) since i was 13 and diagnosed with PCOS i am now 38 and suffer with low self esteem and depression. I find it so frustrating that the NHS thinks its ok for me as a women to have to suffer with dark facial hair which needs shaving twice a day but someone going through a gender change is entintitled to and recieves laser treatment for hair removal as a matter of course.

  13. * How do you feel about your facial hair?
    It's not the worst place on my body for hair but it still upsets me that people can see it. I am a photographer and through being in this industry others have asked to take pictures of myself and I will have none of it purely because I don't want them editing the photos from their many megapixeled cameras and intimately seeing the dark hairs on my face.

    * What do you think other people think about your facial hair?
    I was once asked out of the blue by a boyfriend at the time. “Do you mind having facial hair?”. At the time I had never spoken about it before and said no, but the fact it had been brought up made me think that people think about it if they see it. Years later someone (male) made a comment over the phone about my “moustache” and the fact that it had been remembered and said in a derogatory way made me realise that others have a negative view about it.

    * Does it stop you from forming intimate relationships?
    Facial hair, no. The body hair, very very very much so. For the last 2 years I have not been able to let anyone I am wanting to be intimate with see my body or touch area I have excess hair in (which is 80% of the area below my head) and this causes problems and upsets and has never meant me continuing with any of those people. At 22 this is a crippling way to feel and doesn't bode well for the future.

    * How do you cope / manage it?
    I just keep my whole body covered at all times, facial hair gets plucked when it gets too noiceable. I don't wax/shave/epilate any more because of the painful, bleeding, cracked skin and rashes I get from removing the hair. If I happen to go swimming in the summer I wear mens size t-shirts and knee length shorts.

    * How do you think this aspect of your PCOS could be better supported by the NHS / your GP?
    First of all doctors should have an idea of what the symptoms are in the first place and be able to give us more than just a print out. I went to a female doctor 2 years before I was diagnosed with PCOS about my excess hair growth and was told “Some women have it.” and nothing more was investigated. At the same time I was going to her about my strange periods. 1+1=…0? Why did she have no knowledge of how these two things were related? I was only diagnosed with PCOS after being told by a friend about her symptoms which were the same as mine, researching it and suggesting it myself to another doctor. (Who then gave me a print out with barely any explanation of what was wrong on it) !!! 1 in 5 women have it. It is a very high statistic. Why do doctors not recognise the symptoms if it's more common than it appears? Also, we want to know exactly what is happening in our bodies and how to solve it so we just have the PCO not the PCOS. We don't want to just take away the syndrome symptoms(and it seems even the doctors don't seem to have the knowledge of how to do that, not once was a dietician, hair removal clinic suggested to me), we want to help the root of the problem. The health system needs a kick up the bum. Verity is a life line and I wear my Verity t-shirt out and about with pride hoping someone who has PCOS might see it and find the help they need that they don't get from the NHS/their GP.

  14. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15/16 and am now 38. Like many who have posted before me, I was given the diagnosis and told that was all there was. I have seen many doctors (I live in the USA) and been told the same as many who posted before me “there's nothing else to do until you want to think about pregnancy.” In addition, the doctors say to lose weight…HOW? It's an uphill battle. I've had lapband surgery (to slow the rate of food absorption through the stomach) which helped lose some weight, but even that slowed to almost no weight loss after awhile. It did help bring on regular menstrual cycles and allowed me to become pregnant (gave birth 3 weeks ago). While in the hospital, one of the nurses mentioned my PCOS and that I might have some issues with milk production-she was right. Even 3 weeks later, I still am only producing about 1-2 ounces of breast milk each time I pump. (Supplementing my son's feedings with formula). This is how I came to find this blog and am curious as to what others have found.

    I have not let PCOS over take my life. I deal with issues as they come and educate people as necessary. Hair growth has always been an issue. I pluck the hairs off my upper lip, shave my “beard” and stopped worrying about my bikini line years ago. My husband loves me no matter what and it's never been an issue between us. Every once in awhile it becomes an issue at my job-I'm a high school teacher and every year there is always one student who finds that one thing to pick on you about. I've usually been able to talk to them and since they are teenagers, they understand about being different and having feelings so the comments stop.

  15. 1) For me Facial hair is the worst bit. It makes you feel unclean, untidy, manly and self concious. It is so much effort to maintain just to keep up to speed with other women and so that people don't suspect. It is very hurtful when people make comments and you know they have seen your hair cos for me it is something that i find it hard to talk to with others and is a very sensitive issue. I'm starting to think now – so what!?! The more i talk about it with friends, the more i feel comfortable about it and the more that it is not a secret. If someone chooses to say or think something, although hurtful it's nothing i don't know myself and i'm not interested in what other people think. So long as i'm happy I don't care. But having said that obviously i would prefer it not to be there!

    2) I think other people notice it, but my friends won't point it out because they don't want to upset me, but i'm sure they know. I'm not too bothered about them knowing, its just telling them thats the embarrassing bit. Since I've been recently diagnosed, I think it might be easier to say I have PCOS rather than i'm just hairy. I'm sure it puts off strangers or makes them look again. But I try to act like it's not there and to ignore comments.

    3) For me it hasnt stopped me having intimate relationships so far. In the past I would just make sure i'm 100% dehaired before any business. Luckily now I have a very supportive boyfriend who knows everything and says i'm sexy even with a beard!! I think if it wasn't be for his support I would be much more down about it and I think i would feel uneasy about being intimate with other people. But the way i see it is if they can't handle it, they can't be right for me.

    4) The only way I can really manage it, is to constantly de-hair myself, but this is exhausting and is a never ending cycle and frustrates me. It would be so much easier not to do it and i would like to be glamourous like my friends. I don't think it is possible to be glamourous with a beard – tho i will try!

    5)I kind of wish there was a pill that would just vanish all the hair for good, but that is not possible. I think serious discounts in beauty salons, alot more support offered by open, friendly non judgemental people. The reason why it took so long for me to see the GP was fear or being laughed at. Good briefing in detail about symptoms, management, risks e.t.c

  16. I am lucky in that I have received laser treatment for my facial hair and am now taking the contraceptive pill so it is pretty much non existent but for years I suffered with it and had to shave everyday. Even then it wasn't close enough and you worry that people do notice.

    I've never had anyone say anything outright but I was paranoid that people were staring.

    I've never had an intimate relationship (I'm 23), which I think is deifnately down to the PCOS. What with being overweight, suffering with excess hair all over (which is dark and thick)loosing hair and the mood swings I have no idea how I would manage it! The thought of it scares me so I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that it won't happen for me. The fertility aspect combined means that I have already decided on adoption as I think it is a waste of money using IVF as the success rate is so low and it is so expensive. Also there are so many children that need a good home.

    I am constantly shaving and plucking, which I hate and makes me upset if I think about it too much. I just try to get on with it and enjoy my life.

    I personally think that GP's live an easy life and they need to get off their arses and be proactive in providing support and understanding. Hair removal needs to be on the NHS as PCOS is a serious medical condition and should be treated as such. I also think that Verity could do with so much more publicity as I know there are many, many women out there who could benefit.

    I know so many women find it difficult to live with PCOS but you have to get on with your life. Be thankful for friends and family, the people that will love you unconditionally and support you.

  17. I have been diagnosed with PCOS for a few years now and have probably had my head in the sand about dealing with it. My overall experience with GPs has not been very good. The GP who diagnosed me originally simply took a blood test and then prescribed the pill. When I returned to a different doctor a year later, I was referred to a specialist who arranged an ultrasound and changed my pill but never arranged any sort of follow up. I didnt pursue it as I felt both doctor's dismissed my symptoms – excess weight and hair – as unimportant. For years I have been trying to diet, thinking that if I can lose weight, magically all of my other symptoms will disappear, the worst being excess hair, especially on my face. I hate having excess hair and feel so self conscious about it. It doesnt help that none of my friends seem to have this issue. Despite needing to lose weight and having excess hair on other parts of my body, if I could only change one thing about myself it would be to not have any excess facial hair. This does effect how close I let people get to me, both literally and emotionally. If I am talking to someone and I feel their eyes move from mine, I assume it is to look at my facial hair and automically I move my hand to my face or talk resting my chin in my hands. If someone tries to touch my chin at all, I move their hand away. Even if I feel I have managed to pluck/wax as much as possible, I know you can still feel tiny little hairs. I do not suffer from spots usually except when my skin becomes irritated by waxing and plucking which of course only makes it look worse and draws attention to the area and can often be quite painful. I am at the point where I know I need to go back to the doctor and really push for some more treatment options and save up for laser hair treatment. I do feel embarrassed about approaching my doctor though as I feel they will simply tell me I should lose weight – even though I am trying! I also think it is easy to assume you are the only one with this problem or that your facial hair is worse than anyone elses. Going to a beauty clinic also fills me with dread thinking that the beauty therapist will be laughing at me behind my back.

  18. I hate my facial hair. I suffer from a moustache and hair on both sides of my chin. I've tried electroylosis, creams, plucking, wax, laser treatment…none really work but I now wax every couple of days. I am always thinking there is hair there and carry tweezers everywhere, a set in the car, bathroom, bedroom and kitchen…just in case I've missed a hair. It makes me feel really unfemine and won't even let my boyfriend be around when waxing.

  19. * How do you feel about your facial hair?

    It makes me feel like I was less of a woman than everyone else.

    * What do you think other people think about your facial hair?

    I'm constantly afraid people think that I'm really a man, even if I look very feminine, I still fear that people will notice it and point it out because there's nothing I can do about it.

    * Does it stop you from forming intimate relationships?

    No, But I am extremely ashamed of showing my face to my boyfriend in the morning when I wake up with a stubble on my chin and I hate it that he can see me sleep when he wakes up earlier than I do.

    * How do you cope / manage it?

    I pluck it for at least 30 minutes every day and shave the rest off and I -always- have to cover my chin and neck with a more thick foundation than the rest of my face so that you can't see the shadow. I can't live without tweezers and going to cabins and specially camping feels like something I could never do without tweezers and a mirror. It would be different if it was just under 10 pale hairs but no, it's THICK, MANLY, BLACK hair and it's all over my chin and my neck that grows back in the evening when I completely get rid of it in the morning.

    It makes me sad every single day of my life and I can't live my life normally because of it. I'd like to hide it by wearing a scarf and so on but unfortunately I have a short neck so that would just make me look stupid so I just have to show it off. I work in sales so I meet people every day of my life and it stresses me out when the sunlight comes through the windows and reveals my face properly.

    I wish I was rich so I could have laser done. I really do. But I'm not rich. I'm just a poor girl with a beard and I hate it. I hate how it looks like, I hate how it feels like and I hate what it makes me. A freak.

    * How do you think this aspect of your PCOS could be better supported by the NHS / your GP?

    Send me a goddamn laser machine so I can feel like a woman. There's no words that can help, there is only treatment.

  20. I have PCOS and was diagnosed in 2004. My symptoms mostly revolve around my weight, which yo-yos and excess body hair. The weight I can cope with and I have recenlty found evidence that low GI and low GL diets can help, I am going to give it a try, as I have nothing else to loose. Perhaps I am fortunate that my boyfriend, instead of running away, took an interest and wants to help me. He accepts how I look, it is a shame that so many others cannot. I agree a cure needs to be found, to help all the bright, vivacious women out there who are trapped by PCOS. I let it take over and suffered, well I have had enough now and I will take control of this condition. All I can say to other women is to look at the woman not the condition and find something good about her, hold on to that and let no one change your opinion. It's a cliche, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to find it for yourself.

  21. I went to my GP today to talk about my irregular periods and spots, and PCOS was what he suggested I might have. I'd heard the name before but didn't know anything about it and he did a really good job of explaining the cause, possible symptoms and what treatments there are – then advised me to look at this website which is so helpful! After reading some of the horror stories other women went through when being diagnosed I'm very glad people are working to raise awareness – it's been successful in my case!
    I'm having a blood test on Monday, and if I do have PCOS I'm glad to know there's a lot of support here.

  22. Im 39, black, and have suffered with this since the age of 14. Plucked and shaved til diagnosis aged 25. I have facial, neck, and chest hair. The neck hairs bother the most.I hate it. I now have ingrown hairs which I exfoliate, needle and tweeze daily, which leaves my neck very sore,scarred & inflammed. Have tried waxing and cant afford laser and other expensive treatments many of which im told do not work on black skin. Ive seen an endocrinologist once who was no help at all and changed my gp a number of times with no help apart from wanting to deal with depression. Given Dianette & Spironolactone. Asked for Vaniqua but was refused it. I guess im stuck with this til I die.

  23. I'd been desperately trying to lose weight for years to get onto the IVF program, but the doctors refused to help me because of my weight. At 40 I was told my chances were over, I'm now 43 and feel my life is incomplete.

    I put off my wedding until 1 year ago because I always wanted to look beautiful for my husband, slim, no facial hair etc etc. I finally realised last year that this just wasn't going to happen and if my husband loved my as I am now, then I'd better grab that man with both hands and hold on 🙂

    I feel cheated by my life, my brothers and sisters all have families, my sister doesn't have PCOS and I always ask the question, why me?
    My relatives never mention children anymore, because I just say I'm happy without them, but inside the hurt is still there buried away deeply.

    For years I've existed without telling a soul my feelings.

  24. I hate it!
    It makes me so sad, i can hide the hair on my chest and back, but the hair on my face can be so painful to pluck, I have full beard, sideburns the lot.
    I want to progress in my career, but I feel so self conscious, I know people notice it, and it makes me wonder what they think of me.
    Then there are the jokes about bearded women, that are said with out thought, it's all fine, but then it makes me even more self conscuous and like a circus freak. I know there are people worst off with me, but it still makes me feel like I have no control. Chin up i think to myself, well, not too high, just enough so not to show my double chin and its full beardage.

  25. I hate my facial hair so much! I have it on my sideburns and neck and chin (not to mention stomach, chest, bikini area). I have to shave everyday sometimes twice any other hair removal method causes ingrown hairs.

    I am always aware of the facial hair and often think to myself while standing in a que 'is my stubble showing? are they looking at my facial hair'

    My husband and I have not been intimate in a very long time(6 months or more). We have only been married for 3 years but as my symptoms get worse the worse I feel about being intimate so I just shy off. It causes huge problems for us. He says he does not mind but it bothers me so much I just cant get past it.

    I shave my face & chest daily but if I shave or use hair removal creams my stomach, bikini or thighs i get horrible ingrown hairs which are painful not to mention ugly.

    How do you think this aspect of your PCOS could be better supported by the NHS / your GP?

    If I could get some sort of hair removal that would be great! If I didnt have to deal with the horrible hair making me feel worse then I might be able to feel good about myself enough to work on other aspects of myself like weight. Something to do with the hair loss we suffer would help to. Make us feel like pretty girls again.

  26. I have had irregular periods ever since i was a teen, I also suffer really badly when I get them often involving dizzy spells and fainting.

    just before christmas I had yet another bad time of it and decided after persuasion from my Mum to go to the doctors. More blood test and finally a doctor who sent me for an internal and external ultra sound. Great I thought …lets see what happern this time. Results came in and the surgery told me nope nothing to report.

    I felt part relief at being ok and part frustration for yet again no reason being my 'spells' as I call them.

    A few months went by and still not right I went back and saw a different doctor as I hadn't had a period in 6 months. Who proceeded to say….”well I expect its part of your diagnosis at the start of the year!”

    he saw my shock and said out loud “PCOS”.

    I sat in my car and cried out of dispair of not being told and relief at having a clue as to what was going on. The fact he gave me a fact sheet and sent me off numb was something I will never get over.

    But I know realise it all adds up, I have excess body hair, something that is getting more as I get older. It has always left me paranoid and feeling abnormal and needless to say I avoid physical attention from guys.

    The crazy thing is I am lucky to be slim and everyone always makes comments, guys must like you why don't you wear bikinis on the beach. I often listen to women going on about issues and look at me saying your so lucky. I'd love to strip off and say “look, would you want to have this? “

    We live in a model society and no amount of moaning will change that i believe, I just wish I could learn to accept myself as I am. I wax, pluck but there always the tale tale in between stubble, ingrown hair phases I find equally as bad. Those few days of being hair free I feel liberated only to be knocked back when it starts to grow again. I would have laser surgery if I could afford it, bt it is so costly.

    Please someone invent a cure, in the mean time like fellow PCOS suffers I continue to wax, pluck and shave in my daily ritual to the Hair Gods.

  27. I wax, a lot! Although I am one of the lucky few to have recieved laser hair removal on the NHS. But this is only on my face, not my chest or abdomen where the problem is worse!

    However I do wax or pluck obsessively! I hate it when I haven't had time to do it because I feel like everyone is looking, even though I know they're not! It's awful! Especially on my chest, where the hairs grow through black. Being a very pale individual means that each hair may as well be neon pink, they're that obvious!

    I'm very lucky in that my fiancee doesn't seem to be bothered by the extra hair. I have had boyfriends who were horrified to see that I was more hairy than them. But my fiancee is very understanding, and bless him, he thinks I'm beautiful anyway! He was the first man I felt comfortable enough to get fully naked in front of. He never said a thing about it. Other men might have.

    I don't always think I'm getting the best NHS treatment though. My GP can be dismissive and my specialist just harps on about my weigh, as if when my BMI is within a healthy range the excess hair on my body will fall out, the hair I've lost on my head will grow back, my skin will clear up and I'll be so fertile I won't even be able to sleep in the same room as my fiancee for fear of getting pregnant! I think my treatment could have been better handled, as a lot of my knowledge of PCOS has come from my own inverstigating, and I've asked for treatments myself instead of being offered them. I was pretty much told to only worry when I wanted to try for children. Being fobbed off at its finest, I believe!

  28. I am 32 & was diagnosed with PCOS at 17. I’ve always struggled with my weight but since my mid twenties I’ve struggled with the excess facial hair, it seems to of worsened since starting IVF. I suffer severe low self esteem & depression & always think that people can see it, even after I’ve waxed. I’m saving hard to have electrolysis after the IVF but am terrified it won’t work after paying hundreds of pounds. Why in this day & age is there no cure for us? Surely something will kill the follicles?
    Let’s pray one day they find that miracle cure for excess hair!

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