PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, and is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. PCOS cannot be diagnosed with one test alone and symptoms vary from woman to woman. The most common symptoms are multiple cysts on the ovaries, weight gain and obesity, acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth, often in a male pattern). Early diagnosis of PCOS is important as it has been linked to an increased risk for developing several medical problems including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair. This high level of testosterone can also prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. Excessive facial and body hair growth is one of the characteristic features of polycystic ovarian syndrome that can lead to high levels of depression and anxiety.
Laser Hair Removal as an Effective Treatment for PCOS
Laser hair removal can be very helpful in removing the excessive hair growth associated with PCOS. It is important to be under the care of a physician to address the hormonal causes of hair growth. Your doctor also may prescribe birth control pills to reduce symptoms, metformin to help you have regular menstrual cycles, and/or medications to block androgens such as spironolactone. It is important to see your doctor for follow-up to make sure that treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility and other problems.
At Inkfree, MD we have many patients with PCOS who are undergoing successful laser hair removal treatments. In those clients who are treating the hormonal cause of their hair growth, we’ve found that they may need a few more treatments than the general population. Everyone’s hair growth pattern is different but a dramatic reduction in hair growth is possible. If you have PCOS, lasers can definitely help with the slight skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) that tweezing or shaving can cause and also reduce bumps and ingrown hairs.
If you are in the Houston, TX area and would like a free consultation – call us today: 832.478.5669