Does this sound like PCOS?

Hello. I’m a 16 year old girl and I’ve been dealing with unwanted hair since I was about 10. As I’m sure most of you know, it makes me incredibly insecure and depressed. I spend hours obsessively waxing, plucking, epilating and shaving. I brought up PCOS with my former doctor but she brushed it off, calling my hair growth hereditary. I’m adopted, so there’s no way for me to know if she’s right at the moment. We switched doctors this year for another reason and I have yet to ask my new doctor about it. But yeah. Here’s what makes me believe I could have PCOS:

-I have thick dark hair on my arms, hands, fingers (the absolute worst), feet & toes, breasts, lower back and butt. I have a bit of chin fuzz with the occasional dark hair I pluck out, sideburns and upper lip hair which I epilate.
-My periods are sometimes regular and sometimes come every few months.
-I occasionally get horrible cramps during my periods.
-I am about 20 pounds overweight and have been unsuccessful in trying to lose this weight. My diet and exercise routine aren’t perfect at the moment, but there was a time when I ate a very healthy diet of under 1700 calories a day and did 30 minutes on the elliptical 5 days a week and still didn’t lose weight.
-I have oily skin and suffer from the occasional breakout, though these aren’t really huge issues for me.

What do you think?

I had untreated PCOS for many years because it was not diagnosed properly when I was young (I am in my 50’s now). Untreated PCOS can create a host of problems later in life so I hope that you will be able to see a specialist (endocrinologist) who will administer the tests needed to see if you indeed have PCOS. Even though you have symptoms, you need the diagnosis based on tests.

All the best,

Try to get a referral for a good endocrinologist in your area who specializes in PCOS. You have enough symptoms to at least have yourself checked out.

I wouldn’t recommend epilating. It will cause your hair to curl and start ingrowing, not to mention get more coarse with time. Shaving is really the best method to deal with hair on a temporary basis, even though it feels unpleasant to have to do something a man does. But trust me, when you’re ready for permanent removal in the future, you will be happy you stopped. Shaving does absolutely nothing to the hair, so it won’t get worse that way.

It does sound like you might have PCOS - those are the classic symptoms. But it could also be other things like increased androgens or higher sensitivity to androgens or just plain hereditary.
Most doctors are used to dealing with people who have real, life threatening illnesses and problems so when they see someone come in complaining about excess hair they almost want to laugh. I know, I have been there. The first time I told my doctor about my “hair worries” and insisted ona referral to an endocrinologist, he wanted to send me to a therapist instead to get my head straight!
I suggest you make an appointment with an endocrinologist and get your hormones tested. Endocrinologists know more on this topic than any other doctor so that is your best bet IMO.