First I would like to thank forum moderators and members for supporting such a wonderful site, you guys are amazing!

After stumbling upon this forum in search of ways to reduce the appearance of facial hair it got me thinking - perhaps it’s medical?

I recently had a full physical exam (with blood tests - although I am not sure whether they did hormonal tests, I dont’ think so) and a gyno appointment. They told me there was nothing out of the ordinary except that I had high cholesterol. After checking the sympoms for excess facial hair I saw that PCOS was one of the causes.

I am 23 and of Eastern European descent. My mother has very minor vellius hair above her lip and on her chin that’s not noticeable at all unless you stare at it. I have always had regular periods. I am at a normal body weight (although I have a bit of fat around my midsection), I have greasy skin but I barely get breakouts. I don’t have much body hair, but I do have a bit of a fuzz over my upper lip that would be considered above average.

I am really worried about this and will book another gyno appointment the first chance I get. However, I have just started taking OC (alesse) and I am not sure if that will prevent the doctor from doing the tests they need.

Can anyone help me on this? Do I need to go off the pill for certain tests? What tests are required to diagnose someone with PCOS? Are my symptoms indicative of PCOS?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Thank you for your kind words, and your support.

First, you should read this PCOS section very well. There is lots of information that you can get from reading past posts.

There are lots of things that can cause unwanted facial hair and hair in other areas, but it is hard for us to say what is the cause of yours. I would say that you should start with what you eat and how active you are. Artificial sweeteners are causing more women to have unwanted hair that would not have it at all if not for that one dietary factor. Then, there are drug interactions, physical events, like wearing a cast, or something else causing increased blood flow to an area, leading to more hair.

It really would do you good to read the other PCOS threads and come back here for more questions after you have done that. You will even find suggestions on books to read before you post your next question.

Wow the response was so quick! I really admire your dediction to this forum.

I have read quite of a few of the threads in this forum as well as done other research on medical websites. That is actually why I am so concerned!

It seems that most women who have PCOS experience facial hair, among other symptoms, such as extra fat around their midsection, high chalestorol, irrerular periods, etc.

I am actually scheduled for another checkup with my family doctor for a re-test of my cholestorol levels in a couple of months. Perhaps I can ask him for a hormonal test as well.

I think you hit the nail on the head there with your examples though. I haven’t been as active as I used to be in the past due to being a full time student, and now working full time. I also had very bad/irregular sleeping habits. In university I did used to drink a lot of coffee with artificial sweetners. Only if I knew it could cause that I would have never done that!

I would still like to get tested to get some reassurance about whether I have PCOS.

I am considering doing electolysis treatments and I believe finding out whether I have a medical condition would be the first step in doing so.

Best Regards,

Is your concern just upper lip hair? Considering everything else you mentioned, it is very unlikely that you have PCOS. I don’t even think you need to get tested. Most women actually have hair on their upper lip, some more noticeable some less. If you’re looking to get rid of it permanently, this is possible with electrolysis treatments.

Yes, my primary concern is my upper lip. I have some fine hairs on my chin and sideburns as well, but they are not very noticeable. Perhaps in time they would turn darker, I don’t know.

After reading this forum I have more confidence in elecrolysis. I just don’t want to start treatments only to find out that more new hair follicles have formed after the treatments and I would have to repeat the process. My first skepticism came from reading another forum where someone had gotten permanent scarring from electrolysis on their cheeks. But I believe with sufficient research on a qualitfied elecrologist that can be avoided.

Thank you all for your kind input.

Hint: Get sample treatments first from several electrologists in your area and specifically hunt for an electrologist who has a computerized epilator and with a good vision setup. Scarring is rare if you go to an electrologist that continues her education and is open-minded about stepping into the world of electrolysis care using technology that is far better than what was offered for our mother’s, grandmother’s, and great grandmothers.

Unfairly and imprecisely, people yelp that they were scarred, when in fact, they have temporary skin manifestations that resolve with time. Those that have truly been scarred, have unwittenly or stupidly stayed with an electrologist that either had no skill and/or used a dated machine that is erractic and nearly impossible to control. That can translate into repeated overkill of the hair follicle with accompaning terminal skin side effects. It bears repeating that no matte what the equipment is, the human being using the equipment is the real differnece. In the wrong hands, the best of tools can cause havoc as well, but I think you understand that is an obvious statement.

I’m glad that you are getting the message of feeling more confident about electrolysis. There is more to feel confident about these days knowing what a skilled, modern, energized electrologist can do for you. Keep in the back of your mind that we have some work to do in this profession to encourage now training and present electrologists to come forward and choose better tools and stay educated and open to newer ways to remove hair permanently per electrolysis. Some are still stuck in the mud and have no intention of leaving the past behind, so it is up to the good ole’ consumer (free market forces) to decide who they will turn to settle this issue.


Your problem could be the result of taking ‘the pill’.

It suppresses ovulation and hence the progesterone supply.
This may end up in an estrogen- (better estradiol-) dominance and consequently in an auto immune aggression against your ovaries.
In consequence you might get the PCOS.

My suggestion:
Please try to replenish the lacking progesterone level.
The best way to do so is to take it intra-vaginal in form of a 100 mg capsule.

And please look for a GOOD endocrinologist or gynecologist who knows about the linkage between estrogen dominance (=progesterone deficiency) and the PCOS.
Most do not.

You should be checked for:

T3, rT3, T4, TSH, progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone, prolactin, FSH, LH, Androstendione, Dihydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (=DHEA-S), Cortisol, SHBG, 17alpha-hydroprogesterone and Estrone.

If you can get the values and no help, I will assist you, if you like.

Greetings from Germany from
Vanita Cabral