Hair Do's: Fertility Treatments Lower Female's Levels of Male Hormone Levels But Doesn't Change The Chin Hair

Male hormones are made by the ovary, and they are important for good health, but can get out of control as well. Male hormone levels can cause acne and unwanted hair growth. We like to think in simple terms of what to do and what to not do for controlling unwanted hair or unwanted hormonal side effects. For women who have excess and undesirable hair, a number of new studies have been undertaken to look at how we can best control the unwanted hairs in places like on your lip, chin or chest. There are a few simple 'dos' that can help you combat this. When it comes to overall treatment for women with hormone imbalances, especially PCOS the gynos will have to think about cycle control, control of infertility, control of your weight as well as control of unwanted skin effects like chin or lip hair. Controlling hormones and controlling our metabolism are the two most important 'dos.' Knowing if your hormones are imbalance, getting an actual diagnosis (such as PCOS) are two of the other important 'dos' to begin with. To help you understand which tests may be helpful  it is important to understand what hormones cause these effects. In women unwanted hair in excess or in unwanted locations is called hirsutism. Hirsutism is also described as sexual hair growth that is due to male hormones, also known as androgens. Others have referred to hirsutism as male pattern hair growth. It is most often due to the effects of male hormones that your body is producing, but other common causes are more exposure to male hormones because you now are converting weak hormones into stronger ones, or producing too little binding substance so that the amount of hormone circulating is more likely to be active. We think that the male hormones are produced by the ovary in response to the pituitary hormone LH. In fact some women so over-produce LH that they get random positive LH surge readings on ovulation predictor kits. Once it is established that you have hirsutism due to the excess of male hormones then some treatment hair "dos" are birth control pills, but anti-male hormone treatment, insulin sensitizing agents, and steroids can all be helpful in treating your condition. It is not necessary to pick one pill over the other, but the pills like Yaz and Yazmin do contain a progesterone component that has anti-male hormone activity. It is important to know all the risks however, these pills have been associated with slightly higher deep vein clot risk in some studies (one or two extra per 10,000). Fertility treatments have been shown to change hormone levels, and it was thought that once these hormone levels are down then the hair growth would diminish. But in one new NIH study by Dr. Lauren Roth and her coworkers, 6 months of fertility treatments didn't actually show unwanted hair improvements, so that won't be enough for these women. Once you get your hormones under control, the hair that you have can be more successfully removed with whatever treatment you select, but laser hair reduction is going to be, for most, the best way to eliminate the hair.

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