Everything you need to know about PCOS

You may have heard the term PCOS which means Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. You may be suffering from PCOS. This blog will detail everything you need to know about PCOS in relation to symptoms, lifestyle and laser hair removal.

What is PCOS and how does it affect women?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. PCOS affects up to 5 million women around the world. This can account for 6-12% of the population.  The symptoms of PCOS are listed below however are not limited to just this. Some women may have PCOS and experience no symptoms. Anyone presenting to their General Practitioner with symptoms of PCOS will be assessed on an individual basis. According to the NHS 1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS (NHS, 2019).

Irregular Periods – Menstrual cycle is irregular, the ovaries are not releasing eggs as frequently as they should.

Excessive Androgen levels – Male hormone levels are high resulting in excessive hair growth which can be seen on the face, neck, chest, back and buttocks.

Acne – Acne breakouts are caused by the higher levels of sebum in the skin due to the higher levels of androgen hormones. Acne breakouts can be on the face, back, chest, or neck.

Polycystic ovaries – Ovaries can become enlarged with fluid-filled sacs. 

It is also best to consult with your doctor about any changes in your hormones that may lead to irregular periods, acne, or excessive hair growth. Your Doctor will be able to carry out the correct tests and give you specialist advice.

Excessive Hair Growth

One of the main symptoms of PCOS which many women experience is excessive hair growth in a male-like hair growth pattern. This can be a very sensitive subject to discuss and you may feel embarrassed. Excessive hair growth may have an impact on your general wellbeing and lifestyle.

Removing the hair with PCOS can become very daunting, timely, costly and interrupt your lifestyle. 

PCOS and Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal treatments permanently handle excessive hair growth because they stop the hair follicles from producing any more hairs. That means that after a series of treatments, it is no longer a temporary solution. Still, instead, the unnecessary hair will either be permanently gone or minimally permanently reduced.

Read also: How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Recommendations of sessions

There is no set number of sessions that we recommend for laser hair removal with PCOS as this is caused by a hormonal imbalance. However, this does not mean you will not see the incredible benefits of laser hair removal. Laser hair removal will reduce the number of hair follicles meaning slower regrowth, hair will become less coarse and less visible. We always recommend a minimum of 6 to 12 laser hair removal sessions which are spaced out between 4 to 6 weeks.

Do I need more sessions?

The important thing to remember with any laser hair removal procedure is that laser hair removal is a personal journey. Results vary and the number of sessions required to reach your expected results will be different for everyone. After 6-12 sessions you will see a permanent hair reduction as the laser will target the active hair growth which is known as the Anagen phase during each session. We always recommend maintenance packages and a thorough visual assessment carried out by your therapist.

Does the hair grow back thicker after laser hair removal?

The simple answer is no. The hair will over time become finer, the hair follicle will become weaker resulting in a longer regrowth period and fewer hair follicles meaning a permanent hair reduction for the future.