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I’ve had PCOS all of my life.  Way back in the day, doctors didn’t know why I didn’t get my monthly visit.  I went to doctor to doctor to endocrinologist with no answers.  My mother was told I’d grow out of it at some point.

Hi, I’m 42 now and I’ve not grown out of it.

I finally got my diagnosis in 2002 when I lived in DC.  I found a fertility clinic who knew what they were talking about.  A 10 minute visit with the usual exams confirmed my thought - PCOS.

PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease affects a lot of women in different ways from what I’ve learned.  I carry the majority of my weight in my stomach and waist area.  My cholesterol is up but not into alarming numbers.  I have ovarian cysts that pop and hurt. The worst part about it?  We are usually infertile and, in my case, could beat an Italian man in a mustache growing contest.

I used to be embarrassed about all the hair and the fact that I had to shave not just my legs but my face, neck and arms as well.  It’s sometimes hard to write that but I’m among friends here.  I have to shave just about every day depending on what I’m doing.  If I don’t have to go anywhere, I can usually get away with an electric razor.  If I’m going out somewhere, the timing has to be right.  I have to plan out the shaving schedule.  I can only get a couple of hours out of an electric shave and about a day with a razor shave.  If I have events 2 days in a row, it can get hairy - no pun intended (or is it?)

I did laser treatments last year for my lip, chin and neck.  I was expensive and kind of worth it.  My chin is much better and my neck as well but I’ll need at least 5 more sessions for my lip.

About a week ago, I took a long look in the mirror. I just turned 42 and had been told earlier that day that I didn’t look a day over 35.  That made my day.  But, as I stood there staring at myself, I started asking the “Why Me?” questions again.  Why do I have to put up with this disgusting hair on my face?  I’d shaved that morning but there was my 5 o‘clock shadow.

I get really self-conscious sometimes when I’m talking to someone.  I can see their eyes flitting between my eyes and my upper lip.  It’s a quick glance but I’m used to watching for it.  That makes me really nervous - OMG is my hair growing that fast?  Did my make up melt?  Did I use enough make up?  Can they see the black hair against my pale skin?
It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to either.  My parents do it, too and they should be used to it by now.

I try to have the attitude of “It’s not my fault that I’m this way.”  Being this way doesn’t affect the way I carry on with my life, how I relate to my friends or acquaintances, or how I perform my job(s).  And yet, it seems the rest of the world just doesn’t get it.  Because I’m not a ‘normal female’ (a doctor’s description of me) society seems to label me and others like as a freak of sorts.  Why is that?

So - I’ve put it out there for Fab40 to see.  I know there are more of me out there in Fab40 land.  I know I’m more than this stupid hair but its hard to see past it sometimes.  How do you deal with it?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lupes82 wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • i’m sure you’ve heard it before, but don’t worry about what other people think. we are generally small minded about alot of thing unfortunatly. i’ve been trying laser treatment too for my lip and chin when i started noticing some thick dark hairs starting to apear. i feel you compleetly about the time it takes for the full deired effects of the treatments. haha i’ve been going every 10wks and it’s been just over 2years now. damn ‘active growth phase’

      are you sure people are staring at your hair? could it be they are just glancing at your mouth? people with hearing dufficulty will frequently look at your mouth when you talk to help them discern what you are saying. it could be alot of things other than your preception of them staring at your hair. i have caught myself quite often watching people’s lips and mouths as they speak. occasionaly it’s ebarassing when i get caught because i think they must precieve my attention as some kind flirtaion or such when its really not.

      i know it must be diffucult for you being as self concious as you are but try not to get mad at your friends and family for glancing at your mouth when you speak because they may not be looking and judging you hair.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • Thank you for sharing.  I can feel how you feel about it.  To be honest, if once you accept this (which I pray), then when others look at you, you will feel so good by saying with a big smile “How do you like my mustache?  I have fun growing that for a special purpose.”  Then you will start to see others at ease and ask what is the purpose?  Then you can name it for anything...

      Acceptance... I know it is hard and give it a serious thought.  

      In much love, care and acceptance of “You” from me.happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Mar 9, 2009
    • How unfortunate it took so long to get a diagnosis. Your story is a good one, to remind that physical differences are not good or bad, they just *are*.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • I’m sorry you feel the way you do and my heart goes out to you. The above ladies are all right in their comments but it really starts with you.... and accepting yourself and loving yourself.
      If you still can’t get past it check with the drs to see if you can get a medical reference for laser. I know it’s expensive but your happiness and self esteem far outweigh any costs. You can also try to find out who in your area is getting laser in their business and if they need people to practice on. Usually it’s free or very minimal cost. Also have you tried waxing? You can’t daily but for back to back special events you should be able to do 1 waxing for at least 2 days.
      Just remember it is what it is...... and smile!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • Honey I’m so sorry have you thought of waxing or seeing if there is a beauty college near by who need people to practise electrolysis on .......

      I know when you know there is something wrong you imagine people are looking at it and in reality they have noticed. It must be exhausting for you all the worry and the actual schedule to keep on top of it



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lorrij7 wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • I have the same problem and waxing just doesn’t get all the hair, especially under the chin and neck.  It always makes me break out also.  

      You know when your hormones are changing because the hair starts growing faster!  Have you had problems with your hair on your head thinning also?  That’s another thing that can be embarrassing...

      I read somewhere while researching PCOS, that you are born with it but it doesn’t usually ‘kick in’ until your teens or early 20’s (which was in my case).  I also have Endometriosis which is another pain in the butt tongue out



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nmgirl98 wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • I’ve gone the waxing route...many years ago and absolutely hated it.

      I did finally get to a point a few years ago where I said screw you world.  This is the way I am, take it or leave it.  Usually do I pretty good with the attitude.  Every once in a while it comes back to haunt me.  It takes a little bit to shake off and get back on track, but I do.

      Lorrij - PCOS is genetic/hereditary .  It usually kicks in when  your hormones start ‘cooking‘.  I have no problems with the hair on my head...so far (knock wood)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • What about using a dipillatory cream (sp) one that removes hair like nair?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nmgirl98 wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • I’ve tried that as well :)  The thing with nair is that it needs to stay on soooooo long that it damages the skin.  The hair is very think on my upper lip.

      There is a product out there called Vaniqa.  It’s supposed to reduce and eventually stop hair growth.  It takes absolutely forever to see results.  At this point, I’ve used just about every product out there!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • Well I would still stick with waxing before big events. And waxing on a regular basis will help reduce the hair. There are tons of good ones to do at home but the thing you need to remember is DO NOT PRESS DOWN on the area just waxed. That is what increases the breakouts. Also waxing is just like exfoliation so the breakouts were already under the surface just brought up faster.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Scorpion13 wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • Hi nmgirl,

      My heart goes out to you. I don’t have PCOS, but I am a hairy woman who’s always had to deal with facial hair and excess body hair that is dark and grows fast(daily shaving of legs in summer. I’ve done  electrolysis and laser which took care of some of the hair, but not all of it by any means. It did make the hair softer, though...so now I’m more fuzzy than hairy! Yeah, the nair products leave me with chemical burns and waxing made me break out terribly. Currently I just have to tweeze, so consider myself lucky.  

      I cannot believe there aren’t effective treatments for PCOS. If it were a man’s problem, you can bet there would have been two thousand double blind studies and a cure by now!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Mar 10, 2009
    • Hi NMgirl, I have a friend who has battled this all her life. Since we were like sisters before she moved I felt all of her struggles in every area of her life as if they were my own. So I deeply felt how difficult it was for her to have this same problem. It is a very long story.. but my best friend of 23 plus years isn’t close by any longer and we don’t speak... but I have so wanted to tell her about a product that I found at Sally’s Beauty Supply. It is like sandpaper but it is cystals. They show that it can even remove hair on a man’s arm. It’s worth trying and if you don’t like it you can always take it back. Send me a note if you decide to try it and let me know how it works for you okay?  

      You are a VERY strong women to put your feelings out there!
      Just know that there are others who also struggle.

      Big Hugs,



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