Women with beards were considered a curious mood of nature long ago. Often they were displayed as "bearded ladies" at fairs and given the mockery of others. Even today in the 21st century, many sufferers can hardly lead a normal life. They hide, are ashamed of their appearance, a normal sex life is for many affected by hirsutism only an unfulfillable dream. Hirsutism - a hormonal hair growth in certain parts of the body - is a medical problem that needs to be treated.
The heavy passage to your own reflection
For Anja F., looking in the mirror for a long time was a difficult test. On the upper lip was a dark ladybeard, the hairline slowly but surely pulled back up and back. The hair on the body increased more and more: on the arms, on the chest, on the back. "I look like an ugly man, " Anja often thought as she looked in the mirror.
In addition, she struggled with all sorts of remedies, ointments and vitamin supplements for acne, a skin problem that leaves most people with puberty behind. Anja suffers from hirsutism. Today, with 34 years and under the therapy, which her gynecologist ordered together with a skin specialist, Anja finally feels well in her skin.
With puberty hair growth begins
Hirsutism begins slowly in most people's minds: the first signs are typically those of hormones that have their first effect and puberty. The increase of unwanted hair on the face, hair growth on the legs and often even on the whole body increases over time.
The women feel that their attempts at treatment, such as depilatory creams or the bleaching of the hair on the face and arms, only increase their hair growth. However, this has nothing to do with the intervention of those affected, but much more with the effect of the body's hormones.
Like the body of every woman, the hormone glands of hirsutism patrons produce both female and smallest amounts of male hormone (testosterone). The causes of hirsutism are in 95 percent of cases in the area of this hormonal control. The body of these women does not spill out too much testosterone, as the medicine thought for a long time. Rather, the skin reacts in such cases simply very strong on these actually normal levels of testosterone.
Hirsutism: body hair as a factor of suffering
The consequences of this hypersensitive skin often complicate life for the affected women. Especially at an age when girls have to learn to deal with the physical effects of puberty and to gain their first experience of sexuality, those affected by hirsutism are often marginalized. Acne on the face and strong body hair, not only in the pubic area, but also on the legs, on the face, in bad cases even hair growth on the chest and back make a relaxed handling of one's own physicality almost impossible.
Anja also recalls: "School sports were a pure torture, especially the sports we shared with the boys." The acne, which often affects the chest and back as well as the face, is often confused with hygiene deficiencies. "I was teased if I could not wash myself." Anja would never have dared to speak to a boy. In the dance lesson it was always her who remained the only one without a dance partner.
PCO syndrome as one of the causes
But hirsutism is not a destiny that simply has to be accepted. There are several treatment approaches to counteract hair growth. First, it must be ensured that the patient's problems really stem from an excessive response to normal levels of testosterone. A simple blood test can prove this. Anja suffers from the second most common cause of hirsutism: the so-called polycystic ovarian syndrome (short: PCO syndrome, PCOS). This malfunction of the ovaries can be detected in a gynecological examination with ultrasound.
As with Anja, the PCO syndrome (PCOS) often goes hand in hand with overweight and metabolic disorders. Hypersensitivity and the PCO syndrome (PCOS) together account for around 95 percent of all cases of hirsutism. Often, this syndrome also occurs during menopause, when your own hormone production wears off. Other causes, such as pregnancy-related hirsfishness, or the production of hormones, are extremely rare.