I have hirsutism.
For those that don’t know, hirsutism is “the excessive hairiness on women in those parts of the body where terminal hair does not normally occur.” Yep, so pretty much if you were to name any body part I will most likely have hair there.
I first become aware of the fact that ‘maybe that’s not supposed to grow there’ when I was around the age of 15. Fortunately my mum was very compassionate and has been a rock for me throughout my hirsutism roller coaster. She has paid for waxing, has sent me to specialists and has supported me when I decided to undergo IPL.
When I was 16 I went to see a specialist who suspected that I may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which has now been confirmed. I was told a raft of information about how it will make it difficult to have children, that excessive hair growth is side affect of PCOS and that it’s only possible to treat the symptoms. At the time I agreed to go on pills (Cyproterone acetate) to try and help decrease the amount of new hair growth. Unfortunately I was never told about some of the side affects such as dry skin which only caused more problems which I didn’t realize until I went off the pills before surgery!
I am now off the drugs and am dealing with the knowledge that excessive hair growth is going to be with me for life.
With summer on the way this is something that is constantly at the forefront of my mind. Over the warmer months when I’m surrounded by girls wearing hardly anything with hairless skin I find myself wishing that I was like them. I pour money into waxing and most days I’ll be epilating everywhere as well. After all of this I’ll be checking my skin in mirrors making sure I haven’t missed a couple of black hairs somewhere.
It’s like you get stuck in a rut… it consumes your thoughts and steals your time.
I have planned a holiday to Thailand over new years. I am ridiculously excited to be getting out of New Zealand and partying up a storm before I (hopefully) begin a full time job of some sort but then…
- Will my epilator pull me up at customs anywhere?
- Should I just shave everything while I get over there?
- What if I get ingrown hairs?
- Shaving rash
- I have to remember to book a full body wax just before I go
- If I wax everything will that be all good for the two weeks that I’m over there for?
I’m hoping by the time I get over there I’ll just stop caring (fingers crossed).
I think because hirsutism is something that no one is very open with it makes you feel really alone. All the support groups I have been able find have been online blogs when really all you need sometimes is someone up in your face that you are able to just laugh about it with, go to the beach and realize that you are with people in the same boat.
Despite waxing and destroying all evidence that I have hirsutism I still feel like people know. That they look at me and can see that I have it. Sitting in a bikini on the beach is one of the hardest things for me to do even with my love of lying out in the sun.
While looking through online support groups I came across this post on hirsutism.blogspot.co.nz
YOU KNOW YOU’RE HIRSUTE WHEN…
– You shave your collar bones!
– you wish you were as hairy as your brother
– you only have time to wax/sugar one leg in a day
– you know what its like to nick your back with a razor (did that tonight!)
– you spend more time checking out women in bathing suits and short skirts than men
– your chest hair is impressive – but you’re a woman
– you’ve had ingrown hairs on your bum
I laughed and was happy that someone else was able to add some humor to this subject.