Three of the main things women want to get rid of are excess hair, excess weight and acne. While unwanted hair and carrying a few extra pounds is fairly normal, excessive hair growth, particularly on the face, acne flare ups, and sudden weight gain or weight that is difficult to shift could be a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is actually very common and is so called because suffers develop cysts on their ovaries which affect the way they function and how many eggs are released. As such PCOS can affect fertility and make your periods irregular.
PCOS occurs when small, harmless cysts grow on the ovaries. One of the main contributing factors to PCOS is thought to be a hormonal imbalance, which causes you to produce higher levels of male hormones known as androgens as well as insulin. One of the side effects of producing more male hormone is that you develop acne, grow excess hair and gain weight. Thinning hair is another symptom of PCOS. It is also thought that genetics play a role, so PCOS can run in families.
The NHS estimates that one in five women suffer from PCOS so it is a very common condition.