Excessive hair growth may be associated with fertility problems

Rapunzel’s long golden locks assisted prince charming in her rescue from a secluded tower and made her famous as the heroine of bedtime stories. Unfortunately for the blonde, a new study shows her legendary hair may have negatively impacted her fertility.

Experts from Georgia Health Sciences University have discovered a link between female hair growth and fertility problems. While Rapunzel may only exist in fairy tales, real life women are facing fertility problems connected with hair growth, a heartbreaking struggle.

Dr. Ricardo Azziz, a reproductive endocrinologist, and president of GHSU explained that hirsutism, a condition that leads to excessive hair growth, can be an important indicator of women’s health and fertility problems. Azziz specifically sees a link between the condition and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

In an article appearing on figo.org, (the official website of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) Azziz encourages doctors to check for the condition while screening patients who are having difficulties achieving pregnancy. Along with infertility problems, hirsutism can be a sign of many other health issues.

“At least half the women with excess hair growth will be at increased risk for insulin resistance, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes and heart disease,” he said in the article.

Excessive hair growth is often a sign of a variety of conditions coming from higher than normal levels of the male hormone androgen.

Among multiple possible options available to assist women diagnosed with hirsutism who are struggling with fertility is embryo adoption, a relatively new adoption process. During embryo adoption, couples with remaining frozen embryos from the past in vitro fertilization procedures can donate their embryos to an adoptive couple. The adoptive family is able to implant the embryos in the adoptive mother’s uterus through a procedure called a frozen embryo transfer (FET). If all goes according to plan, the result is the adoptive parents giving birth to their adopted child.

To learn more information on hirsutism, visit figo.org. For more information on embryo adoption, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.

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