PCOS diagnosed “bearded lady” gets laser hair removal

A mother of two with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) will receive funding for laser hair removal treatment to rid her of excessive body and facial hair. Cheryl Howe, 32, who is from Morecambe in Lancashire, has suffered years of abuse because of the excess hair on her face.

Ms Howe grows hair on her breasts, stomach and legs and shaves her face three times a day.

Many people who are diagnosed with PCOS have excessive hair as one of the symptoms of the illness, which affects millions of women in the UK to some degree.

Hair may sprout on areas of the body such as the chest, back and buttocks, while weight gain and acne or oily skin are some of the other common symptoms.

Ms Howe explained her hair problem was so severe that she was spending £2,000 every year on razors. She also had heavy periods from the age of just eight years old due to her PCOS. 

"I’m going to be a real girl and I can't wait," she said, admitting she was in tears when she found out she would finally be having laser hair removal treatment.

PCOS effect

Ms Howe lost relationships and jobs as a result of her excessive hair, which also led to her being given the cruel nickname of "bearded lady" after she was compared to Conchita Wurst, the Austrian winner of last year's Eurovision Song Contest.

"I couldn't be a mum or a wife, because I just didn't feel like a woman," she said, explaining that she was first prescribed the contraceptive pill by doctors, but this led to her periods lasting for 28 days out of every month.

The mother, who runs the Inspiration Foundation PCOS support group and forum, added that her relationship with her son Jack's father broke down due to her symptoms. 

She said: "When we got together, he insisted he didn't mind. But no man likes to see their partner shaving their chest, boobs and chin. It drove us apart."

The laser hair removal treatment will have a huge impact on Ms Howe's quality of life and can help a lot of women with PCOS to feel more comfortable in their skin. 


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