Doctors perplexed woman's mysterious hormone condition

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

Doctors have helped a woman with an “exceedingly rare” condition which saw her grow eyelash-like hairs in her mouth.

The woman, from Italy, was 19 at the time when doctors first discovered her condition in 2009 according to the journal of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology.

She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

The Victorian government’s Better Health Channel describes PCOS as “a complex hormonal condition”.

This woman was diagnosed with a condition leading to hair growing in her mouth: Source: Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

The cause of it “isn’t fully understood”, but it leads to higher levels of male hormones known as androgens. Two out of three women who have it can experience higher levels of acne and some body hair growth.

In this case, the then-19-year-old was given birth control pills to regulate her hormones while doctors removed the hairs from her mouth.

It’s not clear why, but for some reason she stopped taking the pills. She returned to the doctors at age 25 with the same issue.

On a number of occasions the woman went to the doctor to have the hairs removed. Source: Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

The hairs were removed and she returned 12 months later to have more of them removed from her gums. Doctors believe she should be fine with ongoing medication.

Researchers noted they found only five other cases of people having hair growing in their mouths after studying literature “most of which described a single hair localised in various sites of the oral cavity”.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS and it can only be managed through diet and medications.

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