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Question of the Month

Q: Is PCOS hereditary, can it be passed on to my children?
Most doctors state hair growth is based on your culture...Italian, Middle Eastern, etc. Is that true or is it all PCOS related?

A: These are two important questions.
There are definitely hereditary factors in PCOS but it involves many genes. Sometimes daughters are affected but often they are not. In any case the treatment is improving dramatically so it is not something to worry about - if it happens something can be done to help it.

All ethnic groups can have extra hair. It is about equally common in Caucasians and African-Americans. Asians, both male and female, have much less facial and body hair so extra hair, if it occurs, tends to be less.
With Caucasians, the color of hair and skin influences how visible extra hair is. In someone with dark hair, any increase will be more apparent than in those with very fair hair. However, I have seen women with very light hair and skin have this problem. The important thing is that increased hair can be treated with electrolysis or medication or both in all ethnic groups.

Hope this is helpful.


Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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