Do excess use of birth control pills cause hirsutism?

Q. I have excessive hair growth on my chest and stomach after using birth control pills. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Pawar Satyajit Jalinder
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 26, 2021 and last reviewed on: Jul 24, 2021

Hi doctor,

I want to ask about hormone imbalance as I have experienced excessive hair growth on my breast, chest, and stomach. I am scared and very depressed. I have chronic anemia. Since I started using birth control pills, I have been experiencing excessive hair growth. Please help.



Welcome to

I have gone through your query and can understand your concern. Excessive hair growth on the chest and stomach can occur due to increased androgens in the body. This is called hirsutism in medical terms. The causes include certain drugs, obesity, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), thyroid disorders, and sometimes adrenal malignancies. In your case, I would like to know whether the excess hair growth is also affecting the face. What is the birth control pill content that you are taking, as some of them can cause hirsutism? Have you done any blood tests? What is your exact age? As causes can vary according to age. Are your menstrual cycles regular?

Based on the height and weight provided by you, your BMI (body mass index) is 37 (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity), which falls in the severe obesity range. This is commonly associated with PCOS. I would also advise you to get tested for thyroid and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) levels and get a USG (ultrasonography) of the pelvis for PCOS. Oral contraceptive pills work well on PCOS, but we need to change their content (pills with antiandrogenic effect) if hirsutism is also present.

I would be happy to help you further if you have any more questions.

Thank you.

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