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How Can a Woman Get Rid of Facial Hair?

Posted Tuesday 11 August 2020 12:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

If you are wondering how to safely get rid of facial hair as a woman, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we are going to talk about the reasons why some women have excessive hair growth and then we are going to provide you with options on how to treat the problem.

What causes unwanted facial hair?

The medical term for the cause of unwanted facial hair is hirsutism. This medical condition is characterized by having excessive hair growth on a woman’s chest, back, arms, and face. Normally, women have hair on the body and on the face (commonly referred to as “peach fuzz”). But hirsutism is different. This type of hair growth is usually coarse and dark.

Unwanted facial hair shares the same characteristics associated with male hormones. Hence, excessive hair growth is usually seen in areas where it’s common and normal for men to have coarse, dark hair.

Unwanted facial hair is not harmful but it can damage a woman’s self-confidence. There are some reports that hirsutism has led some women into depression.

What are the causes of unwanted facial hair?

Most of the time, unwanted facial hair is caused by hormonal imbalance --- particularly above normal levels of androgen and testosterone. There are certain medical conditions that cause this hormonal imbalance. Some of the most common ones include:

Disorders in your adrenal glands

Cancer, tumours, Cushing’s disease, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia can affect the ability of your adrenal glands to produce hormones properly. For example, in the case of Cushing’s disease, your adrenal glands tend to produce more cortisol or stress hormone than normal, affecting the levels of androgen in your body.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is considered to be one of the most common reasons behind unwanted facial hair growth in women. In fact, polycystic ovarian syndrome is responsible for 75% of hirsutism cases! This disorder is characterized by the presence of benign cysts on the ovaries that can change your hormone level production. PCOS can also cause irregular periods and infertility.

Certain medications

Some medications can lead to the growth of unwanted facial hair. Some of these include:

  • Anabolic steroids
  • Testosterone
  • Minoxidil
  • Cyclosporine

How can a woman get rid of facial hair?

Below are some of the proven ways on how a woman can get rid of unwanted facial hair:

Managing your hormones

Treating hirsutism usually involves addressing the cause of the hormonal imbalance. If your unwanted facial hair is caused by PCOS or disorders in your adrenal glands, then you will need medical treatment such as hormone management:

Taking combination birth control pills - combination pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone which help shrink the cysts from PCOS. Estrogen is also helpful in getting rid of excessive facial hair.

Taking antiandrogen medications - pure antiandrogens and steroidal androgens can help reduce the production of androgen from your adrenal glands by blocking androgen receptors in your body.

Getting hair removal treatment

Another way to get rid of facial hair is by using hair removal techniques. This non-medical way involves methods that have been used by women for years in keeping their bikini area, underarms, and legs hair-free.

Laser hair removal - this technique involves damaging your hair follicles with concentrated light rays so they can no longer produce hair. This kind of treatment also causes the existing hair to fall out. Laser hair removal can provide a permanent way of eliminating facial hair.

Waxing and shaving - this method is affordable and you can see results immediately. The only downside to this technique is that it’s not a long term, permanent solution to your facial hair problem. Eventually, the hair will grow back and you will have to repeat the process again.

Electrolysis - this technique makes use of an electric current to damage the hair follicle and keep it from producing hair again. Each follicle needs to be treated so electrolysis sessions can take a long time. Like laser hair removal, electrolysis can be costly but provides almost near-permanent results.

Using Cream

Creams containing eflornithine can help slow down the growth of facial hair within one to two months. One of the most common creams prescribed by doctors is Vaniqa. This cream has the active ingredient eflornithine hydrochloride. Vaniqa is designed to be applied on the face and adjacent areas under the skin. This facial hair treatment has been proven to work in women of various ethnicities.

How to use Vaniqa

Vaniqa must be applied on the face or adjacent areas twice a day. Make sure there’s an 8-hour gap between each session. Depending on the severity of your hirsutism, you should see significant results after using Vaniqa for 4 to 8 weeks.

Where to buy Vaniqa

You can buy Vaniqa online today and get it delivered to your doorstep from Express Pharmacy.

How Effective Is the Pill? Can You Get Pregnant on It?

Posted Friday 07 August 2020 11:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Can you get pregnant on the pill? How effective is it? Birth control pills are one of the most commonly used contraception methods in the globe. Why? Because when used properly, they can stop unwanted pregnancies 99% of the time. In this article, you are going to learn what the pill is and how effective it is. Towards the end, we will answer the most important question: Can you get pregnant on the pill?

What is the pill?

Hormonal contraceptives - or more commonly known as “the pill” - are used by women around the globe to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Taken orally, the pill is considered to be one of the most effective methods of contraception --- stopping 99.9% of pregnancies if used as directed. Generally safe, you can use the pill multiple times.

There are two types of pills, the combination pill and the mini pill. Let’s talk about each type briefly below:

Combination Pills

These pills contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin --- hence the name. These hormones are man-made and they are usually taken in 21-day courses (mimicking a menstrual cycle). Some pills come in 28-day courses where the remaining 7 pills don’t contain any active hormones. It’s designed this way to help you keep the habit of taking one pill a day.

Combined pills work by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg. They also help prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus lining on the entrance of the womb to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Some combined pills work by thinning the lining of your uterus to prevent the fertilised egg from implanting itself.

Mini Pills

Unlike combined pills, mini pills contain only one hormone --- progestin. These pills are perfect for those who experience side effects when using combined pills. Mini pills are usually prescribed to women who are breastfeeding.

One mini-pill is taken every day. The pill prevents pregnancy by thickening the mucus in your cervix, making it hard for the sperm to pass through and enter the uterus. The hormone in the pill also thins the lining of the uterus so the fertilized egg is less likely to implant itself and grow.

In terms of effectiveness, mini pills are 95% to 99% effective in stopping unwanted pregnancies if used correctly.

Can you get pregnant on the pill?

Short answer? Yes. Although doctors consider the pill as one of the best contraceptive methods, it’s still not guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Why? Human error. Below are some of the things that can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

Missing a dose

Manufacturers and health experts stress that the pill is most effective if taken daily. If you miss a dose, your hormone levels may not be consistent enough to prevent pregnancy. We understand that some people find it hard to keep the habit of taking one pill a day. If you are one of them, consider different methods of contraception that don’t require sticking into a habit.

Not taking your pill at the same time every day

Aside from taking your pill daily, you also need to take it at precisely the same time so your hormone levels remain consistent. For example, if you are taking a mini pill, there’s only a 3-hour time window each day that you should take the pill. If you miss this window, you need to abstain from sex or use emergency contraception if you’ve had unprotected sex. To help you take the pill at precisely the same time, consider setting an alarm.


There are days that we don’t feel good. If you feel nauseous and vomited after taking the pill, take another dose as quickly as possible. Why? Because there’s a good chance that your body has not fully absorbed the pill yet when you vomited.

Taking other medicines that react with the pill

Medicines like antibiotics, epilepsy, antiviral and antifungal drugs can make the pill less effective. If you’ve had unprotected sex while taking any of these medicines, consider using emergency contraception to lower your risks of pregnancy. You can also use other forms of contraceptives like the condom when under any of these medications.

Not starting a new pack on time

Doctors recommend starting a new pack right away after finishing your previous course to keep your hormone levels as consistent as possible. However, not everyone has access to a new pack of pills right away. If you’ve missed two or more pills, avoid sex as much as possible until you’ve taken your pills for a week. If you can’t help it, consider using backup contraceptive methods.

How to NOT get pregnant on the pill

We want you to enjoy your sex life as much as possible without worrying about unwanted pregnancy. To help you maximize the effectiveness of the pill, consider these tips:

  • Always read the instructions included in your packet carefully
  • Always take the pill at precisely the same time each day. Set an alarm to help you remember.
  • Always have a new pack on hand at least a week before your pack runs out. Consider making it a habit to buy two packs of contraceptive pills every time.
  • If you missed a dose, take the missed pill as quickly as possible.
  • If you missed your pill for two or more times, use a backup contraceptive method like a condom to lower your risks of getting pregnant.

You can buy the pill online and get it delivered to your doorstep from Express Pharmacy.

What Are the Side Effects of the Yasmin Pill?

Posted Tuesday 28 July 2020 12:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Contraceptive pills are a great way to satisfy your sex drive without the risks of unwanted pregnancy. Women who have painful or heavy periods also use contraceptive pills to control their menstruation.

The Yasmin Pill is a common type of contraceptive used by women in the UK. If taken correctly, this pill is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. But it doesn’t come without any risks. So, what are the side effects of the Yasmin Pill? Read on to find out.

How the Yasmin Pill Works

The Yasmin pill is a combination of two hormones — Ethinylestradiol (oestrogen) and Drospirenone (progesterone). It’s usually taken by women who are under 35 years old. This pill prevents pregnancy in three ways:

  • By preventing ovulation.
  • By making the mucus layer in your cervix thicker so the sperm will have a hard time reaching the egg.
  • By changing the lining of the uterus to prevent the attachment of a fertilized egg.

The pill is taken orally, daily at set intervals. It can be taken with or without food or water.

The Yasmin Pill is also comparable to Microgynon — another popular contraceptive pill. Both of these pills are combination pills that follow a 28-day course. One of the contrasting differences between the two is that the Yasmin pill is not suited for women who have cardiovascular diseases because of its tendency to develop blood clots. Microgynon, on the other hand, has lower risks of blood clots making it more suitable for women who have heart disease.

If you want to learn more, this article about Yasmin vs. Microgynon is a good place to start.

What are the side effects of the Yasmin Pill?

Like all medicines, Yasmin also has its own share of side effects that you need to be aware of. Below is a list of the common side effects of the Yasmin pill.

  • Vomiting
  • Feeling nauseous especially if it’s your first time.
  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Weight changes
  • Freckles
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Increase hair growth
  • Discharge from your nipples or vagina
  • Itching on your vagina
  • Dulled sex drive
  • Changes in your period
  • Loss of scalp hair

Yasmin also increases the risks of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke for women who are:

  • Smoking
  • Over 35 years old
  • Have a medical history of heart attack, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases

Side effects of Yasmin that require immediate medical attention

If you experience the side effects below, stop taking Yasmin and call your doctor right away:

  • Signs of allergic reaction - swelling of the face, tongue, throat, or lips. Hives and difficulty breathing.
  • Signs of a heart attack - Chest pressure or pain that spreads to your shoulder or jaw. Sweating and nausea.
  • Signs of a stroke - sudden weakness on one side of the body. Severe headache, vision and balance problems, and slurred speech.
  • Signs of high blood pressure - blurred vision and pounding in your ears or neck. Severe headache.
  • Signs of a blood clot - shortness of breath, loss of vision, pain in one or both legs, stabbing chest pain.

Yasmin Alternatives Available At Express Pharmacy

Aside from Yasmin, Express Pharmacy stocks the following contraceptives that guarantee safe and effective use:

Microgynon - a combination pill made from Levonorgestrel and Ethinylestradiol. It works like Yasmin and has lower risks of developing blood clots. This contraceptive pill is ideal for women who have a medical history of cardiovascular diseases.

Cilest - another combination pill. Its active ingredients are Norgestimate and Ethinylestradiol. This pill works by tricking the body into thinking that ovulation has already happened thus, preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg.

EVRA Patches - this alternate method of contraception is directly applied to the skin. The patch releases two hormones, Norelgestromin and Ethinylestradiol. EVRA patches are effective immediately as long as it is placed correctly. This alternative contraception method is ideal for those who have a hard time swallowing pills or can’t remember when to take it.

You can buy Yasmin online from Express Pharmacy.

What Causes Facial Hair on a Woman?

Posted Friday 17 July 2020 11:00 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Hirsutism is a medical condition that refers to abnormal or excessive hair growth in women. Like men, women also have body and facial hair but you barely notice it because it is normally light in colour and fine in texture. The hair growth caused by hirsutism is usually dark and coarse. So, what causes facial hair on a woman? Read on and find out for yourself.

Understanding Hirsutism

There are two types of excessive hair growth — hirsutism and hypertrichosis. Hypertrichosis is the increase of hair growth anywhere on the body, while hirsutism is excessive hair growth on areas that are naturally hairy on men. This includes the face, abdomen, chest, back, and arms.

Is hirsutism common?

Based on the study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, hirsutism affects up to 10% of women. It can be hereditary and is typically more common among women of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and South Asian descent.

Is hirsutism dangerous?

While there are no direct health concerns with hirsutism, excessive hair growth on the body can affect a woman’s self-esteem.

Causes of facial hair on a woman

The main culprits behind hirsutism are the hormones androgen and testosterone. Too much production of these hormones can cause male-pattern hair growth and other symptoms like deepening of the voice, acne, decreased breast size, enlargement of the clitoris, balding, and increased muscle mass.

So, what triggers the overproduction of androgen?

There are several medical conditions that affect the production of androgen in the body. Some of the common ones include:

Disorders in the adrenal glands

Your adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones in your body. They are found just above your kidneys. Common adrenal gland disorders include:

  • Adrenal tumours
  • Adrenal cancer
  • Cushing Syndrome - a condition where your adrenal glands produce too much cortisol or “stress hormones”.
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia - a group of genetic diseases that prevent the adrenal glands from producing hormones normally.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Commonly known as PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterised by benign cysts that form on the ovaries — affecting your hormone production, menstrual cycle, and fertility.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Fatigue
  • Pelvic pain
  • Mood changes
  • Headaches
  • Infertility

According to studies, polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause of facial hair on women. In fact, it is responsible for 75% of hirsutism cases.

Certain medications

Aside from illnesses, certain medications may also cause excessive hair growth in women. Some of them are:

  • Minoxidil - a medicine used to treat endometriosis in women. Also used to encourage hair growth.
  • Testosterone - usually taken to correct testosterone deficiency
  • Cyclosporine - a drug that’s usually used before organ operations
  • Anabolic steroids - many of these are synthetic versions of testosterone.

Who are at risk of developing excessive facial hair?

Now that we know what are the causes of hirsutism, let’s look at who is more likely to develop it.

Women who are obese - too much weight may stimulate overproduction of androgen.

Family history - most of the underlying causes of facial hair on women (i.e. polycystic ovarian syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia) run in families. This means that if one of your family members develops hirsutism, there’s a big chance that’ you’ll get it too.

Ancestry - several studies show that women who are from South Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East are more likely to develop facial hair than women from other countries. Until now, doctors can’t pinpoint a reason why this is the case.

What are the complications of hirsutism?

Hirsutism in itself is not fatal but it can have a big impact on a woman’s self-confidence. As one study states: “Hirsutism is recognized to cause profound distress in affected women, due to cosmetic and psychosexual implications.”

The hormonal imbalance that causes hirsutism may have a significant impact on a woman’s health. For example, if you have the polycystic ovarian syndrome, you are at risk of infertility.

If you have Cushing’s Disease, you are more at risk of developing premature atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), diabetes, and hypertension.

How to treat facial hair on a woman

Treating hirsutism may involve treating the underlying disorder that caused it. Aside from that, you can also develop a self-care routine to get rid of excess hair as well as various medications and therapies. Let’s discuss below some of the ways that you can treat excessive hair growth.

Oral contraceptives - hormonal contraceptives or birth control pills can help treat hirsutism that’s caused by excessive androgen production. This is a good option if you don’t want to become pregnant.

Anti-androgen drugs - these types of drugs are used to prevent androgens from “activating” inside your body. Anti-androgens are usually given if oral contraceptives are not effective. Spironolactone (brand name: Aldactone, CaroSpir) is the most commonly used anti-androgen drug. It takes about six months for results to become noticeable.

Vaniqa - this topical cream is specifically made for women who have facial hair. Vaniqa is applied directly to the affected area. Although it doesn’t get rid of existing hair, Vaniqa is very effective in slowing down new hair growth. You can see results within 4 - 8 weeks of using this product. You can buy Vaniqa online from Express Pharmacy today.

Common Side Effects of Trimethoprim Tablets

Posted Monday 15 June 2020 11:20 by in Women's Medication by Harman Bhamra

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic commonly used to treat certain infections like Cystitis. Some doctors also recommend trimethoprim for chest infections and acne. In this blog post, you will learn about the proper way to take trimethoprim as well as the common side effects of trimethoprim tablets.

How And When To Take Trimethoprim Tablets

Trimethoprim is usually taken two times a day - once in the morning and once in the evening. This treatment doesn’t upset your stomach so you can take it without food.

The usual dose of trimethoprim tablets depends on the type of infection being treated, your age and any other underlying conditions. Elderly people and those with damaged kidneys are usually given lower doses.

Purpose Common Dose
To treat UTIs 200 mg tablets twice a day. You GP may advise you to double the first dosage (400 mg).
Treating cystitis that comes after sex A one-off dose of 100mg. Taken within 2 hours of having sex.
Treat acne 300 mg twice a day. Your doctor may reduce this dose over time.
Preventing infections 100 mg once a day. Take at bedtime.

You take trimethoprim by swallowing the tablets whole. If you find it hard to swallow tablets, trimethoprim is also available in made to order liquid form.

Always follow the dosage given by your doctor to avoid trimethoprim side effects.

How Long Is A Trimethoprim Course?

Again, the length of your antibiotic course will depend on your age, sex, underlying health problems, and infection being treated.

Women with UTIs usually take trimethoprim in a 3-day course. Men and pregnant women, on the other hand, need to take the antibiotic for 14 days. If you have a catheter or a complicated form of UTI, the common length of treatment is also 14 days.

If the UTI developed a complication called prostatitis or swelling of the prostate gland (men only), you may need to take a trimethoprim course of 4 to 6 weeks.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to your next dose, skip the missed tablet and continue as normal. Never double dose unless directed by your doctor.

Common Side Effects of Trimethoprim Tablets

Most people taking trimethoprim experience mild itching or skin rash. This side effect usually goes away on its own after you stop taking the medication. The other common side effects of trimethoprim include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of appetite
  • Taste problems
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Although rare, serious trimethoprim side effects can also happen. Stop taking the antibiotic and call your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • Abnormal heartbeat, muscle weakness, and chest pains (you may have high potassium in your blood)
  • Serious skin rashes, swelling of the skin that looks like burns, skin ulcers, blisters
  • Headaches accompanied by fever, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, or tiredness (these can be symptoms of meningitis)
  • Severe diarrhoea that lasts for more than 4 days or diarrhoea with blood
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Sore throat, mouth ulcers or fever

Serious allergic reactions to trimethoprim are also possible. Get immediate medical care if you experience:

  • Wheezing
  • Skin rash with peeling or blistered skin
  • Trouble breathing or talking
  • Swelling face, mouth, lips, throat, or tongue
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest

The best way to avoid these trimethoprim side effects is to always follow the dosage as directed by your doctor.