Ladies, before you reach for that razor to get a close shave under your armpits, you may want to find out about the current trend that has women ditching the razor and going au naturel in the month of August., a UK-based organization, has encouraged women to do a "no shave August" in order to raise awareness for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition of hormone imbalances that can lead to excess hair growth. For its second annual even — the first month-long charity event was held last August — the organization wants participants to grow their underarm hair for the duration of the month as they have their friends and family sponsor them to raise funds for a charity. Verity, the charity of choice for the movement, is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness of PCOS in the medical community and provides patients with a support system.

"We hope that, if this and similar campaigns are successful in changing social attitudes about body hair and femininity, it will become easier in the future for more and more people to participate," the Armpits4August website states. The movement not only helps the 10 percent of pre-menopausal women with PCOS, but it also serves as a stepping stone to defy conventional definitions of femininity and beauty in society.

PCOS: A Condition Of Hormonal Imbalance

For an estimated 5 million women in the U.S., a missed period, combination skin, and weight gain are not signs of pregnancy, they are symptoms of PCOS. The direct cause of the condition remains unknown but experts believe it's due to a hormonal imbalance. Sufferers of PCOS have ovaries that produce more androgens — the male hormones — than normal, says In a woman's body, the hormonal imbalance of having higher levels of androgens directly affects the development and release of eggs while a woman ovulates.

Symptoms of PCOS

Patients of PCOS, typically women of reproductive age, do not always have similar symptoms. In order to determine whether you or someone you know may suffer from the hormonal imbalance, the University of Chicago Medicine says to look for the following characteristics below associated with PCOS:

  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, etc.)
  • Hair loss (androgenic alopecia, in a classic "male baldness" pattern)
  • Acne
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Obesity
  • Infertility or reduced fertility

While there is no specific test to diagnose PCOS, the symptoms help doctors confirm whether a woman suffers from the hormonal imbalance. The condition is commonly found to occur in women who are in their mid- to late teens and twenties who still experience irregular periods, says Women's Health. While a single test is not yet available to determine the medical condition, pelvic exams, blood tests, and a vaginal ultrasound can be used to examine your reproductive organs to check for cysts on your ovaries and the lining of the womb.

Natural Treatment For PCOS

Currently, there is no found cure for PCOS. While a series of medications are available to reduce the symptoms of PCOS, there are also some simple, natural lifestyle changes that can help manage the symptoms of the condition.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Women who have PCOS often have too much insulin in their blood, and can further trigger that problem by eating too much sugar. While consuming the occasional sweet treat will not pack on the pounds, constantly including sugar in your everyday diet will lead to further weight gain and even obesity. PCOS sufferers who have an excessive amount of weight gain will experience weight loss bysignificantly reducing the amount of sugar they consume.

Increase Vitamins and Nutrients

A diet focused on more whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables and lean meats will improve the severity of your symptoms of PCOS, especially if you are overweight, says You should avoid processed foods, and include more healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, wild fish, and avocados, among many others. These healthy fats can contribute to regulate your hormones and keep them balanced.

Increase Physical Activity

One of the common underlying problems of PCOS is insulin resistance. To monitor your weight and insulin levels, exercise is a healthy way to get fit and regulate your cycle. Stephanie Langford, contributing writer for says a 20-minute exercise video or even going for a walk or jog in the evening can help bring hormonal balance.

Langford, was diagnosed with PCOS when she was 20 years old, and she now believes that the natural treatments she's done over the course of several years has finally helped get her cycle to resemblance regularity.

The best news? She began to ovulate again and even has three healthy babies.

To read more about Langford's journey with PCOS, visit her contributing article. To learn how you can be involved in Armpits4August if you're overseas, you can visit their website to sponsor a participant or donate to Verity.