Dr. Pari was featured as a guest contributor in the article below, originally posted for Glamour by Korin Miller.
It’s no secret pregnancy does weird things to your body. Among other things, you can suddenly have acne-prone skin like a teenager, hate foods you once loved, and have weird hairs sprout up out of nowhere.
Adele is getting real about those challenges—at least the weird hair part. The singer revealed at a recent concert that she “grew a beard” while she was pregnant with her son, Angelo.
“When I got pregnant, I had so much testosterone in me that I grew a beard,” she told the audience, per the U.K.’s The Mirror. “It’s actually true. I’m not telling a joke. I actually have a beard, but I’m proud of it. I call it Larry.”
Adele isn’t the first celebrity to say she grew facial hair while pregnant—Drew Barrymore announced in 2013 that she “got a wonderful little goatee” during her pregnancy.
While it sounds hilarious (provided it doesn’t happen to you), experts say this is a legitimate phenomenon that occurs with pregnant women—and it happens more often than you’d think. “This is very common,” says Denny Martin, D.O., an assistant professor and associate chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Michigan State University. According to Martin, he sees this pretty regularly in his clinical work.
Why does it happen in the first place? Martin says it’s due to high circulating levels of estrogen (not testosterone, as Adele thought) during pregnancy that cause hair in our body to stay in a growth phase. As a result, hair can start sprouting out of pretty much anywhere.
According to board-certified ob-gyn Pari Ghodsi, M.D., these weird hairs often crop up on the back, nipples, and stomach, although they can also appear on the upper lip and upper thighs.
Unfortunately, shaving, plucking, or waxing are your only options for combating these hairs. “Using chemical hair removers are not safe in pregnancy,” Ghodsi says, adding that there’s really nothing you can do to stop the growth anyway.
On the bright side: Experts say these hairs tend to go away anywhere from one to six months after you give birth.
Of course, sprouting facial hair during pregnancy doesn’t exactly seem like a good time, but Martin says you shouldn’t freak out if it happens to you: “It’s a normal thing.”