Ladies, did you notice extreme hair loss recently? Strands of hair falling on the floor, left on your pillow, or coming out with your comb? Just think for a while. Are you also experiencing weight gain, abnormal menstrual cycle, or unusual hair growth on your chin and face?
If all the answers are assertive, PCOS can be the offender causing these issues. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, aka PCOS, arises from imbalanced hormones in your body. It is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Only in the US, 6 to 12 percent of women between 15 to 45 encounter PCOS.
PCOS can affect your body and life with many symptoms. However, excessive hair loss is one of the troubling ones that affect you both physically and mentally. This article will explore the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and different PCOS- hair loss treatments.
What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common hormonal disorder. In this condition, your ovaries produce a high amount of male sex hormones androgens. This abnormal production of androgens causes severe effects on your reproductive health. Not only that, they can cause different concerning symptoms.
Women with PCOS may face irregular and lengthy menstrual cycles. Additionally, the ovaries may have small groups of follicle growth that obstruct the regular release of your eggs. It may cause infertility or difficulty in conceiving.
Unusual hair growth on your face and body is typical; however, PCOS-related hair loss and thinning scalp and hairline is the most upsetting symptom of PCOS.
What causes PCOS, the actual reason for it, is undiscovered even today. However, studies suggest that insulin resistance, obesity, and genetic factors may cause PCOS. For example, if your family has a history of Type 2 diabetes or obesity, you will likely experience PCOS.
Does PCOS Cause Hair Loss?
PCOS- related hair loss is one upsetting and psychologically affecting symptom. Increased production of the male hormone, aka androgen in your body, is the main reason for it. Excessive androgens are also the reason for male pattern hair loss and baldness.
Now, what are androgens?
Androgens are sex hormones that are responsible for male traits. Testosterone and androstenedione are the two dominant androgens hormones.
Though it’s termed as male hormones, Females also produce androgens in distinct amounts. The average testosterone level for a man is between 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of blood. A woman, on the other hand, produces just 15 to 70 ng/dL.
A woman with polycystic ovary syndrome usually produces excess androgens that exceed the average testosterone level in her body. It may cause virilization, the development of masculine features. As a result, you may encounter body hair, a deeper masculine voice, or pattern hair loss.
In addition, your body converts a small portion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. It’s a powerful androgen hormone that can curtail your hair follicles. As a result, new hairs stop growing, and you notice excessive hair loss.
Signs and Symptoms Of PCOS-Related Hair Loss
Women facing this PCOS- related hair loss is termed androgenic alopecia or female pattern hair loss as you will meet the classic pattern of hair loss. The question is, what are the first signs of PCOS hair loss?
The signs of PCOS hair loss are not noticeable initially, as we usually lose 100-150 hair strands a day. However, if you notice excessive hair loss during combing or shampooing, the reason may be PCOS.
The classic and usual symptoms of PCOS- hair loss are:
- Falling of hairs mainly in frontal and side areas of your scalp
- Gradual loss and thinning of hair in the parting area
- The hairline starts to fall above the temples
- Hair is fuzzy and almost invisible
- Few bald patches
- Strands come out with follicle
The shining ray of hope is female pattern hair loss doesn’t cause total baldness like male pattern hair loss. However, you must seek PCOS- hair loss treatment to regain your healthy hair.
Is PCOS Hair Loss Recoverable?
How I reversed my PCOS hair loss? Is hair regrowth possible after hair loss due to PCOS? Are you asking these questions to yourself? The answer is yes. You can recover the PCOS- hair loss if you can treat your underlying hormonal imbalance.
After your PCOS hair loss treatment, you will see a significant development not only in your hair but also in your overall health. However, if your hair damages intensely, you may need a separate hair care specialist to restore it. In addition, a healthy lifestyle will also help your hair to grow firmer and radiant.
Others Common Symptoms of PCOS
In addition to hair loss and PCOS-mood swing, the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome causes many other symptoms that include:
- Body hair growth, usually in a male-like pattern (hirsutism)
- Weight gain around your abdomen
- Irregular, lengthy, or missed menstrual periods
- Oily skin and acne
- A higher risk of miscarriage or complications during pregnancy
- Large ovaries and cysts growth
- Darkening of your skin, especially around your neck, groin, and under your breasts
- Skin patches around your neck and armpit
A hormonal imbalance causes PCOS hair loss, so hormone regulation is an essential part of treatment. Dr. David Nazarian in Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy, in Los Angeles, is an expert in this field who can help you with your hormonal imbalance issues.
There are a variety of medications your healthcare provider may suggest. However, the following are the common PCOS-hair loss treatments.
Oral contraceptive pills
Birth-control medications are one common way to treat and manage PCOS. Contraceptive pills can lower androgens levels. As a result, your facial hair growth reduces, and female pattern hair decreases. In addition, it also helps to manage other PCOS symptoms like acne and an abnormal menstrual cycle. Often doctors prescribe an anti-androgen medicine with contraceptives to manage PCOS- hair loss.
Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved topical treatment that doctors usually prescribe to treat female pattern baldness. You typically have to apply the drug to your scalp daily to gain hair growth.
However, it will not cure your PCOS-hair loss permanently. Minoxidil only helps to manage hair loss. So, stopping the drug may bring hair loss back again.
Spironolactone, an aldosterone receptor antagonist, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s a diuretic that doctors suggest to treat fluid retention, androgenetic alopecia, and block androgens’ effect on your skin.
Finasteride (Propecia) and Dutasteride (Avodart)
Finasteride and Dutasteride are both FDA-approved and prescribed to repress prostate growth in older men. However, many suggest them as off-label medication for female pattern hair loss.
Nevertheless, many doctors don’t consider them a good option for their damaging effect on women, especially pregnancy.
A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that is typical for PCOS- hair loss treatment. In this procedure, the doctors remove hair and hair follicles from the hairy part of your body and transplant them into the thinning or bald scalp.
A hair transplant is costly and is not covered by insurance providers. Usually, you need multiple procedures to notice any significant result.
Topical Antifungal Shampoos
If you have an inflammatory fungal infection, your doctor may suggest a topical anti-fungal shampoo.
Your lifestyle has a direct connection with your PCOS. Therefore, by upgrading your lifestyle, you can manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Weight loss can help you have a lower androgen level and reduce the impacts of excess androgens in women with PCOS. As a result, your hair loss decreases. Losing weight also helps you manage other PCOS symptoms like regulating your menstrual cycle and infertility.
Regular exercise is beneficial for you by every means. If you are following PCOS-hair loss treatment, exercise can help you achieve the maximum results by reducing the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and androgens production.
Exercise also helps you control Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome mood swings.
A healthy diet is a key to healthy living. Switch to healthy food and avoid junk foods. Your healthcare provider may also suggest you a polycystic ovary syndrome diet to control your hormones and obesity. A sustainable diet will help you control your male hormone production and keep your weight gaining at bay.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before starting supplements like creatine while you have PCOS symptoms.
Home Hair Care
With diet and exercise, take good care of your hair. Use a soft bristle brush—regular massage your scalp with oil. You can also use a homemade hair mask to boost up hair growth. In addition, to make your hair loss less noticeable, try different hairstyles.
Take Away Suggestion
Excessive hair loss is one troubling symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome that affects you both physically and mentally. PCOS- hair loss treatment helps you control the growth of male hormones in your body. This allows you to manage different symptoms of PCOs, including excessive hair loss.
Contact Hormone Replacement Therapy, Los Angeles, for a consultation if you are facing PCOS. Their staff is pleased to support you with their expertise to restore yourself physically and mentally.