People born with ovaries are more likely to develop polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone disease. In women who are not yet past the age of menopause, ovarian follicles normally break each month to discharge an egg. However, in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), these follicles continue to grow, transform into cysts, and produce an excess of androgens in the body.
This syndrome has several symptoms, including obesity, diabetes type 2, and irregular menstrual cycles. PCOS is characterized by several symptoms, some of which are more obvious than others. Some individuals with PCOS will experience hirsutism, also known as excessive hair growth, on areas of their face or bodies that do not typically produce thick hair. On their scalps, some other people may also experience hair loss and thinning of their hair. Many even go so far as to experience both simultaneously.
How Does PCOS Induce Hair Loss?
Androgenetic alopecia, often known as female pattern baldness, has been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Because of their role in puberty, libido, and the regulation of hair development, androgens, also known as “male” hormones, are present in people of both sexes. Androgenetic alopecia is characterized by abnormally high levels of certain hormones, which can lead to thinning or hair loss.
PCOS sufferers have greater concentrations of androgens than the average person with ovaries, leading to hair thinning and loss on the scalp and the rest of the body. PCOS patients experience female pattern baldness between 20% and 30% of the time. If you suffer from PCOS and lose your hair, it is unlikely that it will grow back on its own. To encourage new hair growth, you will need to utilize various treatments.
Seven Therapies For PCOS-Related Alopecia
A hormonal imbalance causes PCOS; therefore, it seems reasonable that hormone therapy would help treat the condition. Before noticing improvements, you may need to experiment with a few different prescriptions for a while.
Minoxidil 5% is a medication the FDA has approved for treating female pattern baldness and hair loss. It promotes the growth of new hair. You are to administer this scalp therapy in a topical form daily. There is widespread consensus amongst specialists that the application of topical minoxidil should come before any other treatments.
Oral contraceptives and birth control pills have the same effect of lowering androgen hormone levels. They are employed to treat various PCOS symptoms, such as acne, and normalize the regularity of menstrual periods. Some medical practitioners advise their patients to take the birth-control pill and another anti-androgenic medicine simultaneously when treating hair loss.
You can treat edema with the diuretic spironolactone, marketed under the brand name Aldactone (fluid retention). Because it inhibits the action of androgens, it is also employed in treating PCOS, thinning hair, and acne.
According to studies, between 44 and 74% of women with female pattern baldness who took spironolactone saw an improvement in the rate at which they lost their hair. Similarly, flutamide, a pure antiandrogen medication, is sometimes employed in hormonally-based cancer therapy. In extremely rare cases, it can cause significant harm to the liver, even though it does show potential for treating female pattern hair loss.
Finasteride And Dutasteride
Propecia and Avodart are two hair-regrowth oral drugs licensed by the FDA to address male pattern hair loss. Both of these medications are available in tablet form. Although they may be effective for some, biologically born women who take them can experience unpleasant side effects, which may limit their application.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy entails having your blood collected to concentrate the platelets within and then administered to the scalp in areas where baldness or thinning has occurred.
Therapy Using a Low-Level Laser Light
Low-level light therapy, red light therapy, or near-infrared light therapy can help stimulate hair growth. There is inconclusive evidence, with some research indicating that it is helpful while others demonstrate no difference.
A hair transplant is a surgical technique in which follicles are transplanted from a region with a healthy supply of hair to a region of the body with hair loss. You may need a few different surgeries to get your entire appearance back.
Alternative Therapies for Female Pattern Baldness Caused By PCOS
Various natural treatments and home remedies are available to help decrease the impact that excessive androgen levels have on your hair.
Consuming meals that are high in fiber can help reduce the negative effects of PCOS-induced elevated blood sugar. Reducing the side effects and symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can help you preserve the hair you already have, even though it does not directly alter hair loss.
If you have PCOS and excess body fat, which is a typical indication of PCOS, losing weight can help lower your androgen levels, reducing your PCOS symptoms and the amount of hair loss you experience.
Vitamins, such as vitamins C and D, and B vitamin biotin, which is water-soluble, have been linked to good hair development. Zinc is a mineral that has been shown to assist with various health conditions, including PCOS and hirsutism.
It has been discovered that low iron levels are present in some individuals who suffer from female pattern hair loss. Even though there aren’t many studies that demonstrate iron aids hair loss, taking iron supplements could be beneficial, especially if the iron levels are below the average people.
On the other hand, an iron overload can have dangerous implications; therefore, it is essential to ensure that necessary daily levels are not exceeded and to see a medical practitioner before commencing any supplements.
It’s possible that receiving a diagnosis of PCOS-related hair loss could make you feel completely overwhelmed. In addition to the advice given above, you may want to consider joining a support group specializing in helping people deal with the psychological effects of hair loss. Have a conversation with your healthcare practitioner about the medical therapies and changes to your lifestyle that can help you feel and look your best.