Women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may experience hair loss. PCOS is a condition in which women have high levels of androgens in their bodies. These are often called male hormones though they are produced by women as well. Those who have this condition may have the development of small cysts on their ovaries, irregular periods, and limitations on conception. This condition can impact a woman's menstrual cycle, heart, appearance, hormones, and their hair. Understanding it as well as why it impacts hair growth can help you to learn what your next steps are for getting help.
Hormones And Their Impact
Women struggling with PCOS nearly always face changes in their hormones. In short, the amount and type of hormones in the blood stream are not normal. They do not provide the same level of stimulation of the body's functions. Hormones control just about every organ's function, including your heart and your hair follicles. When the normal hormone production is not normal, which is what occurs in PCOS, a woman may experience hair loss.
Understand the hair growth cycle. You have over 100,000 hair follicles on your head. Not all of them are producing hair at any one time. Generally, hair will grow for several months to years and then fall out. This is called the normal growth cycle. During this process, some of your hair follicles will remain in a rest phase, in which they do not produce hair. About 80 to 85 percent of your hair is in the growth phase at one time.
However, when you have PCOS, your hair may not follow this cycle properly. The hormone changes in your body can often lead to disruptions of this cycle. Some of your hair may fall out earlier than it normally would. In other cases, your hair may not begin to grow after the resting phase. You may be in that phase longer. This does not mean your hair will never grow back, but it may not be as full and thick as it used to be. When not enough of your hair is in the growth phase, you may experience some levels of hair thinning or even baldness.
Will It Happen To You?
It is estimated that as many as 67 percent of women who suffer from alopecia, which is hair loss that tends to be diffused all over the scalp, and hair loss, suffer from PCOS. There is a big risk that you could experience some level of hair loss if you have this condition.
What Can You Do About It?
There are many steps you can take to improve your PCOS symptoms including improving hair loss. Take into consideration these common treatment options.
- Your doctor may offer medications and treatments to help you with PCOS. These medications may help you to regulate hormone production in your body.
- Many women who have this condition are overweight, which is one of the main reasons hormones are not regulated properly. Weight loss may help to reduce the symptoms of PCOS and help to reduce hair loss.
- You may need to eat an improved diet. Diet plays a very specific role in the treatment of PCOS. A diet that is rich in antioxidants and a variety of vegetables and fruits can help. Reducing sugar-based carbs and improving your intake of lean proteins including those with omega-3 fatty acids can also help.
- You may benefit from supplements. Supplements can give your body some of the nutrition it needs that it is not getting from your diet. This can help to stabilize hormones within your body and reduce some of your symptoms. Generally speaking, you will want to look for PCOS supplements recommended by your doctor.
- Exercise can also help. Many women see significant improvement in symptoms from getting regular exercise.
With overall improvement of health and PCOS symptoms, you may see your hair loss stop occurring and even come back to the way it was. If you are likely to have this condition, talk to your doctor about it. Have screenings to determine if your hormone levels are off so that you can get proper treatment for this underlying cause of your hair loss. For help with hair loss and thinning hair, there are various treatment options available for women to slow down and stop further loss of hair. Speak to a hair loss professional to learn more.