Understanding Hair Loss in PCOS

Feb 20, 2016 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)

hair loss in pcos

To understand hair loss in PCOS, it is important that one should know about PCOS.

PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a disorder where there is imbalance of hormones leading to increase in androgens.

Features of PCOS include menstrual abnormalities, chronic anovulation leading to infertility, hirsutism or excess of body and facial hair, acne, androgenic alopecia, obesity and metabolic syndromes. The cause of this disorder is unclear but there are certain evidences to show its genetic and familial nature Women with suspected PCOS should have base line screening tests in form of thyroid function tests, serum prolactin levels and free androgen index.

The disorders, which can simulate this condition, are congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hyperprolactinemia, acromegaly and these disorders should be excluded before making a diagnosis of PCOS. Pelvic ultrasound may be necessary to achieve the diagnosis.

Hair loss affects only the cosmetic appearance but in a setting of constellation of effects of PCOS, it can be very disturbing physically as well as emotionally.

Most important step to proceed is going to a doctor and seeks medical advice. Advice from a good endocrinologist for the management of the symptoms is of importance.

Management of the symptoms requires a holistic approach which includes

  1. Eating healthy with fresh fruits and green vegetable but obviously avoiding high sugar containing fruits.
  2. Manage stress by taking adequate sleep, doing meditation.
  3. Keep yourself fit by doing regular exercise, which will not only alleviate stress but also help in weight reduction.
  4. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Avoid causing stress on your hair by avoiding hard and frequent brushing, avoid tight hair style, avoid over heat while styling and avoiding heavy chemical based hair care products.

Topical lotion of minoxidil is FDA approved medicine for hair loss, which may stabilize and also reverse the hair loss. Patient can also opt for hair transplant once the hair loss has stabilized or it has fully established but with the prior counseling about the results of the hair transplant in females.

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