What’s polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS is a common hormone disorder that can cause a range of symptoms, including hirsutism, which is excess facial and body hair. While many with PCOS grow thicker hair on their face and body, some experience hair thinning and hair loss, which is referred to as female pattern hair loss.
Thinning hair due to the effects of male hormones androgens is called androgenic alopecia. It is a major source of psychological distress for women. This male-pattern hair loss is often seen in women with polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and other disorders of male hormone excess.
PCOS can cause hyperandrogenism where your body produces too many androgens male hormones. Androgens are naturally found in all women. But normal or even sub-normal amounts of circulating androgens can cause hair loss if your follicles are very sensitive to them.
PCOS-related hair loss is most commonly associated with genetic predisposition and follicle sensitivity. PCOS can cause hyperandrogenism, a state in which the body produces too many androgens male hormones. PCOS is the most common endocrine-related cause of female pattern hair loss.
Women with higher levels of testosterone and DHT will typically have significantly more facial hair than women with lower levels. Having elevated levels of DHT can lead to a strong, healthy beard, but sensitivity to the hormone can actually lead to accelerated male and female pattern baldness.
Estrogen is related to hair growth and hair loss While estrogen levels are high, women have full, thick hair. But when they drop, such as after pregnancy or during and after menopause, more hair enters the “resting” phase, where it soon falls out and causes thinning and even balding patches.
Any hair that you lose due to PCOS won’t grow back on its own. But, with treatment, you may be able to stimulate the growth of new hair. Plus, there are several things you can do to mask PCOS-related hair loss.
Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved drug for treating female pattern baldness. It’s a topical treatment that you apply to your scalp daily. It promotes hair growth and can even give it a thicker appearance.
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