Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid and fail to regularly release eggs.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications. Essentially, Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.
Hair Loss and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
It is estimated that 50% of women who suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can easily go undiagnosed. Symptoms of PCOS can be quite vast, one of them including hair loss.
It is said that PCOS is a hereditary condition that can be passed down from your parents.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- irregular periods or no periods at all
- difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
- excessive hair growth, usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- weight gain
- thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- oily skin or acne
Researchers suggests that polycystic ovaries causes a high level of testosterone production in women. Then, the increased level of testosterone is the cause of hair loss known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is a contributory factor that causes hair follicles to shrink. Thus, making new hairs thinner and finer which eventually leads to hair loss altogether.
Women who suffer from PCOS related hair loss are usually prescribed one or a few different medications. This is because PCOS tends to manifest in its own way. So, it can affect person differently.
Some of the different medications prescribed are:
Minoxidil (Rogaine) – Medication used to promote hair growth when high blood pressure occurs
Propecia – A prescribed drug used to prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT in the body.
Oral Contraception – They can be used to lower androgen levels. It can also reduce excess hair growth and slow down the effects of hair loss. Plus, it can help to reduce irregular periods and acne.
Spironolactone – This oral medication can be effective for treating androgenetic alopecia. It blocks the effects of androgen on the skin. Spironolactone is generally prescribed together with an oral contraceptive.
You must bear in mind that the medications mentioned above do not treat the cause. But, they do treat the symptoms of PCOS. Fortunately, there are many other methods that can used. These can include quality vitamin supplements and healthy eating. Of course, you need to speak with your doctor for professional diagnose and treatment.
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