Female Hair Loss and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)

Hair loss in females is quite a common complaint affecting approximately one in ten women. Science is still chasing the definitive answers to this issue, the problem being, there are so many possible causes. With few exceptions, the symptoms are very similar and for this reason, many tests need to be carried out in order to properly diagnose the cause.

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One cause of female hair loss is polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS as it is known is a dysfunction of the hormones, occurring when the female body produces too many male hormones or androgens.

Normally, androgens are found in both males and females but men have lots more of them than women. Women suffering from PCOS however, often have much higher concentrations of androgens and it is this higher concentration that results in thinning hair as well as a range of other physical symptoms.

PCOS can be very upsetting, manifesting as irregular periods, acne, pelvic pain and weight gain. Perhaps the most upsetting aspect of this affliction is what it can do to a woman’s outward appearance and inner confidence.

Women with PCOS will often complain of excessive hair growth on their face and body whilst at the same time, experience hair loss on their heads. This is because hair loss and hair growth are both influenced, by hormonal change.

It would appear that hormonal imbalances occurring as a result of PCOS, recent pregnancy, menopause, postmenopausal trauma, or birth control side effects are responsible for most female hair loss.

Many PCOS women also have thyroid problems, usually hypothyroidism which contributes to weight problems and hair thinning. Some women with PCOS have a high level of testosterone combined with an under active thyroid. It's not uncommon for multiple factors to be involved in the manifestation of female hair loss.

PCOS and its associated hair loss / hair growth can be controlled
With the right treatments, PCOS and its associated hair loss / hair growth can be controlled. This is because despite the fact that hair is thinning, the hair follicles themselves are still alive. This makes new hair growth, very possible.

Other possible contributing factors to female hair loss may include: Adrenal disorder, Allergies, Anemia, Autoimmune disease, birth control pills, certain medications, childbirth, drug toxicity, eating disorders, essential fatty acid deficiency, hair treatments, Hepatitis B immunisation, Hypothalamus disorder, infection, liver disorder, mineral deficiency, ovarian disorder, pituitary gland disorder, protein deficiency, sex steroid imbalance, stress, thyroid disorder and vitamin deficiency, all of which need to be considered or tested for and ruled out.

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