Hair Loss And Oral Contraceptives
Since approval by the FDA in 1960, oral contraception has become one of the most popular forms of birth control used today. Millions of women are prescribed the Pill each year in this country, but very few are aware that oral contraceptives are a common trigger of hair loss.
The Pill suppresses ovulation by the combined actions of the hormones estrogen and progestin, or in some cases progestin alone. Women who are predisposed to hormonal-related hair loss, or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies, can have hair loss to varying degrees while on the Pill or, more commonly, several weeks or months after stopping the Pill.
The American Hair Loss Association recognizes that for the most part oral contraceptives are a safe and effective form of birth control. It also recognizes that the Pill has been clinically proven to have other health benefits for some women who use them. However, the AHLA believes that it is imperative for all women — especially for those who have a history of hair loss in their family — to be aware of the potentially devastating effects birth control pills can have on normal hair growth.
The hormonal contraceptives listed below have a significant potential for causing or exacerbating hair loss. Note that any medication or therapy that alters a woman’s hormones — including, but not limited to, contraceptives — can trigger hair loss.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Lo Leostrin Fe
Like pregnancy, birth control pills increase the risk of serious blood clots, especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. It is possible to die from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as a heart attack or a stroke.
Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:
- Blotchy darkening of the skin, especially on the face
- High blood sugar, especially in women who already have diabetes
- High fat levels in the blood
- Depression, especially if you have had depression in the past. Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any thoughts of harming yourself
- Problems tolerating contact lenses
- Weight gain
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
No serious problems have been reported from a birth control pill overdose, even when accidentally taken by children.
Do birth control pills cause cancer?
Birth control pills do not seem to cause breast cancer. However, if you have breast cancer now, or have had it in the past, do not use birth control pills because some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones.
Women who use birth control pills may have a slightly higher chance of getting cervical cancer. However, this may be due to other reasons such as having more sexual partners.
How Birth Control Pills Work
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy in a few different ways. Most pills contain man-made forms of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Normally, a rise in estrogen causes a mature egg to leave the ovaries during a womans menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation.
Birth control pills stop the surge in estrogen that causes an egg to be released. They thicken the mucus around the cervix, making it harder for sperm to swim up to the egg.
Birth control pills also change the lining of the uterus. If an egg does get fertilized, it usually cant implant and grow due to this change.
The following forms of birth control also release hormones into your body to stop ovulation and prevent a pregnancy:
- weight gain
- weight loss
Don’t Miss: What Vitamins For Hair Loss
What Are Some Of The Long
The combination pill for some women has other advantages besides contraception like:
Less body hair or growth
Reduces the risk for ovarian, endometrial, and colon cancer
Reduces the risk of ovarian cysts
May reduce perimenopausal symptoms
However, the combination pill is not recommended for women over the age of 35 that smoke, as they are at an increased risk of more serious side effects.
Loestrin And Female Hair Loss
Im confused about birth control please help! I started taking Loestrin 5 weeks ago and noticed 2 weeks ago Im losing lots of hair. I figure its due to the start of the birth control. So Ive been reading up on it and find conflicting information. Can you tell me if I should stop the birth control or stay on it, hoping the hair loss will stop on its own . Does birth control CAUSE hair loss or does it HELP to keep it from happening? I cant decide if Im making it worse by continuing my birth control. Currently, Im taking it, recovering from having a baby 9 months ago, and taking Rogaine per the advice of my doctor, to speed along hair growth. She feels its temporary and it will grow back. Any advice?
Birth control pills contribute to hair loss in some women. The decision to take it with that side effect, should be something between you and your doctor. Sometimes, other birth control pills may have less hair loss effects, but you need to discuss this with your doctor.
You May Like: What Foods Help With Hair Loss
Is There A Best Birth Control Pill For Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to worry about your birth control pills getting in the way. Many women and girls ask questions about birth control pills and weight gain or weight loss. Science has shown that birth control pills don’t cause weight changes.
You wouldn’t need to find a birth control pill that helps with weight loss. Instead, you can create a weight loss plan that works for you. The Office on Women’s Health says that most women will need to consume fewer calories and get the right amount of healthy foods to lose weight.
Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, ethinyl estradiol/norethindrone may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking ethinyl estradiol / norethindrone:
Incidence not known
Applies to ethinyl estradiol / norethindrone: oral capsule, oral tablet, oral tablet chewable
Recommended Reading: How Much Finasteride Should I Take For Hair Loss
How Can We Measure Hair Growth Or Hair Loss Changes Due To Birth Control
In addition to standardized medical photography and microscopic evaluation of the scalp, new scientific tools like the HairCheck device allows a quick, non-invasive way to quantify the amount of hair growing in several areas of the scalpwithout having to trim your hair. The HairCheck cross-sectional hair bundle trichometer is used by hair loss experts worldwide and its backed by numerous clinical trials and years of use in clinical settings. HairCheck instantly measures the quantity and quality of hair in a given area of scalpeven more sensitive and more accurate than a pure density measurement. If you are concerned about shedding or other hair loss symptoms, the best way to measure your hairs progress is a HairCheck measurement every three months. At Bauman Medical, weve performed over 40,000 HairCheck measurements for our patients to help diagnose and track their hair loss and hair regrowth.
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Lo Loestrin Fe
|Warning to Women who Smoke|
|Do not use Lo Loestrin Fe if you smoke cigarettes and are over 35 years old. Smoking increases your risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from birth control pills, including death from heart attack, blood clots or stroke. This risk increases with age and the number of cigarettes you smoke.|
Birth control pills help to lower the chances of becoming pregnant when taken as directed. They do not protect against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
You May Like: How To Stop Your Hair From Thinning Female
The Link Between Birth Control And Hair Loss
Birth control pills most often use a combination of the female hormones estrogen and progestin to stop ovulation, which significantly lowers the risk of pregnancy. As hair loss expert Dr. Alan J. Baumanexplains, women who are sensitive to changes in female hormones are more likely to experience birth control-related hair loss or balding. Genetics may also be to blame. If hormone-related balding is a family trait, that increases the likelihood that a woman on the pill will experience balding.
How exactly does this hair loss occur? The hormones in oral contraceptives can interfere what the hair growth cycle. The hormones stop the growing cycle, leaving the follicles in a resting state. The resting phase is the hair-thinning phase. Thats why in some cases of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , oral contraceptives are used to stop excessive hair growth.
Not all women are alike when it comes to hormone-related female balding. The condition, technically called telogen effluvium, can happen at any time when taking birth control pills. Some notice thinning when they first start oral contraception, while others dont see changes until after theyve stopped. This temporary balding is typically minimal, but that might not be reassuring to a woman watching her once full and lustrous locks start to look stringy.
Why You May Experience Acne After Going Off Birth Control
Certain subsets of hormonal birth control can improve hormonal acne while on it. “Combined hormonal contraceptives are birth control methods that contain estrogen and progestin,” says King, noting these are often found in forms such as the pill, patch, or ring. “Birth control pills that contain these two hormones are often helpful for hormonal acne because the estrogen they contain can suppress the ovaries’ production of androgens and increase a protein called sex-hormone binding globulin in the blood. This protein binds free testosterone in the bloodstream, so then less testosterone is available to cause sebum production and acne.”
See, sex hormones have several notable influences on our skin. As King noted, estrogen decreases sebum production , while testosterone increases sebum production. If you’re genetically predisposed to acne, any increase in sebum production can cause breakouts.
So, when you go off these forms of birth control, the hormonal acne you are experiencing is simply your skin responding to the lack of estrogen from birth control, as well as the resurgence of testosterone.
“When you stop taking oral contraceptive pills, you lose any benefit for acne they were providing, and acne may consequently worsen. Also, for several months after discontinuing OCP, hormone levels go through an adjustment phase, and acne may particularly flare during this window,” says King.
Read Also: Does Brilinta Cause Hair Loss
Treatments For Hair Loss
Identifying the cause of hair loss is essential so that a person can get effective treatment. A person with this condition can benefit from seeing a board-certified dermatologist.
Hair loss from certain causes may resolve with time. If an individuals hair care routine or hairstyle might be contributing to the condition, a doctor may recommend changes that will stop the damage.
When someone needs treatment, the AADA notes that a doctor may advise one of the following:
Other treatment options include prescription drugs. The FDA has approved finasteride to treat male pattern hair loss, and doctors may sometimes recommend the off-label use of spironolactone to treat female pattern hair loss.
All medication can have side effects, and people should report any that they experience to their doctor.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Lo Leostrin Fe
Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and herbal products that you take. Some medicines and herbal products may make birth control pills less effective, including:
Consider using another birth control method when you take medicines that may make birth control pills less effective.
Birth control pills may interact with lamotrigine, an anticonvulsant used for epilepsy. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dose of lamotrigine.
If you have vomiting or diarrhea, your birth control pills may not work as well. Use another birth control method, like a condom and spermicide, until you check with your healthcare provider.
If you are scheduled for any laboratory tests, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking birth control pills. Certain blood tests may be affected by birth control pills.
Recommended Reading: What Supplement For Hair Loss
How To Choose The Best Birth Control Pill For You
Because every woman is different, your body may tolerate some brands of birth control pills better than others.
Here are a couple of steps we suggest you consider when thinking about what birth control is best for you:
What are the side effects? Most doctors recommend staying on a new birth control pill for at least 2-3 months. However, different women experience different side effects, so if you try one and it’s not the right fit, be sure to tell your doctor so you can try a different pill.
What hormones would work best in my body? Most doctors will probably recommend a combined contraceptive, but if estrogen is a concern , you may want to consider a progestin-only pill.
Is it name-brand or generic? In general, when you are looking at name-brand birth controls, they will be more expensive. Depending on your insurance or budget, you may want to ask about the generic version of birth control
Why do I want to be on birth control? If you are simply looking for a contraception method, the pill you choose may be different from if you are looking for birth control for acne, or PMDD, etc. Be mindful of the fact that the pill does not protect against STDs.
What if I’m still not sure? Birth control is different for everybody, if you have any questions you should contact your doctor, or sign up for Pill Club to get in touch with an expert.
You Might Gain Or Lose Weight
Not everyone loses weight when they stop taking the Pill. Some gain a few pounds. Research shows that a third of women who stop taking oral contraception lose weight, a third gain weight, and a third stay exactly the same, says Dr. Dweck.
If the scale goes down, it’s most likely water weight, since being on the Pill can cause water retention. But remember: Losing water weight isnt the same as losing fat, so any lost pounds likely wont last.
Also Check: What Vitamins Help With Hair Thinning