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Went off the pill and my hair fell out

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by lemongrass, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    I'm on the pill again. How long does it take to grow back?

    My hair at the moment is terrible. I don't want to leave the house.
  2. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    Sorry for what you are going through. I haven't had this experience personally, but I think others on here have. It sounds like you experienced hair loss from what is called Telogen Effluvium (TE). See the link below for more information. If so, you can completely recover but it can take some time. How long were you off the pill? Did you notice any other symptoms, such as irregular cycle/acne/increased body hair? If you experienced any other unusual symptoms or if your hair loss persists, then you should see your doctor for further testing. Hang in there!!! Good luck!!!

    http://americanhairloss.org/types_of_ha ... uviums.asp
  3. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    Thank you.

    I was off it for 4-5 months and didn't experience any other symptoms. My hair and skin were oilier but I think that's pretty common.

    I have Androgenetic Alopecia so my hair was thin to begin with. The loss from this has reduced my hair to a terrible state.

    Ironically, one of the reasons I didn't renew my script for it was that I was concerned that being on it might increase my hair loss.
  4. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    Sorry to hear you have Androgenetic Alopecia. I know what a struggle it can be. Which pill are you on? The pill can make things worse if you are on a high Androgen index pill. I will post another link showing a list of Birth Control pills and where they rank. Yaz and Yasmin are good for your hair, but are not shown on this list. They must not have updated the list since those came on the market. It is common to shed after any major hormone shift, so hopefully you will recover from your recent TE. Keep us posted.

    http://americanhairloss.org/women_hair_ ... ptives.asp
  5. aries

    aries Guest

    Ironically, one of the reasons I didn't renew my script for it was that I was concerned that being on it might increase my hair loss.
    I was advised to take my daughter off of the pill because they thought that it was the culprit. Well, her hair is so much thinner now. I want her to go back on, but I think she is so tired off all the hair crap, she just doesn't want to. For me, I did so much better on the pill and would like to go back on. I have migraines, high blood pressure and risk of stroke. I'm also 45! I don't want to risk it.
  6. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    My Androgenetic Alopecia has always been just thinning slowly over time and I've never had to deal with clumps of hair coming out. It's truly frightening.

    Thank you for that. I'm not in the US so I don't recognise any of those names. I just checked and my current tablets have Levonorgestrel 150mcg and ethinyloestradiol 30mcg. Is that a low dose? I tend to change what type I use regularly, as I never noticed any difference and I just went for whatever was cheapest. I know that some women feel like they notice changes based on different types but I haven't noticed anything.
  7. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    lemongrass - I think it has more to do with the type of progestin used in the birth control pill versus the actual dosage. Levonorgestrel is the progestin in the current pill you are taking and it appears to have high androgenic affects. I'm glad you haven't noticed any changes when you switch between pills. But next time you do switch you might want to consider one with the low Androgen Index (meaning low androgen activity/effect). I am not familiar with most of the pills offered outside of the US, but hopefully your physician could help determine which one would be best suited for you.

    The following link mentions that Diane 35 & Diane 50 (Cyproterone Acetate with Ethinyloestradiol) can be used for the treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia in Europe. Do you know if those pills are available in your area?

    Scroll all the way to the bottom to read about Diane 35 & Diane 50

    http://americanhairloss.org/women_hair_ ... atment.asp

    Here is another link to the different types of Progestin and whether or not they have high Androgenic activity. The best pills here in the US contain either Drospirenone (Yaz & Yasmin, and also contains 25 mg Spironolactone too, I think) and Norgestimate (Ortho Tri-Cyclen).

    http://contraception.about.com/od/thepi ... nTypes.htm

    Hope this helps :)
  8. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    Thanks so much Kristi. That gives me a lot to think about.

    I have asked different doctors multiple times what the difference is between the different pills and not one gave me a decent answer. Most would just say 'they're basically the same'.

    It's a shame that the one I'm on is high androgen because it's so much cheaper than all the others. But I will swap over anyway, as either way it's still not that expensive.

    I am also on the antiandrogen spironolactone, 100mg once or twice a day. Cyproterone acetate is available where I am and my dermatologist did mention the possiblity of trying that one if spironolactone doesn't work for me, but I notice it says that it's a last resort because it may have long term side effects, so fingers crossed spironolactone and minoxidil is enough.
  9. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    I think when they say they are all basically the same, they are referring to the mechanism in which they prevent pregnancy. I don't think that most of them realize that some pills have a high androgen index that can negatively affect our hair.

    You may wish to post a thread on here to see if there are any hair friendly birth control pills offered in your area that might be recommended, and then discuss with your doctor if the suggested pill would be an option. Or you could research the pills that you are familiar with to see which one might be best. Sorry I can't help with pills outside of the US.

    As for the Cyproterone Acetate, I would agree that you should avoid it if there are possible long term side effects. Nothing is worth risking our overall health, even our hair. Sounds like you are pretty much doing all you can by being on the Spironolactone and minoxidil. You mention that you are on Spironolactone 100 mg once or twice a day. I think 200 mg daily is the recommended dosage for hair, if you can tolerate the drug at that dose.

    I am on the fence regarding which treatments I want to try. I am considering going back on the pill myself and starting Spironolactone. I'm just afraid of the potential shedding too. In the meantime, I sit here doing nothing. I need to make up my mind soon.

    Keep us posted! Good Luck!
  10. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    1 month later and my hair is looking much better. My ponytail is still too thin, but my scalp is much more covered than it used to be and I'm hopeful that I can improve it further.

    My shedding has decreased to a normal amount. I think that when I'm off the pill, my hair and skin are oilier, and when your hair is oilier, it looks thinner and a lot more scalp is showing.
  11. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Hey I live in france, I dunno where you are from but this list might help you:

    http://www.centre-clauderer.com/contrac ... eptifs.htm

    If you are taking sîronolactone there are many îmms you can take along it .

    Cyproterone acetate does not have long term sides effects,no more than spironolactone. It's just known to be more effective as an antiandrogens.

    I ve been on it for 5 years and I am doing perfectly fine.

    You have to be closely followed by an endocrinologist if you are on any kind of contraception or hormonal treatment anyway.
  12. lemongrass

    lemongrass Guest

    I'm not sure about whether the names of pills are the same everywhere. We've got Diane and Yaz, but I'm not sure if they're the same as yours.

    Why would you need close monitoring by a specialist for the pill?

    There are barely any endocrinologists where I live. I don't think they're that common here at all. I'd barely heard of them until I saw this forum. I've only ever been recommended to dermatologists.
  13. Hayley

    Hayley Guest

    You certainly dont get close monitoring my a specialist here. I've never seen an endo and i've been on a few different kinds for 10 years. You're supposed to have blood pressure and weight checks every 6 months with a local nurse and thats not happened much but i guess i should push for it. Thats all they check on though. Once i asked about affecting hair loss and she looked at me like i was stupid
  14. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Well i dont know about other countries but here if you take the pill or any hormonal treatment, you have to get your blood tested every year to be sure you're doing well on bcp or any kind of other treatment.

    Any treatment will be processed by the liver and affect your body. You know as well as me that some girls for whatever reasons don't do well on the pill, sometimes it does not show through physical symptoms but it does through blood analysis.

    Birth control pill and antiandrogens can affect many other hormones.

    Normally there is nothing to worry about but it's best to get your blood tested every year. Cholesterol, glycemy, and triglyceride usually are good indicators of how your body is faring on those treatments.
  15. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    where do you live?

    Maybe next time you are off the birth control pill it would be interesting for you to see if you don't have any hormonal imbalance that could be the trigger of your Androgenetic Alopecia. It's good to have a holistic approach to Androgenetic Alopecia or at least to be aware of all the spectrum of symptoms that in some cases might be associated with it.
  16. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    About Yaz and Diane I think they're the same everywhere. Look at the "ingredients" in those pills and compare them with the pill available i n your countries.

    Diane contains a bit of acetate cyproterone by the way.
  17. Hayley

    Hayley Guest

    Oh i couldnt agree with you more. The NHS doesnt do enough for us UK girls on the pill.
  18. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Well in France we are lucky to have a very good healtcare system....
    And when you get a BCP through a prescription by a med and not just on your own, you get it for free basically, the state pays for it.
  19. dying curls

    dying curls Guest

    Actually I got my last blood sample a week ago...my endo would not prescribe any more treatment to me if I did had my blood drawn...

    It turned out everything was fine except the prolactin that was a bit elevated, but he said it's normal when you have been on an hormonal treatment or on the birth control pill for a while and that it was nothitng to worry about. But some girl get really high prolactin and wan start to make a bit of milk!
  20. Hayley

    Hayley Guest

    Thats absolutely great to hear. My doctor, who i consider to be really good generally, seemed rather clueless when i talked to her about my concerns of coming off BCP.

    We do get it for free though and you cant get it unless a doctor prescribes it so i guess thats something.

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