Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. PCOS causes an overproduction of certain male hormones in the body and as a result, it can cause a range of symptoms, including hair thinning and hair loss.
Can Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss caused by PCOS is a well recognised and troublesome side effect that happens as a result of the female body producing too many male hormones, in particular, testosterone.
PCOS causes huge hormonal changes in the body, similar to the menopause. This is characterised by an increase in certain androgens, in particular testosterone. This testosterone gets converted into DHT, which is what affects the hair follicles. The DHT miniaturises the hair follicles, ultimately causing female pattern baldness.
Will Hair Loss From PCOS Grow Back?
Unfortunately, the effects of PCOS on hair follicles is irreversible because DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink. This means that new hairs become finer and finer, and eventually stop growing altogether.
What Helps PCOS Hair Growth?
As PCOS is a hormonal condition, any medications that can improve hormonal balance can be used to help PCOS-related hair loss. This includes the contraceptive pill and Spironolactone.
The contraceptive pill
Contraceptive pills are known to lower androgen levels, such as testosterone. This may help to slow down hair loss as a result of PCOS. They also help with other PCOS symptoms, such as irregular periods and acne.
Spironolactone is an aldosterone receptor antagonist, which means it blocks the effects of androgens (such as testosterone) on the skin, and by extension the hair follicles. This makes it quite effective at treating androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness. Spironolactone is usually prescribed together with the contraceptive pill.
There are also other medications that can be used to treat hair loss might also be effective.
Does Metformin Help With PCOS Hair Loss?
Metformin is a drug that is sometimes used to treat PCOS. According to a randomised clinical trial from 2016, Metformin might reduce the risk of hair loss in people who take it to treat PCOS.
However, there is still more research needed to look at the connection between Metformin and hair regrowth. In some cases, Metformin has been known to cause hair loss.