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IUD Hair Loss: An Overview

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Hair loss due to intrauterine devices is still an uncharted territory with inadequate information and awareness among mothers and pregnant women.

Written by

Dr. Arjun Singh

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Khushbu

Published At February 5, 2024
Reviewed AtFebruary 5, 2024

Introduction:

Let's be honest, hair loss is terrible - it can be miserable and downright scary at times. While considering getting an IUD (intrauterine device), women may have heard that hair loss can occur and want to know more.

There is not much direct evidence for doctors or patients to know for sure that IUDs can cause alopecia (hair loss). Although hair loss has been observed in a small number of IUD users, no studies or trials have been performed to determine the relationship between IUDs and hair loss. There is little evidence linking hair loss to hormonal IUDs. Hair loss is listed as a side effect in less than 6 percent of women.

What Are the Side Effects of the Hormonal IUD?

Hormone-containing intrauterine devices release trace amounts of a synthetic artificial form of progesterone called levonorgestrel, which can cause systemic effects that may include acne, mood changes, weight gain, decreased sex drive, and hair loss. Researchers found reports of hair loss associated with levonorgestrel-containing IUDs.

Another possibility to consider is that hormonal changes can lead to a particular variety of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Hair follicles may experience a type of shock (such as a change in hormones caused by a new form of hormonal birth control) that can quickly cause them to switch to the telogen phase of development. The telogen phase is a resting phase followed by excretion. This usually occurs several months after the initiating event and usually resolves on its own within a few months. The recovery process can be sped up with the use of hair supplements.

What Precautions Should Be Taken During Hair Loss While Using an IUD?

If the new hair loss is caused by the IUD, see the doctor as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended to seek help from a gynecologist, endocrinologist, physician and dermatologist.

Majority of women experience hair loss for a variety of reasons, which can include thyroid dysfunction, nutritional deficiencies, iron deficiency, hormonal problems such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and sometimes even hair loss.

Because it is difficult to directly prove that an IUD is causing hair loss, the patient might consider having the device removed if the doctor cannot find another explanation.

Tips To Fix Hair Problems:

The best way to understand how to solve the hair problem is to determine the cause of the ailment. Options vary depending on the root cause, which may be related to the IUD. However, the cause can be a variety of other reasons, such as thyroid dysfunction, stress, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Remember that it will take some time, even months before the improvement becomes visible. Be patient during the process.

How to Treat Hair Loss Due to Birth Control?

While hair loss from birth control is usually nothing to worry about, it can be stressful to see those hairs in the comb or accumulating near the shower drain. Once the health care provider determines that hormonal birth control may be the cause, it is important to focus on supportive care for the baby, and that starts by paying attention to the entire body. There are several steps that are taken to ensure the mane returns to fullness and thickness quickly.

Take Vitamins

Take a multivitamin to avoid the effects of vitamin or mineral deficiencies that can worsen hair loss. Studies have shown that the following vitamins can improve hair loss:

  • Vitamin D.

  • Iron.

  • Vitamin C.

On the other hand, research has shown that excess vitamin A and selenium can contribute to hair loss.

Healthy Eating

Eat more fresh, whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. A whole foods diet with enough protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals, with no dietary restrictions, is best for hair growth.

Minimize Stress

Try to relax and reduce stress or anxiety. Stress can trigger the end of the anagen or growth phase, so developing stress management techniques may help stimulate hair growth.

Reduce Styling

Avoid using hair dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons. Avoid using high temperatures, chemical styling, or any other methods that damage the hair. Do not keep ponytails or buns that are too tight. Wearing them continuously can lead to hair loss. Be gentle with hair. So, keeping the hair moisturized with conditioners, creams, and oils helps prevent dryness and, therefore, reduces the risk of damage and breakage.

Products And Treatments To Support Hair Growth

Always consult the doctor before trying any treatment to make sure it is best for the specific type of hair loss.

Ginseng Roots

Ginseng root stimulates scalp microcirculation and helps inhibit the production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the main hormone responsible for androgenetic alopecia. Ginseng is associated with inducing anagen (hair growth) and delaying catagen (degeneration) stages.

Minoxidil

It is a topical hair therapy used daily to encourage hair follicles to enter the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. It is widely available in stores and online and can be used as a foam. This treatment is simple and relatively inexpensive. However, it must be applied regularly for improvements to last. Ingredients that stimulate hair growth include:

Biotin and hair growth serum is specifically designed for those who are menstruating and experiencing any type of hormonal hair loss, including contraceptive hair loss. It stimulates cells in the outer hair roots, making hair stronger. Additionally, a biotin deficiency may contribute to hair loss.

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is a medication that reduces testosterone levels, which contribute to hair loss. Oral medications may be recommended based on the medical history and the severity of the condition. The latest study found spironolactone to be effective in hair regrowth. The common side effects of oral spironolactone are:

  • Menstrual problems.

  • Lethargy.

  • Headache.

  • Smooth facial hair.

  • Rash.

  • High potassium concentration.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a least invasive cosmetic procedure that uses growth factors and is designed to stimulate new hair follicles while reinforcing existing strands. The procedure involves creating concentrated plasma from a patient's blood sample, which is injected directly into targeted scalp areas. The injected PRP stimulates hair follicles on the scalp to induce hair growth.

Conclusion

According to a recent study, some contraceptives containing androgenic progestins may cause hair loss, but there is not enough high-quality data to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between these two substances. However, if the person is concerned that birth control might cause hair loss or if the current birth control is causing excessive hair loss, talk to the doctor. Remember, there are multiple choices or options to control hair loss.

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Dr. Khushbu
Dr. Khushbu

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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