Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome & Female Hair Loss

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCO’s) is a hormone disorder that affects how the ovaries function. The main symptoms include infrequent or absent periods, acne, fatigue, increased facial hair and weight gain and it also can cause increased hair shedding and thinning. Contrary to belief, most patients with this are perfectly fertile but can experience a delay in successfully conceiving.

Types of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

There are two types of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):

  • Type I- (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Hyperandrogenism – where your body produces too many androgens (male hormones) including testosterone. The follicles in certain cases are sensitive to these hormones and can also reduce the growth of hair on your scalp.
  • Type II- (Polycystic ovaries) testosterone levels are most often found to be “normal” but still, have a sensitivity as mentioned above with some or all of the symptoms and have the appearance of the classic cyst “pearl necklace” confirmed by an ovarian ultrasound scanning. The follicles of the ovaries, which should be porous by nature, become blocked with tiny cysts that can prevent eggs from releasing from the ovaries.

This form of PCO can also include the symptom of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

The treatment for both PCOS and female pattern hair loss depends on the severity of the condition, the patient’s age and the degree that the thinning condition affects them emotionally.

Hair thinning as a result of PCOS is more often treated topically, although in younger women the combination of oral treatment could also be considered. This and other possible treatments could be discussed, if relevant at your Trichology consultation.