Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in every ten women of reproductive age. Although it is widespread, there is barely any media attention on the topic and its side effects. PCOS creates an imbalance in hormone production in females, with higher than the standard androgens and insulin rates. Androgens (male hormones) when in the female system initiate the onset of non-feminine physiological symptoms such as the appearance of acne, female pattern hair loss, and excess body hair. The androgynous features are a cause of embarrassment to most women, particularly hair loss. Losing your locks has its own type of emotional distress for both men and women, and that is why we are here today. You do not have to grief your hair anymore because listed below, are a few treatments for PCOS hair loss from most inconvenient to least inconvenient.
What causes PCOS, how do the symptoms start?
For the most part, PCOS is a matter of genetic predisposition. Various genes encode the disorder, which explains the versatility of the symptoms from one patient to the other as well the age at which the condition develops. The activation of PCOS genes, mostly during puberty, affects metabolic functions such as insulin resistance. Consequently, androgen levels increase to counteract the elevated insulin levels.
It is with the boosted levels of androgens that many of the notorious symptoms of the condition begin to appear. The appearance of male-like features and traits is a process known as virilization. Weight gain, hirsutism, hormonal acne, hair loss, and irregular periods are all potential traits that could affect women of PCOS at varying degrees. While neither of the symptoms can be easily pushed under the rug, hair loss is the most difficult to accept.
PCOS hair loss
PCOS hair loss initiates as a response to the high levels of androgens, who have an age-old rivalry with follicular units, resulting in their premature miniaturization. Fortunately, there are various solutions to the dilemma.
Available PCOS hair loss treatments
Spironolactone also goes by the name Aldactone. It is an androgen blocker that blocks androgen-receptors so that androgens can no longer bind to them. By preventing the binding of androgens, the cascade of symptoms that otherwise would initiate is inhibited. As a result, hair growth may begin.
However, the side effects that come with taking Aldactone are very inconvenient for most. For one, Aldactone over repeated use can lead to hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in the blood) which increase your risk of sudden cardiac attack by tenfold. Moreover, it is a diuretic, which means you will probably spend most of your night or day on bathroom visits. Just when you thought it doesn’t get worse, it does; Aldactone causes irregular menstrual cycles, not to mention the dizziness and fatigue. Oh and, you will have to stop the medication when pregnant because it poses a risk of abnormal development in the male fetus. Did we mention you have to take it every 24 hours sharp? The effects wear off, and you do not want to give a minute of action to androgens. It can be a struggle, a hassle, and a pain.
Minoxidil, a solution that comes as shampoo or spray; works by prolonging the anagen (growth) phase of the hair and terminating the telogen phase. Minoxidil is usually applied with a dropper twice per day and left on the scalp for four hours before you can rinse it off. The solution needs to be administered twice daily. Some of the most common side effects that come with minoxidil are scalp irritation and body hair growth. Which if you’re a woman with PCOS probably do not need more of. Unless of course, you have got your share of avocado toast and can no longer afford winter coats, if that is your case then I guess a bit of fur in the winter won’t hurt anybody.
Finasteride is an oral pill that is not a hater and does not compete with androgens over androgen-receptors. Instead, it uses passive-aggressiveness to work secretly by digging up a grave for androgens. Basically, finasteride lets androgens have all the fun. However, it inhibits an enzyme from catalyzing them into the problematic version DHT, which in turn stops your hair from shedding.
Finasteride has to be taken every 24 hours because as soon as you miss it, DHT catalyzing enzymes will be activated and begin attacking your hair. Moreover, its side effects include depression, weight gain, and breast tenderness. Also, women planning to conceive or are pregnant should not be on finasteride.
♠ PRP hair loss treatment
This treatment emerged ten years ago and its already dominating the medical field. It works so well; you’d think professor snape personally made the potion. The procedure first begins by drawing blood from your arm the standard way. Later some science happens (the blood is centrifuged) to extract platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once the extract is available, it will be directly injected into your scalp.
Since this treatment uses your own cells, the risk of an immune attack or side effects is almost zero. Do you want to know the big catch? You only need to perform 3 to 4 sessions per year to eliminate hair loss. PRP is successful because it makes use of growth factors found your plasma particularly VEGF, which in cases of androgen alopecia or PCOS hair loss decreases significantly.
Hair transplantation is the ideal solution for male androgenic alopecia, given its many perks in comparison to conventional treatments. While the surgery produces unprecedented success in treating male pattern hair loss, the situation is a bit more complicated in female pattern hair loss.
Only a marginal number of women make for eligible candidates. This is because In male androgenic alopecia, hair loss occurs in a predictable pattern that stabilizes after a while which grants a stable source of donor regions that can be relocated to areas of hair loss.
In most women, androgenic alopecia occurs in a diffuse pattern creating an obstacle in the process of locating stable follicular units. To learn about the status of your condition in terms of illegibility for hair transplants, book an online consultation with Vera Clinic. A medical specialist will cyber-evaluate your scalp through pictures and conclude the final decision regarding your scalp.
PCOS is a real struggle that unfortunately many women have to deal with. Not understanding the side effects that come with it, or not being able to halt the progression of specific symptoms can be very daunting on one’s soul. Putting a halt to hair loss can be a significant approach to restoring your confidence and worth. Antiandrogenic pills or shampoos can be a hassle to maintain as they have to be taken every 24 hours for possibly all eternity. PRP treatment, however, is done once a month and lasts for a whole year with no side effects.
If you would like to know more about PRP therapy, contact us, and we’ll address all your concerns.