Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Female Hair Loss - Female Hormones and the Signs of Imbalance

Female hair loss can be a symptom of hormone imbalance and can occur at any age from teenage years, through to after childbearing age. This imbalance occurs when the ovaries produce either too little or too much of the two most important female sex hormones - oestrogen and progesterone.

When these hormones are out of balance this can present itself in a number of ways such as mood swings, a loss in sex drive, irregular or heavy periods, depression, water retention, loss of appetite, weight gain, female hair loss, acne and oily skin, stress, anxiety, dizziness and tiredness.

Women’s hormones may fluctuate considerably in the reproductive years during the normal processes of ovulation, menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause. But other factors can also throw your body off balance, including the taking of certain types of medication such as birth control pills, and illnesses such as diabetes.

While some changes that women undergo can be managed day-to-day though an alteration in lifestyle such as reducing stress levels, a change in diet and exercise regime, and better sleep patterns, others such as Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) require medication and treatment. Although the symptoms of hormonal imbalance can vary considerably, it can affect your quality of life so if you feel you have any signs of female hormone imbalance, it is always best to seek advice from your doctor.

Here we shall explain what oestrogen and progesterone are and the types of hormonal imbalance that can cause hair thinning or female hair loss. We understand how distressing this can be, but there is treatment available and our team at the London Centre of Trichology will be able to talk you through the various options.

Female Hair Loss - contact us now to book your free consultation

What is Oestrogen?

Oestrogen is the name given to the group of female hormones that control female sexual development. For example, it stimulates breast enlargement at puberty and also causes the lining of the womb to thicken during the menstrual cycle.  At the end of a woman’s fertility stage, the levels of oestrogen declines, causing various menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, tiredness, vaginal dryness, night sweats, weight gain around the mid-section and gradual hair thinning.

What is Progesterone?

Progesterone, also known as the ‘sex hormone’ is another hormone produced by the ovaries and this plays an important role in the woman’s menstrual period. During the ovulation period, it gets the lining of the uterus ready for the egg to receive the sperm. If the egg is not fertilised, the levels of this hormone declines, causing the start of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone levels are significantly higher in pregnant women.

There are various problems that can be experienced if too much or too little progesterone is produced. Some of the signs of progesterone deficiency are: irregular periods, breast tenderness, menstrual cramps, bloating and puffiness.

Another problem if too little progesterone is produced is that testosterone can take its place leading to increased facial hair and female hair loss caused by the hair blocking hormone DHT, normally stopped by progesterone. DHT can collect in the sebum gland in the scalp and damage the hair follicles, causing hair loss.

What Happens When too Much Oestrogen is Produced?

Excessive oestrogen can be a common problem in women after their mid 30’s and some symptoms are considered to be part of the natural aging process. In addition to this, women with high blood pressure, diabetes, excessive weight gain and women at certain stages of pregnancy may also be producing too much oestrogen.

Some of the symptoms of high levels of oestrogen are: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), female hair loss or hair thinning, frequent thrush, depression, low sex drive, migraines, PMS, acne, irregular periods, decrease in bone density and excessive facial hair.

What Happens When too Much Progesterone is Produced?

Progesterone levels can become imbalanced for a number of reasons and the taking of certain types of medication such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can increase the levels of progesterone.

Some of the symptoms of too much progesterone are: vaginal dryness, periods stopping, dizziness, excessive tiredness, mood swings and bloating. Again, if you feel you have any of these symptoms, it is always best to seek advice from your GP.

About the London Centre of Trichology

If you are experiencing female hair loss as a result of a female hormone imbalance or for other reasons including, stress related hair loss and genetic hair loss, our experts at the London Centre of Trichology can help. We offer free consultations and provide natural and effective hair loss treatments.

Female Hair Loss - contact us now to book your free consultation