American Hair Loss Association Androgen Index List of Birth Control Pills

by admin on March 24, 2008

American Hair Loss Association Androgen Index List of Birth Control PillsI get a lot of emails regarding the specific androgen index of birth control pills. I haven’t found the full and complete definitive list available online, however, the American Hair Loss Association lists a small number of pills from lowest androgen index to highest. The list is as follows:

Desogen, Ortho-Cept, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Micronor, Nor-Q D, Ovcon-35, Brevicon/Modicon, Ortho Norvum 7/7/7, Ortho Novum 10-11, Tri-Norinyl, Norinyl and Ortho 1/35, Demulen 1/35, Triphasil/Tri-Levien, Nordette, Lo/Ovral, Ovrette, Ovral, Loestrin1/20, Loestrin 1.5/30.

Of course very last you’ll see Loestrin listed has one of the highest androgen pills. It wasn’t until recently it all clicked, loestrin sounds like LOW ESTROGEN. That is the pill of doom that I took that started this whole hair loss process for me. I suppose it is all luck of the draw. Many women have probably taken that pill and never had the hair loss troubles I have been dealing with for the past 8 years. But there is no denying the hair loss birth control pill connection, messing with hormones can results in some unpleasant occurrences. Depending on the doctor, some will openly admit that hair loss can occur from taking the pill, others will dismiss it as merely coincidence. The packet insert of all the pills that I have seen clearly state it as a possible side effect. Women of all ages need to be aware of this before considering taking any pill, don’t expect to hear that little tid bit of information from the doctor prescribing it to you.

Low androgen birth control pills are also commonly prescribed with the anti androgen spironolactone as a treatment for women losing their hair.

I would love to find a complete listing of all birth control pills and their androgen index. If anyone knows of any please send me an email so I can post it on the site.

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{ 144 comments… read them below or add one }

Mia March 24, 2008 at 5:32 pm

I burst into tears when I read this article, for the last 6 years I have been on 11 of the pills listed and for the last 6 years my hair has gotten thinner and thinner. This past month I finally decided to stop taking the pill because I couldnt deal with the loss of hair anymore. I dont know whether to be relieved that I know for sure the pills were causing my hair loss or extremely pissed off. Thank you so much for this site.

jeni March 25, 2008 at 4:19 am

I wrote this about the pill and acne: http://www.savvyskin.com/the-pill-to-treat-hormonal-acne , but it can also apply to hair loss because I list pills high and low in terms of androgens. I put this list together a few years ago when I was trying to cure my hair loss/acne. At least my acne is cured:(

admin March 26, 2008 at 11:01 am

Hi Mira & Jeni,

Mira – I’m so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Please don’t misunderstand the post I made. Not all the pills listed on the list are high androgen. I know that Ortho TriCyclen is among the lower androgen ones and the one I currently take to actually help treat my hair loss.

I had a lot of anger emotions finding out after I started losing my hair that this resulted from taking the pill, and I guess I still do to some extent, although for the most part I’ve made peace with it. I don’t know if things would have improved more for me had I not gotten back on the pill to treat the resulting hair loss. Or perhaps things would be much worse. But, that ship has sailed. I torture something thinking what would have been.

It is very early to tell how you will respond to getting off the pill. If the problem was from being on any oral contraceptive your condition very well may improve. It may be a good idea to consult we a dermatologist knowledgeable in women’s hair loss, that perhaps can check for miniturization. Please keep us updated.

Jeni-

Thanks for pointing that out. I also just posted a whole listing of various pills hormonal components that was sent over to me by Gracie. The pill I was prescribed Loestrin ranks among the lowest in estrogen also listing among the highest androgenicity. I often wonder if things would have be different had a taken a different pill. Who knows, I still may have had the same result. thanks for stopping by!

~Y

J March 26, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Hi everyone,

This is my first post, but I thought I’d mention that I was on the Patch for 2 years and Nuvaring for 1 year. I had some relatively steady thinning while on the Patch, but things got heaps worse practically overnight when I switched to Nuvaring. I’d be interested in finding out the androgen index for both of these forms of BC. And ideas? I noticed that the American Hair Loss Association lists both of these as particularly bad for hair loss/thinning. And of course, the web is full of forums where women complain of having devastating hair loss issues on Nuvaring.

I’ve been off of all hormonal contraception for a year in May and I will never go back. Only within the past 2 months has the shedding seemed to really slow down/taper off…knock on wood, that is! After ending use of Nuvaring, I also had a terribly annoying problem with getting pimples in addition to the “dread shed.” (I never even got pimples as a teenager!) That problem also seems to have taken care of itself, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that these are signs indicating that things are getting better. I can see more little hairs growing than ever before, but it really is hard to tell whether things are improving. Watching your hair grow is like watching grass grow — only slower. I can only hope that I’ll fully recover from this nightmare. It’s a shame that more women aren’t informed about ALL of the potential side effects of hormonal birth control.

Jennifer March 29, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Have you noticed a difference in your hair since switching to Ortho Tri Cyclen?

I have a gyno appt. next month and I’m trying to decide whether to stop the pill or switch to a different one. The one I’m on now (which I believe is the cause of my hair loss) is Necon 1/35 (generic for Ortho-Novum 1/35).

I’m so torn on what to do. I wonder if my hair will get worse if I stop… and if I switch pills, what do I switch to. A dermatologist recommended Yaz or Yasmin, but I’ve read a lot of negative things related to hair loss.

marie April 27, 2008 at 5:59 pm

I too was given Loestrin, and after 4 months when I noticed it started thinning, everyone told me I was crazy and my hair was fine. I let another five months go by until I could see my scalp in the sunshine, and finally called my obgyn and now I am on YAZ (1 month) and it seems to be getting worse. I’m shedding more short hair (my hair is angeled, so I can tell whether its coming from the top or bottom, and its SCARY how much is coming out from the top!!) I don’t know if it has to get worse before my body regulates the hormones and it gets better, or if I should go off the pill all together.

My obgyn and a hair loss doctor I saw both say to wait 3 months to decide if the pill was the issue…the problem is that its happened so fast and in 3 months it will be really bad…and if then they determine that its triggered androgenetic alopecia that isn’t going to reverse itself with the absence of the androgens from Loestrin, I’m behind 3 months is trying to treat it.

Luckily no pattern baldness runs in my family, so I have a hopeful outlook that its temporary, but until I know, I can’t relax, it consumes me.

It sounds like everyone on here is like me and is weathering the storm as best as we can and searching for answers, so if you are on here, and you recover and it grows back, please (PLEASE) come back on and tell us your story and what you did, and how long it took to regrow!! thanks!

Angela April 28, 2008 at 9:32 am

Marie,

I would get off the pill. I didn’t notice a dramatic shedding while being on the pill (more of a steady shed) but once I got off of it was when it got bad. I didn’t there was a correlation at the time so I got back ON it and now I feel trapped.
I think for you, since you are already going through a shed, its best to just stop all of it and let your body adjust to having no synthetic hormones. Because if you wait a few months, and it doesnt get better (but worse) your body will be more confused than if you were to stop it now. And, if you stay on the pill and your body “adjusts” to it, you risk losing more hair when you get off of the pill because of the shock it imposes on your system once you take it away.
I say get off the pill now!! Derms and gynos often know close to nothing in regards to these issues and they never want to think their beloved pill is responsible for hair loss. The BC pill is evil. I used to think it was the best invention ever made, but now I hate it so much and am a total advocate of non-hormonal forms of birth control.

Angela

Kelley June 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Hey all…

I’m 20 years old and have been on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for 5 months now and have experienced incredible hair loss and it just seems to get worse the longer I’m on it. The weird thing is though… I was on Loestrin (a generic form of it) for a year and although I experienced shedding the first month or two, my hair grew back fairly quickly come month 4 and 5 and I had a full head of hair back after a year. But with the Ortho, it just won’t stop, it gets worse daily. What can possibly be happening in my body if one of the lowest androgen pills is causing so much hair loss and the highest androgen one I remained fine on? Now I’m not sure if I should switch back, get off it, or stick it out. They all have their consequences. Anyone?

Sarah June 16, 2008 at 8:08 am

Hello!
I as well suffered hair loss going on the pill. I was on a pill called symphasic, which is apparently (according to my doctor) not a very high androgenc pill. However, I have found out that there is two other things that can cause hair loss : the progesterone, and the estrogen. If you research it, you’ll be able to see these two can also cause hair loss. The whole thing is quite frustrating.. i think it really just depends on each persons body, and how it reacts to hormones.
How long have you been on this pill? your body could be having a reaction from switching pills also.
I quit takin the pill a year ago, and I am just starting to see good regrowth.

dots June 19, 2008 at 10:06 am

Hey Sarah,
your story actually gives me a little hope! I kind of went through the same situation, I think (but am no way sure) that Yasmin was causing my hair loss. I had been on it for 2 years when I stopped, which was in January. my hair shedding was never *excessive* but the hair on my head was getting noticeably thinner, and not really growing in very much, so my scalp was very visible.

anyway, I decided to stop taking the pill, because nothing was getting better and for the few months after I had no hair loss (it was AMAZING, i felt great)

then this past month or so, my hair actually started falling out like crazy –I’m guessing telogen effluvium? well yes, my hair freaked out, and long thick hairs are falling out from all over my head and so fast too! it’s been 6 months since I’ve stopped taking it.. do you have any advice of things I can do? should I just be patient or should I go see a dermatologist or take supplements? I started rogaine because I really don’t want to lose any more hair!!

any advice you have would help!!! I haven’t read much about people in similar situations where birth control caused their hair loss and then they stopped taking it.

thank all of you so much for being there and being so supportive of everyone going through these miserable situations!!!!

Aminata July 5, 2008 at 3:52 pm

i will recommend every body to stop taking BC pills. i did try to change pills and my hair continued to fall. since i completely stopped the pill I started to see less hair falling(6 months after in my case). Switch to a non-hormonal form of birth control immediately. It can take up to 2 years for your body to regulate again the hormonal unbalance caused by the pill and your hair grow to go back to normal . I will also recommend you all to pay special attention to your diet, body circulatory system and the products you use to clean your hair. I made many changes that not only made me loose less hair to almost no hair loss right now, but also improved my skin, weight, memory and emotional balance.
There are many good sites to visit and get inform out there, but the American Hair Association web-site is to me the best.

Rhonda Holt July 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Hi everyone, I wanted to say I have experenced the same things as you.. Its so sad because no one knows our pain of losing our hair as a woman, its devistating.. I started on orthotrycycline at about age 15 after getting pregnant, I noticed that it made me sick and had many effects, I then later went and was on lo-estrin 1/30 and I had no problems on that pill, I then lowered and went to the 1/20.. My skin was great and I had no trouble on that but noticed the 1/30 worked better.. I then heard about elesse bc, and decided to try it and it was the best for my hair skin and I had no problems.. Well I got married and my husband already had kids and this was years later, he had the visectomy done so I decided to go off the BC all together, well my hair sarted falling out so bad and I already have fine hair and I lost about 50% when my mother died in 87, it did grow back but I lost lots of weight and hair due th the stress, so that alone can damage your body and harmones… Anyway back to the hairloss after I got married and stopped the pill, I cried and studied everything trying so many things and came across a web site on hairloss and the things that help.. believe it they had Diane-35 listed as one the things to help hairloss, I looked at what was in this pill and since it had been over a year and I was going bald I had to do something i was afraid to leave the house.. I tried many natural salutions and the one thing is the shocker of all of this is I went back on lo-estrin and my skin cleared up and my hairloss stopped.. I dont know why and one shampoo I swear helps hairloss is called Thymuskin’ It has helped my hair and my sister in law who had a hystorectomy and lost almost all of her hair.. I know this shampoo works and it is exspensive, but it does work!! I also know that our bodies are all different and going on BCpills does effect you harmones and some like my body gets addicted to having that harmone I cant exsplain why I just know that I went back on lo-estrin and my hair has stopped falling out, so those of you who had good luck with this pill and notice you change pills like I did and get the hairloss go back on the lo-estrin, I did and exsperemented with others to find that it fell of when I changed and it stopped when I went back on, I feel I am stuck on it but I have my hair my skin is clear and I dont gain weight on this pill.. So I am saying to look back and moniter which one was causing you hair loss and problems then try and remeber the one that was not and stay with the one that does not caue problems, have endometreosis so I have to be on a pill it helps me cope with the pain and cuts it in half, I promise you that this will help and try the Thymuskin its amazing and has also done wonders.. Now I am 42yrs and my hair is slowly getting thinner with age which we will all go through, but to keep your body balanced you need to moniter how the pill effects you and really pay attention, I have been told by many pharmacist and some ob’s that lo-estrin is thier favorite pill this is why I stayed on it.. I hope this helps and like I said we are all different and if any one would like to talk to me I have been studying hair skin and nails and products related to problems for 20 yrs and I would love to help with your problems..I promise i have many ideas and salutions that have helped so many people and i do this for nothing, why? its because I have been there and ant to help others in the same situation that i was in.. You can IM me at lilladyvixen@yahoo.com I would love to give advice and help if i can..Thanks and the best of luck to you all.. Rhonda

J Doe August 5, 2008 at 6:07 am

Can your hair grow back once you stop taking the pill for good, or is it gone forever???

Rosa August 5, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Thanks Rhonda.
I am 30 years old, I also have endometriosis and depend on the pill. I am taking YAZ it’s been one year and a half. I’ve recently noticed my hair thinning, specially on the top of my head. I got very scared when I saw my head under a good light. I have baldness cases in my family. My doctor suggested me to stop the pill for one month to do hormonal tests. I read on internet that if you stop the pill it gets worse and that we should keep taking the pill and wait for the regrowth that may happen soon. I do not know what to do, I hope that my hair do not fall even more once I stop the pill. I have taken Diane for more than 10 years and have never noticed any change in my hair.

Hopeless in Detroit August 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Ok, so here’s my story. I do have my dad’s sister and one of her daughters who has hair loss. They have gotten thin as they’ve gotten older. But the other women in the family are fine. Some did get thin, but not until their 50′s & 60′s. And even then, not as bad as me!

I did not know BC might have something to do with hair loss and I’ve been on the loestrin 1/20 for 14 years (since my early 20′s). Why after being on it for 14 years, in the last 4 or so years my hair has been falling out like crazy? No answer. Dr. tested my thyroid. Nothing wrong, better go see a dermatologist. Waited about a year, think it was starting to get worse, so went to dermatologist. He tested thyroid again. Nothing wrong, suggested rogaine but did say I had lost about 50% of the hair on the top of my head. This would have been over the course of about 2 to 3 years of noticing hair loss (thought it was temp due to stress at work).

Rogaine only works for about 20% of women. How would I know if this would work for me?

Then I turned 35 and was still smoking so had to go off birth control. Then my hair started shedding like crazy. I was fearful I was going to be bald at that rate by the end of the year. This is also the first time I looked online and found out that BC might be contributing to the hair loss.

The odd thing for me was the shedding started prior to messing with my hormones and the only change at that time was my stress level. So I’m not convinced BC is the sole cause of my problem. But, I’m not convinced it hasn’t played a role in things either.

One of my friends convinced me to make an appt. with an endocrinologist. I did, but took me almost 3 months to get the appt. By that time, about 5 months after stopping the pill, my hair finally stopped shedding. My appt was 7 months after stopping the pill and all my hormone tests came back normal. Even my DHT was low. My Androgen level was normal, but in the lower range.

Makes no sense really. Spoke to my OBGYN today and she had no idea what to tell me. She told me there was a new product out by YAZ that would actually possibly help with hair loss. It has 3mg of drospirenone and .02 mg of ethinyl estradiol. She said when people complain of facial hair they ususally decrease their amount of androgen. So she said that is the opposite of what she knows to be the truth. That statement alone kind of scares me that she may have it backwards!

I’m not 100% sure I’m going to try to go back on BC yet, let alone try this new YAZ. I think I may be seeing some improvement in growing some hair back now, but it is hard to tell. I’m just finding a lot more shorter hairs lately – which either means breakage or new growth. I’m hoping the later.

I still can’t believe there aren’t any doctors around who are educated enough to help navigate this issue. All of them have basically said there “appears” to be nothing wrong with you – can’t tell you why all of a sudden your hair falls out, but good luck to you.

Really, is this our fate? Navigating this issue on our own? I sympathize with all of you and hope there is some changes in the future for our cause!

Hopelessly confused in Detroit.

Shanta Polite August 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Hi i’m glad i found this site i been on bc for 11 years i’m now 27 and my hair on the top is so thin i can to see it in the sun and yes it scared the hell out of me, i through the pills in the trash and will not take any more bills my hair is more important and sad that the doctor don’t tell you this i also got my tyroid check and it fine so i now know whats the problem, i already order some growth pills so when my body adjust if it falls more i have pills to bring it back until my haif gets better.

Michelle September 13, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Hello ladies,
For the past couple weeks I have noticed significant hair shedding. I got a haircut and my hairstylist told me that I was really losing a lot. VERY SCARY! I have always had very thick hair and now its steadily getting thinner every day. At first I was really concerned thinking I was sick and didn’t know what was happening to me. I finally discovered my problem, this month is exactly four months since I stopped my birth control pill, LoEstrin.

I know that stopping the pill is the cause of my problem. The change in hormone levels has thrown my body for a loop. I started taking B vitamins which seem to help. But i cannot deny the thing the helps me the most , my faith in God. I have been praying a lot through this and trying not to worry(easier said then done). Worrying only makes more hair fall out!!!

To all the girls who are considering going back on the pill to “fix this”:

PLEASE DON’T!

In my opinion, the best thing to do is stay away from these birth control pills for good. I know its frustrating but you have to have faith that your body will regulate itself in time. I don’t think anyone really knows what a toll these pills can take on our bodies. And unfortunatly, most of us don’t find out until we are pulling hairs from the clogged drain and counting them.

I have faith that I will get through this and you should too. Even a better attitude can improve your health.

God Bless you all and I wish you the best of luck!
Michelle

dani September 15, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Stay away from Seasonique!!!!!!!

Vivian September 19, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Hi
Over the past five years I have lost 50% of my hair. I swapped pills and the hair loss stopped however I have had no regrowth. I’m left with very this hair.

I think the acupuncture treatment I receive twice a week has helped with the ceasing of shedding.
I was now thinking of going off the pill to encourage growth. However I’m a little concerned becuase I am getting married in 5 monts and do not want excessive shedding before the wedding.
Can someone advise on the best appraoch for ceasing the pill?
Doctors in Australia just shake their heads at me and just tell me that I’m not sick and to deal with it.
Extremely depressed and would love some advice.

admin September 20, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Dear Vivian,

Did changing pills actually stop the hair loss? I wasn’t sure if that was what you meant, that one pill caused it and changing it to another pill improved it. That would be good to know for other women who are thinking about switching pills because they are still losing hair on a certain brand.

You know I did acupuncture for a a year or so back, mainly 2005-2006 and I think it did help too. It definitely helps to put your body in a healing environment.

If you are planning on getting off the pill, wait til AFTER the wedding. That is just what I would do. You don’t want to chance it, I know how devastating it would be to be dealing with a shedding cycle and trying to get everything for the wedding together and feel good and all that.

I am not a doctor and I don’t know the absolute best way for getting off the pill, but I would definitely say make sure you finish the pack you are on, don’t just stop mid way through.

I am sorry this has caused you sadness and depression, I am no stranger to that myself. You are not alone.

All The Best,
~Y

Nicole September 21, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Hi, I have been on Yaz for almost 6 months now, alot of the reason I started was because I started getting very bad hormonal acne and strangley alot of facial hair, blonde but alot of it. Well, my skin cleared, havent had 1 pimple in months, no facial hair and my cramps are almost non-existent, except for the fact that for the past couple months, i’ve noticed that my hair is thinning so bad, especially on the right side, i already have fine hair but i’ve always had tons of it and never thought of my hair as thin, im starting to see my scalp! I’m really worried about getting off of them, I don’t want my hair to thin even more and on top of that have bad skin, what should i do? My doctor says that bc couldnt cause it! Why would he lie like that? Has anyone else had a problem with Yaz in particular??

Gaylene September 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm

I have been taking Yaz also continuously for quite some time a) to avoid acne and b) to avoid periods. I also have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease (thyroid issue). I am talking meds for that and have been having great trouble with my hair now falling out. The other thing that I have done differently lately is I have been alternating back and forth with packs of Yas and an orthotrycyclin. So one day I take Yaz and the next the other. It has occurred to me that perhaps this is messing with my hormones and causing the falling out. I have never had trouble with hair falling out, even when on the Yaz alone. My problem now is trying to figure our if it’s the change in my meds that the doctor has been giving me or the pill issue, both of which happened about the same time. So I understand your frustration. Anyone have any ideas?
Thanks!

Vivian September 28, 2008 at 4:24 am

I honestly believe it was the acupunture that helped stop the shedding and not swapping of the pills. I swapped pills and after 12 months started the acupunture and it was three months after that, that the shedding ceased. I have stopped the pill now and continue acupunture to promote new growth as I think the pill is hindering new growth. I know that it’s a huge risk only 5 months from my wedding day but my acupunturist is confident that while he is treating me that there will be no further shedding. He was right about being able to stop it the first time so I’m confident that my hair won’t fall out as he continues to balance out my system. I have also started using the Hairmax Laser Comb which should help stimulate blood flow to my scalp. My acupuncturist said that it is worth a shot but is a little skeptical. I will let you know how I go with three month updates and I’ll also be documneting results with photos.

Viv

Nichol October 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I started taking seasonique back in March and in July was told by my hair stylist that he couldn’t get over how much my hair had grown sisce the last time he had seen me. Then about a week later I noticed that I was shedding a whole lot more than normal. So I did some investigating and came to realize that the pill could be the cause so I quit taking it right away. My gyn offered to switch the brand but the pill he wanted to switch me to states right on the pack that hair loss is a side effect. So needless to say I just quit taking them. I had my thyroid checked and all was normal and I was told to just wait it out. It has now been a month and a half since I quit and I’m still shedding. When will it stop!?

Jill October 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm

My hair loss has had me so depressed that I have been unable to sleep and am leaving the house as little as possible. I am 37 and went on Demulen 1/35 when I was 16. In August of 2007, I went off it because I had stopped having a period for a year. Three months later, my once thick, long hair began falling out (I did get my period again in February). The dermatologist verified the loss but only prescribed fluocinolone acetonide which he told me would help (months later, another dermatologist explained to me that this is meant to treat sebhorreic dermatitis, or dry scalp, which I now also have). I went to the endocrinologist, thinking it was my thyroid, but everything came back “fine”. He told me the hair loss was caused by going off the pill. So, in March 2008, I got right back on Zovia 1/35. Well, 7 months later and the hair loss on top of my head is worse than ever, only hidden by “strategic” hairstyles or scarves. I am going to make an appointment to see a gynecologist about switching to one of the recommended pills for hair loss. It will NOT be the same one who said absolutely nothing when I first told her I was going to go off the pill.

gayle October 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm

wow.. ive been on bc for about a year.. and my boys actually noticed it before me.. since hes now taller and looks down on me.. i do know its hereditary in my family but.. my mom didnt start her thinning untill 3 years ago.. and im well younger! it sounds like one pill that helps one woman on here has horrid results for another… i think id rather live with 3 month long periods than go bald.. i love my hair.. its funny because i never used to think i was so attached to it…. i know stress is prob a contributing factor.. but.. once you realize your losing your hair….. who isnt going to stress even more! i cant see my gyn for another 5 months… but i think im going to call and see if i cant get in earlier. or try see someone else idk. we have a dr shortage here. i was jw if after you go off the pill.. and lose more hair…. does it grow back? ive read conflicting things on here.

Kathy October 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I am so happy to have come accross this website. I have been losing my hair for about 2 months now. I have 50% less hair than I did at the beginning of August this year. I stopped the birthcontrol pill one year ago for my wedding (no crash dieting). I have been taking Ortho 777 since I was 16 and I am now 32 years old.

I have gone for blood, urine and ultrasound tests (no results back yet) and i know I will be referred to a dermatologist. I have just started using Nioxin shampoo and conditioner but no luck so far. I was told Bio-Fen was a good natual alternative vitamins to any type of medicine (i.e. Rogaine) to help stop hair loss. I just purchased a bottle that last 30 days so we’ll see. I can only go out with my hair up in a very small hair clip becuase there is so little of it left soon enough it will all be gone if it doesn’t stop…

HELP does it usually take approximately one year for hair to fall out after stopping the pill??? Will hair grow back if my hair stops falling out??

Tomoria November 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm

If this helps (Ortho Tri-Cyclen-low ) grew my hair like crazy. I never had hair so long and healthy, not even in highschool.

Cara November 7, 2008 at 5:37 pm

I felt so alone until I read the comments here! I am 26 and I think I’ve noticed hair loss since I was around 17. I used to have a full head of thick hair. I always thought it was genetic because I do have male family members that are balding, but then I realized I have been on and off birth control pills since I was around that age! I have tried different pills, but i have been on Yaz for 3 month and I have noticed a huge increase in hair loss and my hair is already really thin..I’m not sure where to go from here, if I should get off the pill (now I’m scared I’ll lose more hair) or if I should see a dermatologist, or gyn, or anyone else? There must be some hope out there, this is devestating!!

Vivian November 17, 2008 at 2:46 am

Just an Update!
I have been off the birth control pill for 2 months now and no shedding so far. I’ve continued with the acupuncture once a week rather than twice a week and will see a nutritionist this Saturday. I have been to the doctors to get loads of blood tests for her to interpret the results but the doctors simply state that all results are within range but it will be interesting to see if she finds anything. I have been told that while thyroid results are within range they may be at a point that can cause hair loss.
I shed about 20 hairs a day but I’m still trying to work out what will actually regrow my hair.
Just in case nothing happens I have got human hair clip on extensions which my hairdresser will use on my wedding day next March. They look fantastic. I will provide an update in the next few weeks.

samara November 24, 2008 at 5:08 pm

I have been on micronor for a year and month now. In the last two months I noticed my hair thinning in the back. It was only yesterday that I linked the likely cause to BC pills. I will not be taking another hormonal pill ever. I will let you know if/when my hair returns to normal. Plus, its great to know I’m not alone.

Going for change January 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I’m considering going on the hormone-free copper IUD (I have an appt. tomorrow). I’ve been pretty fed up with the problems of mood swings, headaches and hair loss I have encountered with the pills and now the Nuvaring.

I think the women who are considering not using any form of birth control should look into the IUD. Better safe than sorry.

Vivian January 31, 2009 at 4:36 am

It’s now been two months since my last post and 4 months since I stopped the pill. The dread shed started 3 weeks ago and I’m freaking out!
My wedding is in 5 weeks and I’m losing 500 haris a day. Yes I collect and count them.
I should have stayed on the pill til ater the wedding.
My partner and I hope to start a family soon but I’m scared at what that hormone chnage will do.
I can’t believe this is happening……I hate how I look and wished I wasn’t having a big wedding. I know I upset my partner when I say that I don’t want to go to my own wedding.

Does anyone know when on average this shedding will stop. I can’t take much more of this.

Beth January 31, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I know the stress you are feeling about the hair shedding with a wedding coming up. My hair is rapidly thinning (i’m 29). i’m getting married in october and at the rate i’m going….well. i hate thinking about it. i just want you to know that realistically, you WILL have hair for your wedding. it feels like a lot of hair to lose, and it is a lot of hair to lose. but your wedding is so close….try to focus on the wonderful time in your life is and SHOULD be. i need to take my own advice and start getting excited for my own wedding rather than dread what my hair might look like. it’s hard.

in terms of when the shedding will stop. it could be weeks or months. it depends on how long it will take YOUR body to balance. but one thing for sure, the more stress you feel, the longer that balancing act will take because stress hormones negatively affect your body’s sex hormone balance. SO. you can’t control your hormones DIRECTLY but you can influence them indirectly by trying not to stress. good luck, and i’m sure you will be a gorgeous bride. believe that you will be :)

Vivian February 3, 2009 at 12:04 am

Is feeling sad and crying stress? I’m not stressed at work or with wedding plans, I’m just sad and feel so ugly.

Whitney March 5, 2009 at 4:42 am

I just started Nuvaring 4 days ago immediately after I finished my last pack of Yaz which I was on for 2 months. This morning I began noticing a change in my hair and that it seemed to be thinning. I have always had long thick hair but its no longer what it used to be. I removed the Nuvaring this morning and I have now sworn off BC. I am completely devastated over this. Will my hair grow back???? Or has the damage been done???

kelly April 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

I’ve been on yasmin for 6 months, and BCP since I was 16. I am now 21, it is only now that i am starting to link my hair thinning with the pill. If is top taking it will my hair return to how it was pre-16 or will it simply stop more shedding?…or will it cause more!?

I am very worried and have no idea what to do!????

HELP!

Lizzie April 25, 2009 at 11:52 am

I’ve been on BC since 15. I’m now 20. I’ve always been on Yasmin but recently (4 months ago) switched to the generic brand Ocella. The past two months my hair has been thinning so much and my scalp is becoming more noticeable especially in good lighting. I talked to a dermatologist and she had me take a thyroid test and prescribed a shampoo for itching scalp (which i also have been experiencing). I took the thyroid test today and will also begin using the shampoo today. I am also going to switch back to Yasmin (which i absolutely loved while i was on it for most of high school and my first year in college. In fact, I normally have fairly fine hair and felt that it looked my best when on Yasmin). I will keep you posted with what the cause was in a couple of weeks. But I’ve been researching this like crazy and found a couple of interesting things:
1. If you need to be on birth control, try to use a birth control that is low or no androgen. This is a male hormone that is linked to hair loss in women
2. Have your vitamin and mineral levels checked! You could have a deficiency in iron or certain vitamins that have been causing your hair to thin or shed.
AND
3. DONT WAIT TO SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR! I completely feel everyone’s pain of experiencing hair thinning. But it’s even more painful to feel helpless. Take your health into your own hands and speak to a dermatologist and your gyno!

Felicia May 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm

I have been on loestrin since 2004 and my hair has become increasing thin ever since. I have spent hundred’s of dollars at the dermotologist in the last 2 years and was as advised I should stop straightening my hair as that could be the issue. I live in an older apartment building and have been frantically checking for mold as I read that can cause hair loss. I finally went on WebMD for more information about hair loss and saw an article about the relationship between high androgen birth control pills and hair loss and eventually ended at this website. Ironically, I just came from the dermatologist today and she put me on clobex and advised I might need to add Rogaine! I also just refilled my birth control Rx today as well. I will definately check to see if I can get a refund. I am so happy I do not know what to do. I never thought about the birth control being the issue since I did not have any other visible side effects.

Christina May 15, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I have been on the “mini pill” Nora be for a year now while breastfeeding and have had EXTREME hair loss for 4 months now blaming my synthroid but thanks to this website I made the connection that an only progestin bc pill is the cause. I just stopped taking it last night & am hoping it will stop my hair loss but freaked to hear it can take long…wondering if I should go on a pill with estrogen like a combo low adrogen one?

Vivian June 7, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Well a lot has happened since my last post. I quit taking the pill in Sep 2008 and the shedding started in Dec 2008. It was horrible and lasted til I late Jan 2009. I fell pregnat in Feb 2009 and the hair loss has stopped. I cut my hair which makes it look much thicker but it’s not what it was and I think it will take years to thinken up. I don’t expect it to be what it was before birth control pills. I have plans to go to accupuncture after the birth of my baby to hopefully avoid the dead shed after child birth. I used to think about my hairloss 90% of the day and now I only think about 10% of the day. It could be that my mind is consumed and excited about the baby and I don’t really care as much about my hair. My new hair cut has helped and no one would really know I had a problem now. I’m never taking the pill again. Getting off it is hard but once you go through the dread shed it’s then all over and not a slave to the pill.

Rose Anne July 15, 2009 at 11:49 am

I was on Ortho Tricylcen for 10 years with no problems. Last year, I started taking Yaz. After several months, I noticed my hair thinning, along with a myriad of other medical issues, including uncontrollable weight loss. I switched back to Ortho, but the damage is done. I’ve lost at least 50% of my hair, which used to be beautiful. I am interested to know if it will grow back. Stay away from Yaz. I am still battling the crazy side affects, even though I’ve been off it for months.

Angela July 21, 2009 at 9:41 am

I’m so happy to have found this website! I used to have long, full, curly hair. I started using Ortho-Tricyclen when I was 17, but went on and off it a few times. At one point, I was put on Ortho-Tricyclen Low because I was suffering from migraines. I then moved on to the patch and finished up with Nuva Ring at the age of 31. My OBGYN had me using the ring 3 consecutive months at a time so I would only have 4 periods a year in order to avoid the migraines (I still had mild headaches when I was supposed to be menstruating!).
Somewhere during my mid-late 20′s, my hair started getting shorter on it’s own. I could tell because I was cutting my own hair at the time and I hadn’t gone to a salon in years. I blamed it on stress I experienced when my first engagement fell through. During this time I also developed extremely dry, flaky, lizard like skin on my stomach. I tried every kind of lotion…it was ALWAYS there. As time went by, my hair kept getting shorter. People would suggest taking hair/nail vitamins, but my nails were perfectly healthy. A friend told me to get my Thyroid tested; the results were normal. EVERYONE suggested getting my hair cut regularly to get rid of the dead ends, but every time I got it cut, it would just get shorter, not longer!
I got married in September of ’08 and my husband and I were planning to have children. One day I was talking to someone about my hair and they said “Maybe it will grow back once you’re off birth control.” What?! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard this before! I’ve been BC free for 6 months now, but I’m still not seeing growth. Some days, I think it’s getting shorter still! Amazingly, after only one month of no BC, my stomach healed up like it was never there and the headaches went away completely. That gave me hope that maybe, if the skin on my stomach healed, my hair problem could be skin related and that would be fixed also. I guess I’m experiencing the “dread shed” that everyone keeps mentioning on here? I have noticed 1-2” long random pieces all over my head and pray that this is new growth and not signs of further breakage.
Reading these stories makes me feel like there’s a reason behind my hair loss and that it could possibly grow back. I’ve read a few comments on here about regrowth after a few months. I hope I can share a similar story.

Erica July 25, 2009 at 9:53 am

I have been on ortho-tri cyclen for 9 years, my obgyn (who was at the time also a pcp) put me on it because my menstral cycles were so heavy cauing me to miss school. My mom thought this was best and my dr never discussed any adverse side effects. I am now 25 and am losing a lot of hair from the top of my head, you can see the scalp. It has made me not want to be social anymore, I go to work and then home. It is probably one of the most scary, and devasting things.
I have seen my obgyn, pcp, a dermatologist, all of my blood work came back normal. The dermatologist said to continue on birth control because it is probably helping so I don’t lose anymore hair and to try Rogaine.
All of the doctors I have seen say to stay on the pill. I am so lost as to what to do…. I have heard so many negative effects of the pill and am worried that since I have been on in for so long I have caused this myself.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful!

amanda August 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I’ve been losing my hair for awhie now too..Everyday it gets more devestating for me. I currently take Yaz…but I’m having break through bleeding…I went to the gyno, but I’m just scared to get on anything else. I looked at the website listing the levels of androgen in bc…my doc wanted to put me on loestrin and that was one of the higher ones listed. I explained to her about my hair but she was like its a chance you take…everyone responds differently. No one seems to know whats wrong with me though..and that is the most frustrating part. I’ve had a scalp biopsy and there was not conclusive results…what?! Just frustrating…I’m so sick of seeing my hair all over the place..I used to have a beautiful head of hair…Thanks for listening

Tara August 15, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I had the thickest hair ever when I started taking the bc pill at the age of 17 – I mean, 45 minutes just to blow dry it. I took it for years – I’m now 41 – and as the years went by I was first happy to see my hair thin – it was so thick it was unmanageable. Then, slowly, I started noticing that I could see right through to my scalp in sunlight about 5 years ago. I had no idea it could be linked to the pill, really didn’t know what to make of it. Earlier this year I went off the pill (Loestrin – the worst of them all) and started noticing my hair started falling out even faster – to the point that my husband and mother pointed out how thin my hair was (kindly/with worry). Obviously, this was the “dread shed”. Finally, after stopping the pill in February, my hair loss has finally slowed down just recently in August. What’s left? I can see so easily through my hair that I HAVE to use Topix to go out in public or I’m basically bald (easy to see how bald I am). I hopefully await my hair’s regrowth without the bad effects of the pill messing with my system (any hair would be good!).

Finding this website has been a Godsend – I really felt so alone and freakish before finding out that the Pill often causes serious significant hair loss. Thank you all for your stories and helpful advice. I would say to anyone that if they go on the Pill and experience any hair loss at all, that they should go off the Pill and stay off of it. It should be something regularly mentioned by ObGyns/doctors when the pill is prescribed, but that will never happen (those doctors get prizes/bonuses like nice free vacations in the Caribbean from the pharmaceutical companies when they prescribe that company’s pills – they don’t want to jump off that gravy train). I know about the whole RX/Doctor game from an insider friend in the business – trust me, it’s real.

What we CAN rely on is great websites like this one (with a community) that help us all come together to share and support each other with this terrible problem. Thanks Y!

kerry August 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm

hi all… i am 20 years old and i went on loestrin24fe for only one month and my hair started falling out! ive been off it for about a month now and it hasn’t stopped falling out yet. I am desperately seeking answers. i’ve been trying to research online for answers but am just ending up more confused. Will my hair grow back??? also, what are the chances of me getting androgenic alopecia from this pill? no one in my family has had any trouble with thinning hair. Any answers or advice would be amazing! I just really want to know if this will stop and how soon.

Sho August 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Hi Ladies!

I’m trying to keep my cool here but hear my cries –

I’m 23 years young with beautiful long brown hair. I started taking BC when I was 15 because I have the worlds worst cramps – long periods etc. (Orho-tri-lo and eventually switched to Tri-Sprintec). In early March of this year I went off the pill because my bladder started acting up. Couldn’t hold it and was going to the bathroom every 30 minutes! The Eurologist put me on Detrol LA and we thought it may be wise to discontinue the BC just incase. Well, the Detrol takes 6 weeks to work, stopped taking BC a few weeks into Detrol and things started to get better, we had some confounding variables now. With that being the case I went back on BC at the end of June. I’m trying my hardest to remember correctly but I believe my hair started to shed some time towards the end of June – early July. It’s not towards the end of August and my hair is going like crazy! Shower in the AM – bye bye bye 60 strands, brush my hair after the shower, cya 20-30 more, stroke my hair while I’m stretching in my office chair, there goes 10 more! It’s awful and it breaks.my.heart. I know that stressing over it will ONLY make it worse. I went to the Dr. who’s also a women’s specialist and she had no idea what to tell me and didn’t really know much about BC and hair loss – HELLO it’s listed on every pill. My case is hair loss AFTER BC. So here’s where I’m at now – stopped taking the pill in ealry March, went back on end of June. Is it possible that there’s a lag in the side effects of hair loss once you go off the pill? It makes sense right? Is it just a matter of time before my body regulates and becomes used to the pill again? I’m going for a long list of tests tomorrow but do believe it’s BC thats the problem. I’ve been on it for almost 8 years and I’m 15 – YIKES! I will be fine taking it until I’m ready to have kids. It’s so depressing to see your hair go, I usually touch up my roots at the salon but am afraid to do that, my natural hair is coming in which is lighter than the color and it makes the spotting look worse. I feel so sad and it’s a constant reminder every time I touch my hair. Is it true that putting it up in a clip is worse because it causes stress on the roots? What are you ladies doing to help mask this so you don’t have to remind yourself every time you look in the mirror.
Please help me lift my spirits, when I get depressed I get realllly depressed and we’re supposed to be living our lives in happiness – we only have one life, let’s be here for one another….

-Sho

Julia August 25, 2009 at 9:51 am

I’m 34 and have never been on birth control until this year. In Jan. my periods went crazy and starting coming every 2 weeks and lasting 10 days at a time. I had a blood test to rule out thyroid and to check everything else. It came back completely normal. I had a ultrasound to rule out fibroids and it was normal too. My gynecologist then put me on Necon for 3 months and then had me come back in 3 months for a checkup. I hated Necon. It zapped my sex drive and made me really emotional. So he switched me to Loestrin 24. The first month was fine. The second month my hair started falling out by the handful. I made an appointment before the third month to be evaluated. He said that the hair loss could last 6-9 months. He also switched me to Ortho Cyclen, which I’ve been taking for a week.

My question is will it really take 6-9 months for my hair to stop falling out? Will new hair start growing in soon. I already have fine hair and if I lose much more I’m really going to have to buy a wig. I see clients daily and I’m embarrassed to go to work. Help……….

Auburn September 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I have been on YAZ since Aug 08, and it was the first time I have ever used birth control. It’s also the ONLY medication I am on. I first noticed that my hair looked a bit thinner about 3 months later but didn’t know if I was just worrying over nothing. Then in June of this year, family members mentioned my hair looked thinner. This made me realize it wasn’t all in my head- I have to clean out my brush after every use because it is full of hair! And it isn’t just breaking off because I can see roots on practically all of them.

I have always eaten healthy, been active, don’t smoke and don’t color or use chemicals on my hair. Went to the doctor and had my thyroid, hormones, iron, protein, vitamins, etc tested. Everything came back within the normal range, but I too was told thyroid levels can come back normal but still be out of whack enough to cause hair loss. Went to the gyno, asked her if bc could be the culprit. She had never heard of that before. Went to a dermatologist, and he said there was nothing that could be done, must be hereditary.

I KNEW something was wrong! There was no reason a healthy 28 year old should be losing her hair! I didn’t even link my hair loss to my bc until 2 months ago. After endless hours of research and many days of stressing about it, I have found many boards that women have posted on describing my very same syptoms (I have others, but the hair loss is the most prevalent and devestating one)! Besides finding out that bc can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb B vitamins-which are needed for healthy hair and nail growth- there is nothing to tell me why this is happening (besides screwing with my hormone levels).

I am strongly leaning towards stoping all hormonal bc, but since my main reason for taking it is to prevent an unplanned pregancy (instead of cramps, acne, medical condition, etc) I feel at a loss as to what to do to take it’s place. IUD’s are not an option as they too have serious side effects-both hormonal and non hormonal ones.

I too want to know if stopping it well cause the ‘dread shed’ since I am on a supposedly low level and I have only been on it for 13 months. Also, I have seen several women posting about accupunture helping. I would love any information anyone has found to help!!!

Thank you to Vivian for her continuing updates! It has given me hope that even if I do lose more when I stop it, it will eventually even out. I do want to tell her that it is common to have an extended period of hair growth when you are pregnant due to the higher levels of estrogen. After having your baby, a period of shedding will occur when your estrogen drops. This is normal and will even out after a few months. Congrats on your baby!

Jessie October 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Hi Everyone

I have noticed my hiar getting thinner adn thinner over a period of 7 months now and it is continuing to shed. I am so scared that a gooing to be needing a wig by christmas.
My doctor had told me that she had never heard of a connection between hair loss and the pill which makes me think that it has another cause. DO other people have another experience with their doctors?

All i can do is hope and pray that the shedding stops. I have just moved to Paris and want to start my new life happy. This is such a control on my emotions and thoughts…. all i can do it shope it stops.

Good luck to everyone

Jessie

Karen November 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Several posts up, someone mentioned telogen effluvium. I did a quick search online and it sounds like this may be a potential “diagnosis” that you can go to your doctor and specifically ask about. I found good info here – http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1071566-overview

Lauren Miller November 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Hello, I first started taking yasmin in 2004 and a few months into it I thought I noticed some thinning of my hair. Everyone told me I was crazy and at the time I was only 18. Now my hair is significantly thinner and it’s extremely noticeable, especially around my part. One thing I have noticed is taht my hair is growing in length but it is so thin around my scalp. Since then I’ve switched back and forth between yaz and yasmin and now I’m on loestrin. My gyno of course said bc doesn’t cause hairloss but it says it on all the packages. I’ve noticed a significant amount of shedding lately, really since I started takeing ocella (generic yasmin) in July. I’ve only been on loestrin for a couple of weeks so it’s hard to tell. I had all my blood work done and it everything there seems fine. I also react strongly to any prescriptions and I usually see a lot of side effects. I am terrified to quit taking the pill because everything I have read about it says my shedding will increase drastically after quitting and I haven’t read anywhere if it will grow back or not. I honestly can’t afford to lose anymore hair. Every day I blow dry my hair and try and style it it takes all that I have to keep from breaking down and crying. Will my hair ever grow back?? I’m only 23!

Kristin November 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

I am so grateful there is this website. I am 28 years old, I was taking Yaz for almost 2 years, unlike most people on here I experienced no side effects while on it. My insurance doesnt cover contraceptives and the $80 a pop was too much so I switched to Reclipsen (generic for Desogen) on the 17th of October. I noticed a few weeks later alot of hair loss, I spoke to co-workers and they were experiencing the same thing, and I have been told before the fall/winter season is when you lose the most hair due to the hair cycles. So I passed it off. Well now its over a month later and the hairloss hasn’t stopped. I can see my scalp, never had that before. When I grab all my hair it is HALF of what it was just a short month and a half ago. I don’t know if its Reclipsen in specific causing the loss or my bodies adjustment to the new levels, more estrogen and a different form of progesterone.

I called my OBGYN’s office and told them my concern about a week ago, they said it couldn’t be the BC because a month is too soon to see hairloss from it. Reading all of your stories I see some of you also experienced hair loss with in 2 months or so.

My concern now is, do I wait it out and see if my body adjusts or do I stop taking it immediately and go back to YAZ? I have read on numerous sites that stopping BC cold turkey can cause the shedding or loss to worsen about 2-3 months afterwards.

I bought NUTRI-OX shapmpoo for thinning hair and been using it for a few weeks with no change. Not to mention it dries my hair out so I will stop that.

Has anyone else experienced hair loss within a few weeks after switching birthcontrol or has anyone taken Reclipsen?

My thoughts and prayers are with all you ladies out there.

Brandi December 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

IH everyone… First off i would like to start that when i was 16 i started losing my hair it would get very natty and would be hard to brush and lots of hair would fall off into my brush. Like everytime i brush my hair a whole brush full would fall out. But that was caused by pour nutrition. So i started taking prenatal vitamins once a day. And by a month later those hair helped so much. My hair was actually getting thicker and growing longer i was soo happy and blessed because ive never had thick hair before.

Then i went on birth control pills when i was about 17ish i would say. I think ive always had yazmin but i dont completly remember. I never had any hair changes when i first started although i did have more acne at first then when my body got use to it, it cleared up. I did try the shot once and that made my hair fall out a little so i stopped doing the shot. Once my hair was thick i diidnt want anything to mess that up.

Then i got back on yazmin and something dumb happed with my insurance so i switched to the generic brand which is ocella. Ive never had any hair loss while on either of those pills. my hair was fine. But then my doctor for so retarded reason told me to switch to orthotrycyclin and like i dummy i did. That was the WORST MISTAKE EVER! Ever since then my hair has been falling and very very nappy. Like i cant brush it and i get knots and ew its sad.

I switched to the in april and was on that a couple months then i said F this and stopped and switched back to ocella. My hair hasnt changed and its been like 4 months still falling out all into my brush. SO almost a month ago i quit all together. I though it might have been my prenatal or acne pill but its definatley from the Orthotrycyclin. So im just hoping a couple more months it should start to get better. You guys should try a multivitamin as well or the prenatal as your doctor first. It helped me and im afraid if i wasnt on it right now my hair would be worse than it already is. :(

Brandi December 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Sorry for the sloppiness and not making since in my posting.. Im all depressed.

MiaFlores December 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Hi Brandi,
In all fairness…you’ve changed your hormones several times in a relatively short period of time. Hair changes happen in roughly 3-4 month cycles, so the hair you’re losing now has actually been dead for about three months. And every time you change your hormone mix, your body goes through a little shock. If you’re really hormonally sensitive, you may lose some hair anytime you swich BC…and depending on what else is or isn’t going on in your body, it may come back once things even out. Going OFF birthcontrol…be prepared. Many women experience hairloss to some degree when they do this. It can be a lot like what happens after you have a baby–the pregnancy ends, and the estrogen drops, and then there’s a period of serious shedding. (When you think about it, going on the pill is a lot like this–the pill keeps you in a higher estrogen state, not ovulating thus not producing as much testosterone–which is similar to what happens during pregnancy.) Good news is, most women eventually grow their hair back. When it doesn’t grow back, that usually means there’s some underlying problem (AGA, thyroid, any of a gadjillion things) that wasn’t uncovered/evident until the hormone change.

So…if you want to get off the pill (and I can’t say I blame you), just know you may need to be a little patient. It’s hard as hell, but at this point, you’re going to shed for a while. Nothing you can do will stop that–even if you get on hairloss treatment, the “dead” hairs are going to fall before the treatment kicks in. It sounds like you’re pretty young…and while that doesn’t make this a sure thing by any means, if you are, there’s probably a better chance that your hair loss is temporary. THAT said, I’d recommend talking to your doctor about what’s going on. Be sure you’re honest about everything you’ve done/changed, what’s happened, and everything you’re taking/using. She/he might do some blood work up…but even if you’re stuck waiting for a couple of months, at least you and your doc will be on the same page about what’s going on and how much it matters to you!

Martha January 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

My history – I am 38 years old and have been experiencing significant hair loss for the last 6 years. I have no female hair loss in my family. My maternal Grandmother died at 98 with a slightly thin but full hair of head. My Grandfather was slightly bald on top. Same for my paternal side. My Mom and Dad have a thinner but still full head of hair for their ages. I have been off and on birth control since the 9th grade due to period problems. I have had three surgeries to take care of cysts which develop during my ovulation. I do have thyroid disease but I have had normal results for the past 5 1/2 years. My hair should have started growing back around the time my thyroid was regulated. However, it was also 6 years ago I went back on birth control pills “full-time”. I have taken Yaz and the generic Ocella. My hair is now so thin I get nervous when the wind blows because of scalp exposure. I don’t like riding in my car with the sunroof open because I can see the skin on my head. I get nervous when my boyfriend runs his hands through my hair. I am uncomfortable sitting at my daughter’s middle school football games because of what the person behind me is seeing on my head. This is consuming me!

Within the past year, I have expressed my concern to my gynocologist, three dermatolgists (one was supposed to be a hair specialist), and recently to a plastic surgeon regarding a hair transplant. None of them were overly concerned! I kept getting the “well, I have seen worse”. Of course, the plastic surgeon did assure me that he can fix it.

I have decided that I am going to stop taking birth control pills. This decision will cause me to eventually have to have a hysterectomy because of my endometriosis/cysts. But I would rather have hair on my head with no uterus inside than the other way around.

I would love to see an update from Vivian. Any luck? I will post with my updates in case anyone is interested.

karin January 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I was on YAZ for about three years straight, with no side effects at all. I was without a job for about 3 months and therefore was not taking the pill, due to no insurance. During these 3 months I have gone almost bald. :( My doctor said it could be because my body was going thru withdrawl of the hormones. I have recently started them again, but I dont want to stay on them! Now Im scared if I stop again, my hair will fall out completely. I dont want to loose the little bit of hair I have left!

KareBear January 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

i’m 25 yrs old, asian, female and losing hair.
after reading all these posts, i’ve decided to stop taking BC. specifically, ortho tri cyclene lo, which i’ve been on for over 5 years. i’m going to post monthly status updates if anyone is interested. i too would like to know what Vivian is up to…unlike Vivian, i’m not planing to have babies anytime soon.

i’ve been to a dermatologist and 2 gynes. they all think i’m crazy and they immediately tell me my hair loss it’s NOT due to my BC. I’m calling BS on that – just a bunch of pill pushers i tell ya!

According to them, my feritin is slightly low (whatever that means) so i’m taking iron supplements daily. i’m constipated now and i’m still losing hair.

my dad has male pattern baldness, my mother has a full head of hair and my sister is in denial, as she too is experiencing hair loss and on BC. i’m not stressed and i don’t pull my hair out on purpose. i don’t have an acne issue since i’ve been on BC. i PMS like it’s nobody’s business the week prior to aunt flow’s visit.

side note: this paragraph is gross and weird, but i’m wondering if anyone else had a similar experience: the hair that falls out does not come with a little white bulb (usually does when you pull hair out). instead, when i scratch at my scalp, i come up with little bulbs in the shape of tear drops…anyone know anything about this? sometimes i get pimples on my scalp, which i naturally scratch resulting in the release of pus.

back to the issue at hand.
-my hormones, including androgens are normal (whatever that means).
-i had a fungal culture and no surprise, you guessed it, results were normal.
basically, unless i have diabetes, toxic poisoning, a leaky gut or candidia, i’m healthy on paper.

here’s what i’m gonna do…
1) stop taking ortho & continue taking my iron supplements and vitamins;
2) i’ll probably start experiencing the “dread shedd” a few weeks thereafter;
3) completely freak out…contemplate returning to BC (BF would love that!);
4) take a day, realize that my body needs time to readjust – suck it up, think positive;
5) give it 6 months…start to notice less shedding, but now my hair is probably VERY thin;
6) then, by year’s end, i’ll start to notice my hair growing back; and
7) by the following year, it will be like it used to be – thick and healthy

Finally, i’ll be free from BC pills and the threat of baldness! i knew birth control was too good to be true! i should’ve known, never mess with your hormones; they’re too critical. it’s time to return to my own internal balance and let my body do what it was designed to do.

that’s my plan. i’ll let ya’ll know how it goes.

Meg January 23, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I was taking Yasmin for years, then complained that i thought i was depressed from it. Gynecologist didn’t seem to want to change pills, switched me to Ocella when that came out. i started having acne, which i have never had in my life until now (i am in late 20′s). then it was so expensive and i was unemployed for a few months, that i stopped taking it, mind you having extreme stress at the time, then a bunch of my hair started falling out after about 3 months, i can see it is thinner in the front, left. then i got back on it 6 months ago when i got a job again. but now all the sudden it started shedding again. i have no idea why. but i am going to stick it to the gyno when i go in next month and force him to figure out the problem. i’m glad for this forum, because i wasn’t sure if it was just me.

Vanessa January 25, 2010 at 9:48 am

Wow! All I have to say is that I’m SO RELIEVED to have found this site! Its so comforting to know I am not alone! I too am completely healthy, and dr’s dont think there is any link between hairloss and birth control pills! This is crazy! I never put 2 and 2 together until reading all of these posts and it makes sense! I’m a hairstylist, and we learned in school that about 3-5months after giving birth, most women experience excessive hairloss due to the change in hormones…..of course birth control can cause it then! We are messing with our hormones! I’ve always had fine hair, but lots of it, up until about 2 years ago. I kept tryng to figure out what lifestyle changes I have made in the past 2 years since the hairloss started and at first came up with nothing. I am actually healthier now than I have ever been in my life so it didnt make sense. I started doing research when my boyfriend told me it was getting so bad that he could see my scalp….YIKES! I was in tears! I knew I was losing alot because there was tons in my brush, and also my drain was getting clogged…ALOT! Well its no surprise that I switched my bc pills about 2 yrs ago!!! Go figure! But after doing research on the androgen index in pills, it seems that I shouldnt be losing hair? I’m so confused, but so afraid to go off of pills altogether, as I dont want to lose more, or risk getting pregnant! I think I’m going to switch back to Ortho Tri Cyclen, it was the one I was on for years and had no troubles! When I started taking Yaz and Ocella, thats when the hairloss started. Its so sad too because even though I’ve only trimmed my hair a few times to “grow it out” ( I chopped it off over a year ago thinking it was breaking off, not realizing it was falling out!) it is shorter on the sides than it was a year ago! This makes no sense! Hair is supposed to grow on average 1/2in a month…so my hair should actually be 6 inches LONGER instead, the back has grown a few inches, but the sides are SHORTER! I made some clip in hair extensions to make me feel better, but I’m hoping that when I switch back to Ortho Tri Cyclen it helps…I will keep you guys posted!

hennared January 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Hi Vanessa – from what I’ve read (from women on this site and others; I don’t do BC pills) Yaz and Yasmin are pretty evil, androgen index be damned. and do be real careful about clip ins… you don’t need to lose any more hair :( Better to wear a cute scarf or something…

hennared January 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

PS – I used a diaphragm for ages and ages instead of BC pills. used it every time, exactly as directed. I never got pregnant. I also never had hair loss from using it. I really feel it’s a good option for avoiding pregnancy over messing with hormones, FWIW.

Jenni J February 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Luckily, we are all intelligent women and are more aware of our bodies than a doctor will ever be. I was on a pill called trivora for about 7 years and had no concerning side effects. I then went off the pill for about a year and got back on and my doctor suggested loestrin. Four months in, I have noticed SIGNIFICANT hair loss for the past 3 weeks. I even feel like the texture has changed. I have beautiful head of thick hair, and am so worried that the hair loss won’t stop even if I switch pills or get off completely. I called my OBGYN yesterday and I told him that I did my research and that Loestrin has a high androgen index and can cause hair loss and he said “no it doesn’t. it has a low-androgen index. get your thyroid checked!” I couldn’t believe even my doctor is clueless. I am so frustrated with not knowing what to do or if my hair will eventually grow back. I’m just so thankful that all of you women have shared your stories so we know this is real. I have been racking my brain for answers. I haven’t changed anything about my diet or other medication. I got fully tested for all kinds of things including my thyroid etc. and everything came back normal. I’m stopping loestrin for sure, but do I have to stop BC all together? I don’t want to take chances on pregnancy…I just hope I caught this fast enough before it’s too late. Please share stories of if you got off and your hair grew back. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

Patty March 17, 2010 at 2:55 am

Hi everyone,

I am not sure yet if it is my BC that is the cause of my hair shed but after reading some of the comments here I am slowly believing it might be.

I was on Ortho Tricylen after I got married for about 5 months and then decided to stop taking it because I didn’t enjoy what it was doing to my emotions. During this time I really didn’t notice any hair shed.

In the past month my husband and I decided that I should get back on because we don’t want to get pregnant. I just finished my first pack and have noticed that my hair is thinning. I have thick hair so it isn’t hard to notice how much is gone. Even my husband has noticed and of course gets frustrated seeing long strands of hair all over the place.

Do you guys think it is due to the pill? We recently had to move overseas and it was a little stressful and might have also triggered the hair thinning. I am seriously contemplating on getting off the pill again. Any suggestions?

Patty March 17, 2010 at 3:21 am

KareBear,
Please keep me updated. I think after reading all the post and with my hubby by my side I am going to stop BC. I don’t want to rely on it forever and my hair is almost down to my butt and was beautiful. I have only been on Ortho for a month but will now stop. I hope that the shedding stops!

Susan36 April 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I originally started losing hair when I went off birth control, but the main problem was that when I went back on birth control a year later…OrthoCyclen had been replaced by a generic birth control. I was on Ovcon and then later Ogestrel, which turns out to be incredibly high androgen level birth control pills. That only served to exacerbate the problem, so for the last two years, I have been losing over 100-300 hairs just when count after showering. If I had only gone off the pill altogether two years ago, or stayed on OrthoCylen. Switching from low to high androgen levels, progestrin levels, etc. was the worst thing for me. I have lost most of my hair, but have decided to just stay off birth control as the reports are too varied to feel secure with any birth control. I am still losing hair, but have started a regimen of vitamins and am changing my diet to include healthier food. I will also try an acupunturist. Other than spironolactone (on it for 1 year) and Nizorel shampoo, I am staying away from Western medicine. It is just too confusing and it makes me so damn angry that no one just told me to stop varying my birth control. I feel as if I lost too much time not doing the research myself. We’ll see. And I too hope the shedding will stop. It would be hard being a single bald 37 year old :)

Jenni J April 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Susan,

Thanks for sharing your story. I agree completely about Western medicine. I don’t trust it. They don’t even warn of possible hairloss as a side effect. I was on Loestrin and noticed my hair loss after about 3 months. I got off the pill after finding out all of this research and decided the best thing to do after talking to another doctor was to get off completely and wait for my body to regulate itself. I can say that I have noticed a slightly lower amount of hairloss in the last few weeks. I have been off of it now for about a month and a half. I am hoping over the next few months that it will completely stop and get back to normal. I always thought I needed to be on the pill for prevent pregnancy, but after exploring more options, I found that even the pullout method is extremely effective when done correctly. 4 in 100 women a year who use the pullout method will get pregnant. At any rate, I wish you the best and agree that you should get off all forms of synthetic hormones. Acupuncture I hear helps as well, so it sounds like you are on the right track to getting your hair back. I wish you all the best.

Jenni

Melissa June 13, 2010 at 7:22 am

hi – I’m 31 and I stopped taking Loestrin 30 about 6 weeks ago (through being abroad and not having access to a doctor – nothing more than that) and am losing a LOT of hair, which at first I thought was due to being in a new, hot climate. I now have bald bits around my temples and on the top of my head it looks pretty bad. I have had to have my hair cut from long to medium length as it got so ratty and it feels really weird to the touch – I really think it is all going to fall out. I am now in a total dilemma as to whether to go back on Loestrin 30 for now in the hope it stops the hair fall or to tough it out. I really don’t want to be bald though – I have a big fringe covering a large forehead so am not one of these people who can get away with it by putting hair up in a ponytail / clipping in extensions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Have the people who stopped taking the pill completely got their hair back yet? Is there anyone who was in my position and went back on Loestrin with successful results? Many thanks, Melissa

Fanny July 19, 2010 at 10:27 am

Although I have not had issues with birth control pills,because I’ve never used those,I have used Depo-Provera for about a year.I am 17 now and have stopped depo since January.It was my last shot.Within that year that I used it I didn’t really begin to notice hairloss until my aunt pointed it out to me.I was supposed to go for another shot in April but refused after reading all these posts about what birth control in all does to you.My hair used to be so thick and healthy it was unbelievable.I’ve been off it for about six months now and it seems like my hair is getting worse.It’s all breaking off from the left side and the middle and is just starting to come out on my right.I’m too young for this and am worried it won’t grow back.I just recently noticed that I have a bald spot in the middle and hopes that it won’t widen and get bigger.My hair grows fast but it seems like the length gets longer but my left side refuses to stop breaking off.My boyfriend is supportive but thinks it’s no big deal.He doesn’t understand women’s hair is like diamonds to us.If we lose it we have nothing.I’m giving depo 6 more months to fully clear out of my sytem.Within that time I hope my hormones return to normal and my hair grows back..If you plan on taking birth control,DON’T DO IT…you will regret it.Your body should go through what it goes through naturally and not forced..Thanks.I hope more posts come about and I also hope that there is hope that this is all temporary

Kimberly August 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Hello girls I stopped taking birth control last year October 2009. It’s a really stressful problem for a women when her hair falls out. I HAVE GREAT NEWS THOUGH!!!! I started eating alot of vegetables, fruits, eggs, and milk, and all types of dairy, and even cheese. I also started drinking green tea because green kills DHT which is what causes hair loss. I drink a cup of green tea everyday hot preferrably. I also am taking a mulivitamin, biotin, zinc, and fish oil pills. Last but least the best thing that helped me to regain my thick and beautiful long and healthy hair was protein shakes. TRY IT YOU WILL BE HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS MARK MY WORDS.

JUST BE PATIENT BECAUSE ITS BEEN A ONE YEAR PROCESS!!! :0)

Kimberly August 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Sorry I missed one more thing. BUY Mane and Tail horse shampoo you can find it in a beauty supply store or a pet store. It is for both human and horse hair. :0) it is the best shampoo in the world. It makes your hair super thick and shiny and grow faster.

Tiffany August 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I am so glad that I found this website. It’s a relief to know that I’m not the only one going through this.

I am 27 years old, and I have been losing my hair for the past 2 years. I have been to 4 different doctors, two of which are hair specialists. Each doctor told me I have telogen effluvium, but everything I read about telogen effluvium says that it ususally corrects itself in 6 months- year. I feel like the only thing I haven’t tried is getting off of my birth control pills. One doctor suggested I could try it, but my gynecologist insisted she’d never heard of hair loss from BC. I was still seriously contemplating getting off of BC, but now after reading the comments, I’m more confused than ever. I can’t imagine possibly losing more hair than I already am with the “dread shed.” And I’ve been on BC for 10 years- could it be that it took 8 years to make my hair fall out?

I’ve been tested for everything my doctors could think of; everything came back “normal.” I tried collagen injection treatments in my scalp a year and a half ago. This helped for about 2 months, then my shedding began picking up pace again. I also received steroid shots, which seemed hopeful at first. The last two rounds of shots I received did NOTHING for my hair. Needless to say, I won’t be getting any more steroids. Has anyone tried anything like this?

These past two years have been hard, and this hair loss has really affected me emotionally. I know that stress can make it worse, but it’s so hard not to be stressed out when you’re balding!

MHgirl September 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Hello everyone –

I am very happy to have found this site and I can’t believe how informative it is. I have been losing my hair for the past two years – it really started falling out after three rounds of the morning after pill. No doctor could diagnose it, first my gyn said it was a lack of iron, then the derm said it was telogen eff and prescribed rogaine (which I bought but then after reading more, decided against taking as it causes more hair loss and facial hair). It’s been a year since my last visit to the derm and my hair had actually started growing and looking good again (lots of baby hairs!!!) between Feb and June of this year. THEN, what did I do? I decided to flirt with several forms of bc upon boyfriend request. First I tried Nuvaring, which he didn’t like, then I tried Alysse which gave me severe breathing issues. I dropped the bc in late June and within the past few weeks noticed — SEVERE SHEDDING AND THINNING of hair. I am SOOOOO frustrated. How could I do this to my body again!?! Now I’m especially scared because some of the hairs falling out don’t have the clear cut telogen white bulb — does anyone know if this is a scary sign that my hair from that follicle won’t grow back???? No doctor can give me a straight answer.

To make matters worse, I just went to the doctor who has told me that he believes my thyroid is low (TSH of 1.1) – while in range, still low. So he has prescribed nutrathroid and now I’m paranoid to take that in case of MORE shedding.

I’m currently on a high cocktail of:
-prenatal vitamins
-biotin
-biosilk
-zinc every other day or every two days
-wash hair every day with organic shampoo

My shed seems to have decreased which is a good sign, now I just need to ensure that it will indeed grow back. I do see baby hairs but they grow VERY slow and I’m nervous about those hairs that don’t fall out with the bulb. Can anyone tell me if the lack of bulb is a bad sign???

Thanks!

nj October 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Wow, I’m 44 and have been on yasmin/ocella for the last 5 years (taking it due to having ongoing ovarian cysts and my depression seemed better on it). I have had ongoing hair loss with big shedding every fall since I started taking it. I had thick, but fine hair and I really didn’t pay attention to it figuring that it would grow back. I noticed one year ago big part spots on the back of my head, my husband said I was crazy and he would believe me only if my hairdresser confirmed. It was as if I was looking at my hair for the first time and I realized that I had been using the tiny hair clips when I used to have to use a big one to put up all my hair, my pony tail was NOT what it used to be etc. Hairdresser confirmed that it was much thinner and suggested that I have my hormones checked and I said that it wouldn’t do much good because I was on birth control. Called the ob/gyn and he said to see a dermatologist first and she said that I had accelerated hair loss that comes with aging, she also denied that it was BC. Had all the normal blood tests with the gyno including thyroid and testosterone and everthing was normal. Gyno also said that it was not due to BC. I started taking vitamins, biotin, fish oil, have been taking rogaine since April (suggested by the derm)and really have not noticed a difference. I obsessed about it for months and then decided to stop as it was consuming my life, had a nice break from the worry, but decided to really look at my hair the other day and noticed it is much thinner than a year ago. I had an ongoing suspicion that it had something to do with BC and I don’t know why I believed the Dr.’s because there is a connection with thousands of women with yaz & yasmin/ocella all over the internet. I threw the BC in the trash, at least I’ll save $50 a month and looking forward to my sex drive coming back. It’s so utterly depressing, and isn’t it sad that we all seem to be spending a lot of time counting the hairs we lose. I am so mad at myself when I look back to remember when it started and it was the same year I started taking them. I have two older sisters who have a lot more hair than me and they haven’t taken BC for years and years. I do not remember having hair loss when going off of them when I wanted to get pregnant and hoping that it doesn’t happen now. Wish there were more positive outcomes after stopping – I’ve read too many stories of worsening shedding : ( Is there anyone who experienced going back to normal shedding and regrowth?

Alison October 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hello everyone, I can sympathize so much with all of you. It’s hard to know where exactly to start, but it seems like birth control-related hair loss is a huge medical problem for a lot of women, with hardly any doctors knowing what to do about it!

I just went to a dermatologist because I’m concerned about my hair shedding. I’ve been on a few different bc’s since about age 20 (I’m 25 now). However, I also took one full course of Accutane (5 months long, the normal dose or a little lower than normal) when I was 16. Towards the end of those 5 months my hair started shedding horribly. It took about 3 years for my hair to get back to “normal”, and then 1 to 1.5 years after it got normal I started on birth control. Ever since my Accutane course ended my hair has seemed to shed more than it ever did when I was in middle school / beginning of high school.

Anyway, my dermatologist said that I could possibly still be experiencing hair loss because of Accutane, even though it’s been 8 years since I took it. She also said it’s very possible that birth control is causing my hair loss. I asked her if I should stop birth control (I’m very lucky in the sense that I don’t have any serious problems I need to be on birth control for, it’s only to prevent pregnancy). She said I could, but echoed what many of you said, that I would most likely shed a ton after I stopped bc, then my hair would be normal in about a year.

I also have a itchy, flaky buildup on my scalp that I never had in middle or high school, and I’m not sure if it’s an after effect of Accutane, or if it’s caused by birth control, or something else entirely??? It seems like a lot of you on here have itchy flaky scalps, so I can only wonder if bc has something to do with it. My doctor did prescribe Nizoral to me for this problem, which I just started today. Also as a note, my blood tests are completely normal, my thyroid is normal but might be a tad low, and my ferritin (which my derm especially ordered) is on the very low end of normal – still waiting to hear back to see if I should go on iron supplements).

So after that long story, I’m torn on what to do. I’ve always hated the idea of being on any medicine long term, so I probably should’ve never gotten on bc in the first place (the only medication I’m currently on right now). I’m really tempted to quit bc and religiously use condoms with my boyfriend… but I really don’t want to experience the dread shed! Is there anyone who has quit bc for good and HAS NOT experienced the dread shed, or is it almost guaranteed that will happen?

One more thing, luckily my boyfriend, hair stylist, and the derm that I saw say my hair looks fine, not thin at all. But I know my hair used to be a lot thicker, not to mention curlier. This past year or so my hair went from quite curly to slightly wavy, which my hair stylist said he’s seen happen with birth control (and of course pregnancy too, anything that alters your hormones).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! I guess the dread shed wouldn’t be so bad if it meant I’d never have to deal with hair loss again because of being on birth control… that is if your hair actually grows back after the dread shed??? Now to get my mind off of this, I know worrying about this problem only makes it worse… hopefully writing this will help me settle my mind a bit.

-Alison

Jennifer R. October 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing all this great info. I, too, was on Loestrin for 4 months, stopped taking it (made me feel awful) and two months later my hair starting rapidly falling out. Feels exactly the same as my hair loss after giving birth. Worse at the temples, but generally bad all over. I’m off all pills and will have the paraguard copper IUD put in once my body calms down a bit. I’m sure it’s the pill and I’m hoping the hair will come back once the hormones are out of my system. Loestrin was terrible for me.

Pilar October 27, 2010 at 6:13 am

Hi Alison:

What birth control pill are you on?

I know that BCPs can cause hair loss when you start them, while on them and after going off of them. I was on Yaz for only 2 months and 2 months later my hair was falling out in ropes. My dread shed lasted for 9-10 months but during all of this time it was SLOOOOOOWLY becoming less and less. During that time I also noticed re growth, some of those new hairs fell out and some are now 3-4 inches long. Even though my hair is still thin, and I think I’ve lost around 40% of my hair, most of the people areound me haven’t noticed. I was lucky to start out with a head of full, thick hair. My shedding has now been normal since last month and I still continue to see more re growth, but I think it’ll be a while till my hair is what it used to be.

Before I went on Yaz, I had been pill free for 2 years and very happy. My boyfriend and I carefully charted my cycle and also used condoms. It took a little work but it was nice to know that I wasn’t tricking my body with synthetic hormones. Before the BCP free 2 years, I was on Ortho Tricyclen Lo for 9 years. When I went off this pill I had absolutely NO bad effects and my skin actually got better. That’s why when I took Yaz, and went off of it, I never imagined this would happen.

I have seen many doctors and almost all of them seem sure that I will get my hair back. My derm told me that in most cases of TE, her patients have recovered all of their hair and a few only recovered a fraction. I’m still very hopeful that I will get my once thick, full hair back! As of now, hope is all have and I plan on not losing any of it. I’ve already lost enough.

Pilar

Ana October 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm

Hello to everyone!

I’m so happy I found this website!
I have been struggling with hair loss for the past year now..
It’s devastating.. Just the thought of having to wash my hair makes my stomach sink.. Since that’s when I see all that hair falling down the drain. It’s a terrible feeling.. and unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t relate.
So, it’s a relief to read all your stories and not feel so alone.

I have been on YAZ for a year, and never thought that my hair loss could be related to BC. But now I’m seriously considering either changing it to ortho tri-cyclen low (it seems most of you guys haven’t had problems with this pill) or stopping it all together. But I’ve been reading that your hair sheds even more when you go off BC.

Well, I’m going to change it to Ortho tri-cyclen low next month, and I’ll keep you guys updated.
I’ve been reading a lot of bad things about YAZ.
So, I’m gonna try changing it.

Oh, silly question.. but do any of you guys really hate all those shampoo commercials? Those where the models have the most gorgeous hair?
I have to confess that I change the channel everytime one of those commercials comes on!

Anyways, you will all be in my prayers!

Pilar November 1, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hi Ana:

I didn’t experience hair loss while on Yaz (I was on it for only 2 months) but I did experience the massive shedding when I stopped. While I was on this pill I experieced heart palpitations and anxiety. That’s what made me stop taking these pills.

Prior to Yaz I was on OTC Lo and had no problems. I wa son it for 9 years and when I stopped those pills, nothing bad happened. My skin actually cleared up and my sex drive came back. I was off the pill for 2 years and then stupid me decided to try Yaz. Even though now I’m weary of any hormonal contraception, I would rather be on OTC Lo than Yaz. Yaz has a new generation progesterone and I think that for a lot of us, this is the problem.

Please keep us posted!

Hugs,

Pilar

Agnes November 22, 2010 at 11:52 pm

Hello everybody,

I couldn’t sleep and was searching for some information about hair loss. I am 29 and have experienced hair loss since 2006. I had normally really thick hair and up to now I can tell I lost already 50% of my hair. It is really depressing..I’ve cried a lot and had alreay dreams about being bald, having hair in my hands..so really bad. Finally I think I found the reason for my hair loss.
I started to get on birth control with 18. After 4-5 years being on the same birth control ( soemthing with micr…) don’t remember the name of the pill I had to switch to another on as I was bleading to often. I switched to yesmin and I can’t really tell when I start losing my hair as it was so thick but I deffenetly noticed it in 2006. I must also say that I have anemia which I somethimes forget. I have to take suppelments to keep my iron level normal.Anyhow. At the end of 2008 I stopped taking the pill and 8 moth later my hair stopped falling out and it start to growh back. I will never get back what I lost but its still nice to know something positiv happend. And please keep in mind it can take up to a year until your hormon balance again and you see your first results but don’t give up. Now, around 5months from today I met my boyfriend and started to get on birth control and here I am now. My hair is falling out..the first 2 moth I was taking yaz but had bad heart burn and chast pain and my doc. switched me to apri which is great but not for my hair. So finally I decided I will stay away from any kind of hormons and try something else(diaphragma).I will finish my pill this week as I don’t want to mess up my cycle and on dec 7th I will get measured for a diaphragma. Tomorrow I will get also my iron level results as this is causing my hair loss too but not as much as the pill. Like I said, I experienced how it when you stop taking the pill and I really belive this is the reason at least at my situation why it falls out. And don’t panic after going off the pill and experiencing more hair loss. That is normal. It takes weeks till month until your hormon level balance out again. Any switches to another pills can couse hair loss to. I had always long, strong beautifule hair. I had to cut it past Friday as it is thinning so much out and breaking up..even my hair stylist noticed it. I know how all of you feel. I was there and I am there again but I know I will be better again. I had a hard time, crying, shaking, panic attacked during washing my hair…My whole day was just going about my hair loss. I was so unhappy and depressed and this wasn’t the right me. But I really belive that I will be better again and of course I will let you know. Don’t wast to much money in hair loss products…its not helping..I regred that I never did a hormon test as it was always so expensive but when I look back how much money I spend in docotors visits and shampoos, medecine and and and…I could invest it better in a hormon test. As well as a hormon test get your bloodtest done and chech your iron ferritin. Thats the best way to start..and talk to somebody with who maybe has the same problems. It helps if somebody listen and understand how you feel. I am sorry if my spelling is not right…english is not my mother language…:-) but I hope I could help some of you..I wish all of you the best and good luck…

Ash November 28, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I quit Yaz in August of 2010. It is now just about December, and I’m still losing hair and without a period. Apparently it can take ~6 months to normalize. My boyfriend thinks that I have some hair regrowth, but I’m not convinced. I do have low ferritin but started taking supplemental iron and eating grass-fed beef. I’ll report back in a couple of months, as I have blood tests scheduled for early January. We’ll see…

Pilar December 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

Hi Ash:

I took Yaz from August-September 2009 and by November my hair was falling out. The heavy shedding went on until May 2010 and SLOWLY began to decrease from there on. It didn’t get normal until end of September 2010.

Were you shedding while on Yaz? Or did you just start shedding after stopping the pill?

I started seeing re growth around the end of January, so it’s possible that your boyfriend is seeing some re growth.

I also had a low ferritin – actually VERY low (<5)! I had that tested in August and it was at 109. My doctor has taken me off prescription iron supplements and now I’m just taking an 18mg supplement and 2 of them while on my period. He wants to keep my levels at around 100.

I’ve had around 10 blood tests done since the hair loss set in. ALL of my hormones came back normal. Make sure to have your hormones tested on Cycle Day 3.

Deborah December 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

I was on the pill, Levora, for years with no problems. I quit in October 2009, and also sustained a broken hip from a motorcycle accident. Four months later, in February, my hair starting shedding really badly. It has been up and down since, but still shedding a lot and my temples and top of my head are very thin. I have tried accupuncture, chinese herbs, an all organic diet rich in fruit, vegetables and red meat, i take multivitamins twice a day plus biotin and folic acid, and i use Nizoral shampoo. I just started back on the pill. ( I went off the pill briefly in 2003 and have light shedding; nothing like this. I went back on 5 months later, and it stopped). At the recommendation of my dermatologist, I went on Yaz. Apparently the drospirenone is good for stopping hair loss. I am also taking spironolactone orally. Both these things are supposed to help, although I’m holding my breath since everyone says Yaz is a nightmare. I have been told I have everything from Telogen Effluvium to AGA, but TE isn’t supposed to last 9 months! The doc did say that you have to wait 4 months to see an improvement with bc pills, which makes sense, since that is how long it took to start shedding. At this point, I’m crossing my fingers, hoping I stop losing hair, and considering a life with a buzzcut and a closet full of wigs. Not a fun year.

Jamie December 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Hello, all! Well here’s my story: I’m 22. I started Loestrin August 2009. I was on it for about a year, then I went off due to a change in insurance. After being off the BC for about a month, I started shedding. Obviously, I had never heard about this possibility (i am so so so mad that the drug companies and doctors do not openly discuss this risk!) that the BC was causing my hair loss. After speaking with my general physician, he said the BC could be causing it, but to go back on my birth control in order to level the hormones back out. (side note: while on bc, my hair stopped shedding altoghether & was very thick! So of course this sounded like a good idea at the time.) So here I go, right back on the evil drug Loestrin without doing any resesarch of my own–boy did I learn my lesson! Three months later, still on this horrible pill, and my shedding has not stopped. I want off NOW, but feel trapped. I’m getting married in a little over six months, and don’t want to lose any more of my hair (I didn’t have extremely thick hair to begin with). The only thing I can do is hope that it at least stops shedding…I’ve given up on the fact that any re-growth will appear before then!

On another note, this has terrified me. I desperately want to start a family and have lots of children. But… A. I’m scared of going off of the bc again (especially if the hair stops shedding WHILE on it) and B. Everyone talks about the post-partum shed…this terrifies me also! Maybe it’s selfish, but after going through it once, I hate the thought of dealing with this again.

Right now, my feelings are so mixed. I’m due to start a new pack tonight. Every ounce in me wants to go off of them right now, because I am so tired of being a slave to Loestrin (not only has it caused the hair loss, but also mood swings, weight gain, and a decreased libido). But at the same time… I just cringe at the thought of having to wear a wig to my own wedding. Any insight/words of encouragement are GREATLY appreciated.

Carla December 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Has anyone had any problems with SEASONIQUE?? I have been on this BC pill for 5 years with absolutely no problem. My curly hair just got curlier, maybe a tiny bit thinner, but not enough to ever be a concern or problem. I had been spotting over the summer so STUPIDLY I skipped the yellow pills in order to “keep going” on the active/green pills, hoping to not aggravate the bleeding. My curly hair began to grow in STRAIGHT at the roots (as it did whil I was pregnant twice). I immediately began taking my inactive/yellow pills attempting to get back on track but my hair is now shedding at my temples and at the front of my hairline. Of course, my husband thinks I’m nuts and says not to worry/he’ll love me no matter what/I’m beautiful/he doesn’t notice anything/you still have hair…blah, blah, blah… No matter how much they try to support you, unfortunately, nothing will help unless they’ve got an immediate solution to this horrible problem.

Has anyone ever had any issues with getting off of seasonique? I decided to go off of seasonique completely and am scared to death now after reading all of the stories that I will look awful very soon. I’m so sad that I never truly appreciated my hair when I could.

Agnes December 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Jamie/Carla,

the only thing I can recommend is to go off the b-pill. I was there and if you guys would see my pictures how I my hair was just 6 years ago and how it is now you would be shocked. I could kick myself for going back on the pill after haveing the problem of hairloss solved. I was on the b-pill for years, stopped it in the middle of 2009 and it took really months..I think it was 6-8 months until it finally stopped. some of that growths back but not as it was before. I was back on the pill for 4 moths and noticed thats I am shedding again after being on it for 3 months. My doc. wanted me to switch again to a mini pill or something like that but I have enough. I feel like a depressed person going through this again and again. I know I have to give it time until it gets better but its hard..I had always so bautiful hair..I think the worsed thing what happend to me was when my best girlfriend saw me in the beginning of 2009 and asked me if I am sick and what happend to me..I am sorry for saying this but just stop taking this shi…..its not worse it. It takes time but you will be fine..its not only the hairloss..it made me feel like people are looking just at my hair..I lost a lot on my sides and on the front of my hair line..you can see my scalb and thats really bad .. frinds and my boyfriend are always sweet and saying they wouldn’t notice anything if I would not mentioned it..I’ve got off the pill 3 weeks ago and still shaking when I see how much I am losing when I shower, brush or just go with my hand through my hair but I was there already and I know I will be fine again..just wait and hope everything will be normal again..
good luck girls and please don’t give up ….it will get better..and if you have any questions..I am here :-)

Pilar December 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

Hello ladies:

I was on the pills (Yaz) for only 2 months and 2 months after stopping (because it was making my heart race) my hair was falling out in ropes! For the first few months I was shedding over 300 hairs a day…and yes, I was counting! Before going on this pill, I had been pill free for 2 years with beautiful, long, thick hair. And before those 2 years, I had been on OTC and OTC Lo for 9 years. When I went off those pills, nothing happened. Well it’s been a year and 3 months since I went off the pill and a year and a month since TE began. I’ve been shedding normal amounts for the last 2-3 months and seeing A LOT of re growth all over my scalp! During the 10 months of TE, I did see some re growth but some of it fell out and some of it now is 5-6 inches long. During those months of TE, I saw SO many doctors. Some told me to ride it out and that it would eventually stop (which I did), some told me to go back on the pill, some told me to try Spiro and one even recommended using Rogaine! I think the best thing to do is go off the pill and ride out the storm. I know how awful and scary it is, but going back on the pill could possibly start another bout of TE (this is what my OB/Gyn and GP told me) and then when you decide to go off the pill later on, you might have to deal with it again. I remember for the those first few months thinking that the shedding would never stop and that I would be bald. But here I am, regrowing a lot of that lost hair. I still have a long way to go, but I’m positive that from here on, things will only improve.

Hang in there girls and do what your gut tells you.

Hugs,

Pilar

Linda December 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Hi girls,

I almost feel like crying after reading all of your posts, yet I feel some comfort in finding out that there are others going though this mess too. I have been on the Nuvaring for about two years, and I have lost about 50% of my hair. I never had thick hair to begin with, but the loss is drastic and very noticeable. I experienced some light shedding when I moved from the US to Europe, before starting to use the Nuvaring, which was probably stress related (and in part to some minor anemia). However, the significant amount I’ve lost since I started using BC was unexplainable, and none of the doctors I’ve spoken to have made a connection between the birth control and my symptoms. I’ve been checked for everything from dermatitis to lupus and been evaluated by dematologists, gynocologists, hematologist and family MDs, (of which the hemotologist was the only one who discouraged to use of any hormonal bc) . I even visited a hair loss clinic. The clinic tried to sell me a “solution” which offered no guarantee on regaining my hair for 6000 euros! I’ve also spent tons on various scalp treatments to try to prevent any further loss, but to no avail. I’m relieved to hear all of your stories, since I don’t feel alone in this struggle, and I can make a correlation based on what you all have said between the loss and the birth control (which finally resolves my doubts about it). Although my periods have been lighter and shorter, the sadness, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem I’ve felt due to my hair loss isn’t worth that minor convenience. I am planning to stop using the ring after New Year (once I talk to my gyno again); I just hope the situation doesn’t get worse.

I wish you all the best of luck with your individual healing processes and I hope there are tons of success stories that come from them.

Happy Holidays

E. January 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I’m fifteen and used to have fine but really, really thick hair until about three or four months ago, when it started falling out, gradually at first but more recently in handfuls. I’m afraid to shower, brush, or even touch my hair because of the ridiculous amount that comes out when I do. Two months before it started falling out my obgyn started me on birth control for ovarian cysts, and it wasn’t until about a month ago that I realized it could be causing the hair loss. I stopped taking it immediately but my hair’s still falling out, if anything more than it was before! Please help, I can’t go bald, I’m in high school!!!

Jen January 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Did your hair start to grow back and/or grow thicker after you made the switch? Or is the damage permanent?

Stefany February 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

HELLO EVERYONE:)
I am only 18. for 2+ years now i have had extensive shedding, gradual hair loss.. the works really… and this was during high school so you can imagine the dread i had everyday going to school facing all my friends and peers knowing i couldnt ANYTHING to my hair except bun-it, pin it back… (couldnt straighten it like i always did before because it caused SO MUCH LOSS) .. rly not good when i had to do that DAILY. but anyways… i got through it and have learned to not think about it constantly cuz even though I’ve lost a TONNN i still have enough that if i style it just right, no one would rly notice and i can still look good.(takes a lot of effort though and i still feel like ive lost a lot of my confidence..)

i’ve been fortunate enough that my hair has HONESTLY been the only worry ive ever had… i’ve always loved beauty, makeup, fashion and just plain looking good! so this was a HUGE issue. i have naturally rich red hair but has gotten RLY thin over the course of these years. i’ve been on YAZ for over 2 years now and it has NEVER occured to me that this could be the cause!!! i’ve thought of everyything else BUT THIS! while i was dating my boyfriend(reason why i got on the pill) I WAS MISERABLE and always depressed and sad about this issue cuz it honestly felt like i was losing myself and the ability to come accross to others as an all-around confident happy person.. i just didnt look good which made my confidence crumble…

a few months ago i discovered i had SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS potentially caused by a HORMONAL IMBALANCE… gee.. (fungus, scales of flakes on scalp.. rly nasty stuff..) my doctor prescribed me stieprox and some lotion to reduce itch and irritation and its gone now.. thankgod!! :P

SO. as for the NOW: I GOT OFF THE PILL MID-PACK… i couldnt take another day when i found out this was a factor.
-when i lose hair i just brush it off my shoulder cuz its RLY NOT WORTH STRESSING OVER EACH STRAND! you should know by now thats there is moree where that came from! dont let the lost strands ruin your day or conssume the very life of you.?
WHAT I’VE DONE: -my diet> i eat as much of a whole foods diet as i can: meaning the most natural sources of foods, tons of fruits and veggies, nuts (trail mixes with almonds, raisins, dried fruits, bunch of different seeds) eggs every other day, eliminate processed foods like MARGARINE with REAL BUTTER which is actually good for you!! and most importantly i ELIMINATE as much refined sugars as possible!! too much sugar can block the production of new hair growth! never forget that :)
-EXERCISE> i work out everyday that i’m not sore from a workout with 20+minutes of cardio and a wholee lot of manual exercises. anything you can do to increase your blood flow helps.
-lots of sleep (as of now!)

i’ve just gone off it for a week now, the hairloss is starting to come back stronger i think so im gonna put my social life on the side and rly focus on myself. i’m gonna stick to a lean diet continue my workout regime, get lotss of sleep and relax as much as possible! if people are interested in my post and want an update in a few months i’d love to do so! :) i hope you all can find the right balance in your life and that everything balances out!hormonally;)

Jen February 12, 2011 at 5:19 am

Almost 40 I’ve been on BC pills since my 20′s. Never had a hair loss problem until I went on Quasense a generic of Seasonique which I loved since you only have 4 cylces a year, but hair loss doesn’t run in my family and I am seeing scalp and only since I’ve switched to this pill. Since i never experienced it on other BC pills I never related my hair loss to BC pills until now. I’ve read the low androgen index birth control pills can treat hair loss. I will be consulting my Dr to verify this and GET ME OFF the Quasense.

Carol February 16, 2011 at 9:02 am

Around 8 months ago I came off my combined pill (Loestrin) and was put on Noriday (mini pill) due to the migraines I was having.
Approx 2/3 months later my hair started falling out at a ridiculous rate. I had lost over 40% of my hair in 6 weeks!!! Literally clumps came out after washing. My hair is fine, but i’ve always had a lot of hair! My hair became very fine at the crown and temples – you could see a lot of my scalp!
I went back to my GP, who confirmed that YES, WOMEN CAN SUFFER HAIR LOSS DUE TO BCP!!! So for any doc’s who say otherwise are talking BS! He sent me for blood tests and they came back absolutely fine.
He suggested that I come off bcp completely, which I wasn’t keen on, so put me onto Levongestrel. The hair loss continued…
6 months after changing pills, my hair loss is still continuing, but not quite at the rate it was. I guess thats still down to the amount of hair I have left (40-50%), so is probably relative.
However I had enough of hormones. I have now switched to a IUD (copper coil) Whilst the change is daunting and getting used to longer more painful periods etc, i have never felt better. I had headaches, feeling depressed etc. My hair is still falling out a bit, but not to the extent it was.
I would suggest to everyone to come off hormones, they do more harm than good.
I will watch this space and update you whether coming off the bcp’s has helped…

Brea March 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Hello Ladies!

I am very stressed about this hair loss/shedding issue due to bc, however I am thankful that it occured early to make some decisions.

Hoping someone has advise:

I starteed The Nuvaring in middle of Jan. and I got my hair done about 3 weeks after. When my hair started to shed, I assumed it was from getting it done, but realized after an Aha moment, it was possibly the BC. I am now on the second ring and it is a constant issue. I want to switch to a lo androgen BC next cycle, because I am convinced this will help. Does anyone have any experience with this? What is the best way to switch? Also, i was thinking of completely getting OFF BC LL TOGETHER but I am afraid that my hair will fall out more.

Someone help! :/

monica April 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Hello ladies. I can relate to the horror of hair loss. I am writing after the fact for those who may be experiencing a temporary problem and give some hope. My story begins how on june 26th 2009…yes I will never forget…i colored my hair, as i had for 7 years and when i rinsed it out a bunch of my hair fell out. I freaked out and went to the doctor after 2 weeks of it falling out. i thought it was due to the color but the beauty place told me that wasn’t possible. i had been on lexapro…which can cause hair loss, I found out later. I got off that and the pill after 15 years in april 2009,( loestrin for about 10 of those years, mircette for about 3 and lastly back to loestrin). I tried everything and was going crazy…i would put my fingers through my hair and it didn’t matter how many times I did it 10 -15 hairs would come out! When I washed it the screan was totally full! I went to the dermatologist who took samples of my hair and said that the bulb was in a telogen phase???..but not damaged, but still no definite answers. I finally gave up and decided not to stress and just be thankful i wasn’t totally bald. Stress was just probably making it worse. Slowly, i noticed some regrowth…lots of little hairs sticking out. i DID NOT get back on the pill, I knew that would confuse my body more. April of 2010, I got on prescription prenatal vitamins with DHA, I got pregnant right away and I hoped it would stop….it did but not right away it wasn’t until my 7th or 8th month, 11/2010 that it finally stopped and my hair got full again. i also started to go to an aveda salon to get my hair done to rule out any overprocessing issues. i use their scalp benefits since my scalp got really oily during this time…also related to hair loss. I feel for those with this problem, hope this may help someone.

Agnes April 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Ladies,
6 month agao I stopped taking the yaz and yasmin bc and I am so happy about it that I am through it. My hair growths back again and I know it will never be the same again but this is the last time, me trying to go back on the bc. It is not worth it. There are other options to protect yourselfe.
But I just wanted to give you a quick feedback that I am not loosing my hair anymore..so there is hope for all of you..

Good luck and have a good night!
Agnes

brittany April 26, 2011 at 1:21 am

I am so gratful to have found this site! I thought I was going crazy. I have been on birth control since I have been 17. I am now 23. I started off with ortho tri cyclen, with no problems. Not even after stopping. I switch to YAZ to help my skin, and for awhile I loved it. After about 2 years I started to become tired…bags under my eyes, weight gain. Hair loss..never thought it could be due to my bc! I continued to stay on yaz. My husband went to basic training, and I had stopped yaz. No need for it if I wasn’t having sex. NOTHING HAPPENED. I actually felt great. My hair was thick, my skin was nice… I lost 16 pounds in about 2 weeks! (I had finished my whole pack of yaz) my husband came back, and I started back on yaz…instantly, within 4 days those 16 pounds were back! I was going crazy. I was not happy anymore, I was tired and irritable again. I had horrible headaches from starting again, and hair loss! I couldn’t take it. I quit yaz cold turkey as of may 2010…. I wish I finished the pack first, like the first time.. I missed my period for 5 months! I couldn’t lose my weight either…and my hair was getting thinner and thinner! After my period returned, my husband and I decided to try to concieve. I concieved dec 2010, and am 21 weeks now, with a little boy. My hair is still thinning though… its supposed to get thicker with levels of estrogen rising, but has not. In the beggining it started growing more, but now I can see my scalp. I am hoping after this baby maybe my hair will return to normal! I don’t know if I should wait this out, or start taking bc again after the baby and discontinue use like I am supposed to, after finishing the pack? Any suggestions? I will keep everyone updated as to what happens with my hair!

betsy April 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm

I stumbled upon this website because iam considering to try bc again. Due to the fact that I had a pregnancy scare this month and the thought of being pregnant scared the crap out of me . I’m 28 but not ready to have a child. The last bc I was on was yaz. I was on it for about a year 1/2 with no problems unlike with ortho tricyclen I spotted in between periods. I notice while on yaz when the seasons change my hair would shed alot . Then the shedding would slow down. I notice that my hair was falling out so much that I couldn’t even straighting it. So I stopped taking yaz. I was so scared I was going to go bald but in about 4-5 months my hair loss slowly died down. Im now debating which bc to go on. I use to be on the patch it kept falling of and gave me real bad eczema. im thinking of trying out ortho trycyclne lo for 1-2 months and as soon as I notice a change I’m quitting bc . Good luck to you all sorry for my poor grammar and terrible spelling.

Lisa April 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

Hello,
I have been on Loestrin 24 fe for approximately the past 2 1/2 years and I finally realized after a lot of research and reading this site that Loestrin is the cause of my hair loss. After I had my last son in June of 2008, I had the normal postpartum shedding and I thought it would stop but after I started the Loestrin, it kept going and going. It’s now to the point where I am embarrassed to even go to get my hair cut anymore because of all the thinness. Thing is, my hair used to be very thick and full and while I can find creative ways to hide it, it is still very discouraging that this BC is what is causing all of this. I would go off of it, but I do not want to mess around with a bunch of different BC pills and screw my body up hormonally. I am kind of scared of the IUD too, so I don’t even want to try that. I have heard about a new BC Lo Loestrin which supposedly has half the amount of estrogen in it. But does anyone know if Lo Loestrin has the same amount of androgens in it? I would like to switch because of the lower estrogen levels in the newer pill but am afraid that it will continue the hair loss because of the androgenic effects. Can anyone give me information on where I could find out about androgenic effects of Lo Loestrin?

Eve May 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

Holy crap!! I am SO GLAD I ran across this website! I was searching for an alternative birth control pill to the Yasmin/Ocella I had been taking for about 5+ years which I stopped recently to see if my sudden and excessive weight gain was from it, and now I see that my hair loss probably has to do with that stupid pill??

I had my thyroid checked no less than 3 times because I was having all kinds of symptoms that point to the thyroid, including depression, fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, digestive problems, anxiety.. I’m sure there are others but I can’t think of them right now.. I stopped the BCP about a month ago and my skin is getting better and the hair isn’t falling out as bad but my fatigue, depression, and the weight is still there really bad (and I even have a bloated abdomen so I’m going to see about possible ovarian issues as my grandmother died of ovarian cancer because they didn’t find it until it was too late) and antidepressants are not working anymore (I have Major Depressive Disorder).

It was strange how all these symptoms cropped up over the past few years. I gained over 50 pounds (40 pounds in TWO MONTHS!) when I was exercising almost every day and eating right (I remember because we just got my kids the Wii and we were playing Wii Fit almost every day but I started GAINING weight) and the antidepressant that worked WONDERS for me 4 years ago and helped me get a job AND finish my bachelor’s degree suddenly stopped working this past summer and I still have the severe fatigue that not even Provigil will help.

I just switched docs because the last one ignored my symptoms.. and this new doc made me mad because after I talked to him about how Yasmin freaks me out and how I heard it needs to be pulled of the shelf, etc. etc. he went on to tell me at the end of the appointment that if I wanted to get back on the Yasmin to let him know!! So he didn’t pay any attention to my concerns about that pill.. I don’t understand why these doctors won’t help me.

Well, I’ve been dealing with sexual dysfunction because of antidepressants for my entire marriage (going on 12 years) and now that I’m off almost everything I finally have a libido and a sex life and can orgasm, but my husband and I are having trouble with all the different types of contraception out there and he won’t be getting a vasectomy for a while because his doc appt. to talk about it isn’t until next week. Sooo.. I am looking at getting back on the pill but now I’m not so sure.

I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has posted on here!! I am saying NO to BCP!

Katherine May 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Hi Everyone!

I started bc when I was 16 years old in 2003. My derm prescribed me Yasmin for my acne. I had moderate acne that wasn’t responding to any of the topicals. I assure you, I was never using the bc as a contraceptive, only for acne treatment. In 2007, I decided to go off of it because I was just sick of taking it and was using it for an off label use, this was in August. Come the beginning of November, I started to break out terribly. First the acne started on my forehead and became cystic, painful nodules. It then spread to my cheeks and entire face over the month. I tried all of the topical prescriptions, antibiotics, even cortisone shots directly into the cysts. Nothing worked. My derm decided I was a good candidate for Accutane. I started back on Yasmin and the Accutane a month later. I did a 4 month course of the Accutane and my face cleared up. I stopped Accutane early because my hair started falling out a ton and it really upset me. I began using womens Rogaine. After about a month my hair loss stopped and wasn’t even noticeable, but I was stuck back on Yasmin. Eventually I switched to Yaz because it has a lower estrogen content and I thought it would be healthier.

Now, at the end of Feb, 2011 I decided to stop Yaz. I felt like my heart was racing all the time and I attributed it to the pill. I am now 23 years old and wanted to get off of bc. I talked to my derm and pcp and they said it was ok to stop and the derm gave me epiduo for acne. Around the beginning of April, I started losing tons and tons of hair. It’s now the middle of May and the shedding hasn’t stopped and is starting to become noticeable. I see it on the top of my head, especially towards the front. The derm and regular doctor both said it’s TE. I’m worried about aga, only because most of the loss seems to be on the top and front of my scalp, however, hair loss does not run in my family. I feel upset about this every day and pray for it to stop. Does anyone have any success stories of hair growing back? Please help. I always had a lot of hair and now it’s prob 30-40% of what I had and it keeps falling. I’m back on the Rogaine, B-complex, omega 3′s, and biotin daily. I really don’t want to rely on bc anymore. On top of this, I’m starting to break out on my chin. I’m also terrified of the horrible acne returning. I’m starting to lose hope with this and am very sad and depressed. I have finals for school next week and can barely focus on studying…This is taking over my life.

Taylor May 26, 2011 at 5:54 am

http://www.wdxcyber.com/ncontr13.htm

site lists a chart for bc pills and progestin contents vs. estrogens.
hope this helps!
-T

Taylor May 26, 2011 at 6:16 am

http://www.hormonehelpny.com/column/alopecia.htm

Also, this site has been very informative, encouraging, and sympathetic, and useful on variety of hormone issues and factors(including pre-menopause). If I lived anywhere near NY, I would SO become a patient of his!!

I learned that high cortisol(from stress) and low iron can cause diffuse(broad and general) thinning(TE) & can easily be 100% remedied by lowering stress or increasing iron (respectively) by up to 70mg daily for severeal months, for hair regrowth. This is especially true for women experiencing heavy periods and who are losing large does of iron with each cycle. Reacted iron is recommended. Be sure no coffee or tea within one hour of taking iron or will absorb correctly.

In the more common cases of any type of thinning that is not overall thinning, but in a PATTERN(female pattern of top of head or christmas tree shape, with broad at forehead and narrowing towards back), are directly due to either too much androgenic/testosterone, or too low of estrogen.

In this case either can cause same effects, so blood test necessary to determine which, or both.

Also, DHEA is also a hair loss contributor.

-T

Taylor May 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

One final offer of help…dusting your hairline with an eyeshadow that matches your hair color can help disguise it a LOT in the interim while you get your testing and things figured out.
There is even a product specifically designed for this purpose:
matte hair powder by Joan Rivers Beauty. It comes in blonde, light blonde, red, brunette, & salt & pepper.

lily May 31, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have been on yazmin saphyral for 2mths only .. Started in march ended in the beggining of may. I noticed an immense shed after stopping that dumb pill. I am now on ortho tri cyclen lo, this is my second day taking it hopefully my hair grows back. I used to have long thick hair while i was on this pill about 2 years ago. I dont know why i decided to try YAZ, But hopefully this OTCYCLEN helps …

Annie James June 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Well I have decided there is no one perfect pill. I have been on BC pill for about ten years and taken many different. I started taking Seasonique 6 months ago to treat menstrual migraines. It does work great for that. However, I remember vividly sitting the Dr. office and telling her that I didn’t want a pill like Loestrin (Seasonique is obviously the same type of pill) because of the high androgens. She prescribed it anyway. Now I have an appointment tomorrow to switch back to Ortho Tri Cyclen or something similar in hormones. On Seasonique my already fine hair started to noticeably thin, I have terrible acne, I have never had acne in my life, and I can’t lose weight. So I guess I will have to deal with the headaches on OTCyclen because the high androgen side effects are really stressful.

Kristina June 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Hey there,
I am thanking god right now that i just so happened to stumble across this website. Ive been experiencing hair loss for the past 6 months or so. ive been to the derm. ive had bloodwork done everything is fine with me. However i went on birth control about 5 months ago in Jan loestrin 24 and ever since ive been experiencing hair loss. my hair used to be thick but now im experiencing bald spots.. i want to get off of the pill completely but im nervous.. should i switch to a pill with a lower androgen rate or just switch off all together.. what will give me the best results for my hair loss?

Jeane July 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I am taking Tri Sprintec, does anyone know where this pill is on the list? My hair goes through phases of thinning. Right now, I’m getting worried.

Melissa August 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’m glad I found this website. I started taking the birth control pill Necon 1/35, generic for Ortho Novum about 3 weeks ago. I am currently on the “off” week. The only reason I am taking bc is because my derm wants me to start Accutane and its the law that females go on bc while taking it because of the risks of birth defects. This is the very first time I’ve ever been on any bc and it’s been making me lose hair like crazy. My hair always used to shed a little but it’s been ridiculous seeing how much is coming out in the shower and throughout the day. I see my derm tomorrow for lab work and I am telling him I will NOT be taking bc pills or any other hormonal bc again. After reading these posts I am convinced bc pills suck. My sister has a non hormonal copper IUD and likes it for the most part. She does get worse cramping and heavier periods but at least her hair isn’t falling out in clumps. I am going to stop all hormonal contraception. I don’t even have sex but am being forced to go on a bc method which pisses me off.

K.A. September 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

Uh, Melissa, no one can “force” you to take a medication — birth control pill or otherwise. If you don’t want to take it, just don’t take it.

G November 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Hi Ladies.

thanks for posting all of your experiences. I’ve been having a heck of a time lately. I had been on Ortho tri from 18-21. as soon as I had stopped, my hair was just falling out. Now…10 years later, the depression has kicked in because i can’t even hide the bald spots on my head anymore.

Recently, it became aware that i have uterine fibroids. The periods have become month long with a two or three day rest. the clots are horrible and so is the pressure.

both my PCP and Gyno recommend bc for treatment. I have an RX for Yaz but have not filled it.

I now I’m scared to death.
I have no idea what to do.

Maybe i need to wait until I see my dermatologist next month and see what she says. I can’t afford to lose more hair :(

Michelle November 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Thank you, all.
For the first time ever, I don’t feel alone.

I’d suspected PCOS for years before going to a great gynecologist who took the time to do all of the blood work, ultrasounds, etc., to confirm. She also wanted to laparoscopically confirm endo; I didn’t have the money at the time to throw at a large medical bill so I didn’t do it. She also offered tubal ligation (since I don’t want biological children). I froze up at most things, thinking: “I’ve lived with myself for 30+ years the way it is, so I’ll be okay.” (I was really thinking, I’ve learned how to deal with all of the issues this far, I don’t want to rock the boat and potentially be stuck with even more issues.)

She prescribed Metformin and Sprio, which I started both out very slowly. I was finally up to 1000mg and 200mg respectively, and had my very first panic attack while on vacation. Scared out of my mind (I didn’t know it was a panic attack at the time ,coupled with/followed by PTSD for the experience) , I stopped both meds the next day. That was Sept. 2010; I’d started the pills probably in early August. (There were a few false starts; I’d start one pill, add the other then have some type of reaction so I’d stop and start over again, even slower.)

Last month I went for my annual and saw my Dr’s PA. She prescribed Lo-Loestrin as she wanted “to protect my uterus/lining” from the PCOS/lack of ovulation. ?? I explained my prior bad experiences with BCP which is why I’d shied away from them for years.

I’d also said I’d experienced some reduced facial hair growth with the spiro last year and was actually interested to try that again so she prescribed that no problem, along with the metformin to help with the IR.

I’ve done the BCP now for about 3 weeks and just got the other prescriptions filled. (I build up slowly; I can’t just start taking everything at once!) I was ready to start the spiro tonight and stumbled upon this site. Again, nice to know I’m not alone.

I’ve had substantial hair loss for years—YEARS—that just seems like there’s no cure for… and then to read on here that BCP is one of the worst things I can be doing in terms of hair loss!! OMG!! I don’t know if I should stop “cold turkey” on those (I’m due back to the dr on the 23rd for her to check my potassium levels), or wait until I talk to her. I can’t see taking BCP AND sprio if they essentially just cancel each other out. And the metformin? I think I’m still in denial that I need it and keep thinking, “I’m going to try a better diet to see if that helps.”

I’m encouraged that others are having success with similar treatments, and I’m very interested to learn about that shampoo (though I have curly hair and shampoo is frowned upon…of course, without some intervention there won’t be any hair to worry about damaging; right?!).

I didn’t mean for this to be so long, but I’m 35 and have “joked” about the time when I’ll need a wig, just knowing it was inevitable… ::sigh:: it was great to find this site.

To anyone else feeling afraid, angry, confused and alone—you’re not the only one. :0)

jenny December 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

Hi everyone, I was lucky enough to stumble upon this forum recently and figured I would share my experiences with you. From the time I was 15 I have taken birth control. Although I have been on several brands, I haven’t started having hormonal imbalance until just a few years ago. When I was 21, I began taking yaz for my skin. I really liked this pill and had no issues. When I was 22, I lost my insurance and could no longer afford yaz so I quit taking birth control altogether. Almost 2 months to the date of stopping, my face exploded with breakouts even though it had remained clear for the two previous months. I immediately began taking it again, despite its high cost and have been taking it and spiro to clear my skin. It worked like a charm, and within a month my skin wasn’t oily at all and I had no new breakouts, along with previous breakouts all being cleared up. I continued spiro to keep my breakouts at bay, until recently I had issues with heart palpitations. My doctor insisted I stop both meds, and I agreed it was for the best. Having good luck with ortho tri cyclen Lo in the past, I decided to switch. My skin has remained clear, however I am definitely more oily than when on yaz and spiro. It has now been just over 2 months and I have noticed that my hairline seems to be thinning. My fiance says its all in my head, though I am positive it is not. The shedding seems to be slowing down, but near my hairline it is much thinner than when I was on yaz. I assume that this hormonal change has really messed me up, afd I also am sure that I have higher testosterone, or at least a sensitivity to it that causes my extreme oiliness, luckily without the breakouts. Spiro and yaz together, reduce the amount of testosterone in your body and thus reduce breakouts and hairloss, related to high testosterone levels. I am going to try and stick it out, as I have faith it will correct itself over time, and I have to believe its more important to take a bc that will be less detrimental to my health, even if it induces shedding a bit.I do understand how scary it is though, and I think many of us rely so much on our vanity to get us through life, and it really isn’t our faults that are mindset is that way, since society has placed such high standards on our looks.

Bellz December 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hi everyone. I’m so lucky to have found this website.

I’ve had bouts of hairloss on and off for the last decade (and I’m only 22). Years ago I had hairloss due to my yo-yo-ing weight and hair perm. But I’ve been on a proper diet for the last few years and I’ve stopped torturing my hair with perms. Since then I have had normal amount of hairloss. And my hair seems to be growing normally.

But recently I’ve experienced sudden shedding (this morning). It really took me by surprise. It was like the hairloss was coming back to haunt me.
Then I remembered I took an emergency contraceptive a few days ago after my bf insisted I take it (to be in the sureside).

It’s called Trust Pill. 4 pills per day. I took it for 2 days. 12hrs in between.

http://www.mims.com/Philippines/drug/info/Trust%20Pill/Trust%20Pill%20tab

Since then I’ve noticed an increase in shedding.
I don’t know what to do!! :(

I thought that hairloss related to taking BC could trigger hairloss if taken for a year or more. But now I’m starting to wonder if EC can also cause BC-related hairloss. I’m now depressed because my hair isn’t that thick to begin with.

Can anybody help? Will it correct over time or do I have to resort to treatments?? I know Minox doesn’t work. at all. It causes really bad shedding. (as told by my Trichologist) And I don’t want to be on BC.

Pauline December 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hi all just wanted to say have any of you got PCOS as I have. I am taking Yasmin which seems to work very well for me other than bad headaches for approx 4 days of the month at the lead up to my period. Before I had been diagnosed with PCOS I changed from COC to a Mini Pill and 2 months in androgenic alopecia occured. GP’s ignored me when I asked for my hormone levels to be checked and eventually when they were my testosterone was threw the roof. I went back on yasmin and and after approx 6mths to a year my hair went back to normal just not as thick. I stick with yasmin as am afraid to try anything else due to further hair loss or weight gain. Just be aware if you have got PCOS you do need a low androgenic pill as hair loss is common XX

Cheyanne February 10, 2012 at 12:38 am

I was on ortho tri cyclen lo i think for about 5 months. I ran out of pills for one month exactly. That is when i started noticing that my hair was thinning. I lose a bunch a day :( I used to have really really really thick hair but now it’s thinning BIG TIME :( I went to my doctor but it hadn’t started then. It started after. I waited the rest of the month before i started taking my new set of pills (balziva) I’m not sure if those are any better? But it still hasn’t stopped and i really don’t want my hair to fall out anymore :( The only thing i really like about myself is my hair. Everyone says they love my hair cuz it’s so thick and the color of it. But now it’s getting thin :( Will it ever grow back? Or should i go back to my doctor and ask her questions? I just don’t know what to do. :(

Cheyanne February 10, 2012 at 12:39 am

** 5 years not months

Hailey February 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Pauline-

Can you tell me what your testosterone levels were?

stacy February 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Hello Everyone,

It’s sad to read these stories but im also comforted to know that I am not the only one suffering from this. I am on loestrin 24. I got off a year ago because I wasn’t having any periods at all for about 10 months. I was also experiencing adrenal fatigue so my doctor had me get off the pill to regulate. Well, that is when it all began. I felt like I had a disease. I am always known for having the beautiful thick full hair and when I got off of this pill my hair was coming out in clumps in the shower. It got so bad that I went back on it after three months. I dont know what to do. I dont want to go through this embarrassment again. When I told my doctor what happened she chalked it up to stress. Im sorry but i am throughing the B.S. flag on that one.

marie February 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hey everyone, I consulted this site a little over a year ago. On the birth control pill for 15 years, I had noticed my hair was thinning and so much would come out in the shower…it progressively got worse, to the point that friends had started to notice the hair loss. In good light you could see my scalp. It wasn’t bald, but very thin in areas. I didn’t want to wear my hair back or parted a certain way because I felt like the thinning was so noticeable.

I went completely off the pill last year because I knew that, having been on almost every one, if the bcp was the culprit, going on a different pill wouldn’t help. I started taking biotin and zinc supplements and switched to shampoos with no sls, organic when I have money. I also started wearing bangs to hide the thinner patches. I didn’t go through a huge dread shed period, it just seemed like the normal thinning was continuing after I went off the pill.

Now, a year later, I see regrowth. I still have thin areas, but it seems to be improving. Little hairs began growing in and they now look like baby hairs. The only problem is that I’m scared of getting pregnant, so I haven’t had sex! And I have moderate acne now after having perfect skin for 16 years. But honestly I would rather be abstinent, pimply, and healthy than bald at 32. That probably sounds crazy, but that’s how I feel and I’ll never go back to the pill. Just wanted to let you know that there is hope, you just have to be patient. And get bangs in the meantime :-)

Cindy March 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I found this site while frantically searching for answers to my own hairloss and I have learned alot…thank you! I am 45 years old and went off Yasmin which I had been taking for several years. I started noticing hair all over the place and less and less of it on my head! I even kept all the hair I could find in a gallon sized zip-locked freezer bag so I could show the dr how much hair I had lost. I had all the bloodwork and everything was fine except for mildly low T. I asked my gyno for an Rx to get back on Yasmin which she provided but she told me that my hairloss was most assuredly hereditary and that I would have to “just deal with it”. I can’t tell you how that angered me!! My hair had gotten thinner over the years which I attributed to age…but I can assure you I know the difference between normal gradual hairloss vs 30% of my hair gone in 6 months.
I then went to a dermatologist. He did the pull test which resulted in several broken hairs mixed in with several strands. He noticed my scalp was pink. So he prescribed a Ketoconozole shampoo, a good multivitamin, and biotin. And, said try going back on the pill and use Rogaine.

I did all these things, except the Rogaine and also changed my hair products. My hair started to look better ater 4-5 months. Then my hair started shedding again. I have very thin spots at my temples and over the top of my head. I don’t have enough hair to wear bangs. I used to have beautiful blonde hair, now it it just thin and straggly :(

I am going back to the derm for a scalp biopsy to see if it is androgenetic. At this point I am wondering if the low androgen pill I was on was keeping my “heriditary” hairloss at bay, then when I went off the pill it allowed the DHT to destroy my hair follicles. If this is the case, shouldn’t going back on the pill correct that? Or has my body become immune to that particular pill? Should I try another low androgen pill like Ortho-Trycyclene?? Anybody have any thoughts??

jenny April 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

Hi everyone, I wanted to come back and update you all on my status for those who might be coming to the site still and looking for info. I posted in December 2011 and its now April, so its been 4 months since the onset of my hair loss. I am a perfectly healthy 24 yr old who recently came of yaz and switched to ortho tri cyclen Lo back in October. I started noticing severed shedding in December after switching and came to this site. I had been on yaz for several yrs before switching and never had an issue with it, other than occasional heart palpitations that I’m not sure can be contributed to the pill. Because I was so devastated with my hair loss (probably 30-40% of my hair) I decided to go back on yasmin. Yasmin is the same thing as yaz, only a slightly higher estrogen level, which is supposed to help with hair growth. I switched about 3 wks ago and notice my shed has normalized. I’m losing about 20-25 hairs a day consistently for several wks now, so I think it has stabilized. It still feels as though 20-25 hairs is a lot since my hair density has nearly been cut in half since switching birth controls. I notice some hair regrowth toward the front of my hairline, and I am hopeful that within the next few months the new growth will continue and my thinner areas will fill in. I have lost a pretty even amount of hair all over my head, though it is thinner in the front by my hair line and at my part. It has been so devastating watching my hair fall and being able to see my scalp while in the sun. I have always had an incredibly abundant amount of curly/ wavy hair that it used to always be tough to tame it and make it look less like a lions mane. Boy has that changed. Should my thick mane of hair come back, I will never complain about it again! I have incredibly long hair, so I know it will be over a yr before I notice the density of my pony tail going back to normal, but right now I am more concerned about my frontal hairs being replaced so that my scalp is not visible in the sun. I will keep everyone updated, I know its going to take a long time for things to go back to normal, should they. Good luck to everyone going through this, I totally understand your pain.

Ash May 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

im so glad I found this site! I used to have super thick hair, and over the last 10 years I’ve had 5 babies- been on and off orthotryclin and micronor. Now at age 30 I have finally figured out my hair falling out is probably due to the pills I’ve been on! I’m going to stop the micronor (that I’ve been on for 7 months- since having my baby) im on now! Hopefully I won’t get the dread shed! Augh of course I’ve called my dr this week after my mom noticed my hair and said I need to do something because it’s beginning to be noticeable) and my dr said there’s no way it’s the bc pill. Augh.

Julie May 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hey all,

I have been following this thread for awhile and figured it was finally time to post. First I want to thank you all for your help/information/kind words! It has helped me realize that there are others out there with the same problem as myself.

I first started taking bc when I was 17. My first pill (cannot remember the name) made me spot all the time so I switched to another pill (also cannot remember the name – sorry!). This second pill made my hair grow lots and it was thicker than normal. I have always had a good amount of hair, it was just really fine. Unfortunately this pill caused me to gain a lot of weight and I started getting cystic acne so I came off it in the summer of ’09. I then switched to Yaz.

Flash forward to January ’10 my hair fell out in clumps. I lost a significant amount of hair in about a month or two but had no idea what had caused it. Now I realize it was my birth control pill. Over the past two years of being on Yaz my hair has gotten thinner and thinner to the point where I’m self conscious about wearing it down because it just looks so thin.

Thanks to this site I went and sought help from a GREAT dermatologist who actually took me seriously – the first one I saw said it wasn’t my bc and that I should try Rogaine. I’m only 21 so I wasn’t about to use Rogaine for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I went to a different derm and she took a biopsy of my scalp which revealed that I have chronic telogen effluvium which can occur due to medications i.e. birth control. She also told me that there was no scarring and that TIME will make things better. Naturally, she told me to come off bc which I had already done.

I stopped taking Yaz April 8, 2012 and have recently had a copper IUD called Paragard inserted. The great thing about Paragard is that it is hormone free so I do not have to worry about side effects or hair falling out due to bc again. Even better – it can stay in for 10 years.

My hair has begun to shed somewhat more than normal since coming off the bc a little over a month ago. While this is discerning, I know it is the process that my body has to go through to get rid of the hormones and help get my hair back to what it was.

For now I will let time do what it has to and I just use human-hair extensions for when I go out at night or have to wear my hair down. If anyone has any questions or need someone to reach out to about this issue PLEASE feel free to e-mail me :)

I’ll try to post periodically to let you know about how the process is going for me.

Julie

Ashe May 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

The last two years for birth control have been weird for me. I was on the Nuvaring for a long time, I had no issues and no hair loss. I had no problems and no issues, everything was great. I got off the Nuvaring for a few months, then finally got back on it. I went on it for three month cycles. I’d use it for three months, then get off for a month, then go back on it for another three months. I did this about three times.

I was off once more for a month, and I’ve started taking Alesse. About a week after I started taking it I started noticing increased hair loss. I’d grab all my hair and end up pulling out at least fifteen to twenty hairs, usually about twice a day. I was losing a lot of hair randomly too, it’d be all over my arms and even after cleaning out my brush it’s filled again quite quickly. It was going on for about two or three weeks, in this week (that I’m off of the pill for the period week) I haven’t lost as much as before. A little bit more than three months ago, but less than two weeks ago.

I’m just wondering, one, how long I’ll end up losing hair, and two, if there’s even a chance it will stop. I’ve had the thickest hair for the longest time, and it being thinner is worrysome.

I’ve noticed that it’s been thinning right around my ears. It’s not noticable unless I actually pull my hair around, and also a bit of unusual hair growth on my chin. I normall have two or three little hairs that grow but I’ve found there’s a few more than before.

I’m hoping it stops and goes back to normal soon, I got this birth control for free and though I’d like to switch back to the Nuvaring, I don’t want to waste it and I can’t afford birth control right now.

Any advice or insight would be awesome. It’s a weekend, so I can’t get in to see a doctor any time soon.

Sabrina Crawford May 26, 2012 at 6:25 am

Im so glad I saw this. I’d been on BC on and off from around 19 but wore a lot of weaves and/or wigs so I didnt notice a huge effect on hair. However, for the past year and a half or so, I have been really taking care of my hair and I was off BC for quite some time (3 years or so). About 3-4 weeks ago, I started taking the generic version of Seasonique. About a week after that, this non stop shedding started. After seeing this today, I am getting of it as of tonight! The amount of hair that comes out even when I THINK about my hair is ridiculous. Hopefully, the effects wont be too bad and my body will shift back to normal since I only took it for a short amount of time. I’ll just stick to the nonhormonal methods. I’d rather risk getting pregnant, than keep to keep dealing with this shedding, mood swings, and slow but sure weight gain.

Gpers August 10, 2012 at 12:06 am

I seem to be having similar effects like everyone else except after stopping the BC 5 years ago, nothing has changed and in fact has gotten worse. I was on several pills the last of which was the LoEstrin. I had a problem with weight gain and decided to stop taking the BC in 2007. After about 6 months my hair started to fall out. I went to a derm with a ziplock bag full of hair and complained. I was told I was crazy and that shedding up to 3 months was normal after stopping BC. However it never stopped. I gave it 5 years….yes 5. The weight didn’t come off and my hair continued to fall out.

After seeing an Endocrinologist I was diagnosed as having PCOS and was also insulin resistant (type 2). Put on metformin. I complained about the hair and was put on spirnolactone. He recommended a new derm. Did all the usual tests including a biopsy and was told the hormones are not making it to my scalp and that it appears to be androgen alopecia. I have been using rogaine

Gpers August 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

And it hasn’t helped. So my only help right now is to try to go back on the BC to try to get it to stop. For those lucky enough to have the hair loss stop after stopping the BC that is great. For everyone else thinking of stopping…. You might not be that lucky. I regret ever using it but now really have no choice. My hair has gotten to the point where you can see my scalp and it has refused to stop falling out. Imjust started Generess Fe but cannot find any information on androgen index numbers. Does anyone know this BC or the index? I want to be sure this is the one I should be taking. I really hope this works because nothing else has. 5 years is a long time to lose hair.

claire August 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I have been on the bc patch approaching 3.5 years. I noticed that my shedding started just before I went on the patch however, over the years it has got progressively worse. I really want to come off the patch now but i am scared that the shedding will increase. I have already lost a significant amount of hair over the years and can’t deal with further shedding. Any advice is appreciated.

Julie August 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Hello all,

I had posted a few months back when I first came off of birth control and have some updates. I’ve been off bc for about four months and I’ve been having a REALLY positive response. My hair looks and feels thicker already even though I’m still losing the same amount of hair if not more. I had expected this due to what everyone else had said.

Anyway, I have noticed that my hair strands are thicker as opposed to looking like wispy baby hairs like when I was on Yaz. Additionally I’ve noticed a lot of new hairs sprouting in around my crown and hair line! I must also add that I have been taking a multi-vitamin and other b-vitamins to promote my hair regrowth and strength… not sure if this is helping but I know it isn’t hurting.

I’ll post back in a few months to let you know if the hair loss has slowed down.

Hope this info is helpful!

Julie

Emily August 22, 2012 at 7:44 am

I found this while researching pills and androgen levels. It’s a chart of all the pills.
http://www.nhpri.org/matriarch/documents/NOTE%202%20TABS-Contraceptive%20Comparison%20Chart%2001-2012%20%282%29.pdf

Sarah August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Hi everyone!

Thank u so much for your posts! I have had the WORST last couple months with BC symptoms. First, i got melasma – hyperpigmentation by my eyes and forehead. My doc recommended me to go off BC, then i noticed longer peach fuzz all over my face when i got off of it! So I went right back on =T and now after a week of being back on, i notice a very very different texture in my hair. Its like really really stringy..esp around my temples…looks like little baby hairs. My hair ususally grows in dark blonde but around the temples its really light blonde baby hairs. My hair falls out alot, but i never thought much of it… nothing extreme yet. But I’m beginning to think the first start of this hair loss is the losing the texture of your hair? Anyone have anything similar?

BeeKay September 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Hello.
About 3/4 yrs ago (I’m now 30), I was prescribed Yaz for hirtuism, high DHEA, and brittle hair. Moreso, the hirtuism, only because my doctor decided to not listen, and that that was my real problem, not the brittle hair. Nonsense! Anyway… Shortly after experiencing things like a non-existent sex drive, and left-side headaches (which women reported shortly before having a stroke at 28), I decided to quit the pill. Somewhere in there, I also used the Nuvaring and ortho-tri-lo? and Boy am I sorry! My very thick, curly, somewhat dry, long hair is now almost bone straight, thin, short, and breaks all the time. I mean all the time. My scalp is now extremely oily within a few days of washing, and it itches all the time. My dermatologist says its seborrhea, but none of the products he’s prescribed helped, except for diflucan. But you can’t take that for long-term periods because of the job it does on your liver. I did notice that my hair is happier with a cider-vinegar rinse, a menthol shampoo, and saw-palmetto, but it still hasn’t helped with the thickness or curls. Nioxin also helped with shedding and regrowth, but with my hair, nioxin was hard to use because it’s water based. Staright styles don’t stay straight. I feel like my hair is doomed and it takes everything out of me to not pull and pick at it. Which I’m sure makes it break more. It’s also so short and straight now, I kinda HAVE to use a flat-iron and blow-dryer, which makes it break even more. I’ve tried saw palmetto, prenatal vitamins, biotin, vitamin d, Nioxin, Fluocinonide, Loprox shampoo, ketoconozole, Dermasmooth, and I really can’t remember what else, but I’m positive I’m forgetting something. I also started using no-sulfate shampoos, because I think I am extrememly sensitive to sulfates. There was some relief with the Loprox, but it was only temporary because it contains sulfates, irritating me more, and it’s expensive. The derm. says that my hair breaks because my scalp swells and cuts the hair shaft off intermittently, restricting it, making it weak. That’s great, however this came on at the exact time of this BC and I think there’s a deeper reason like hormonal, pH, or candidiasis caused by the BC. I’ve also had blood tests done, indicating that other than my DHEA and Vit D levels, all are normal. I can’t get my Derm to give me a scalp biopsy to save my life. I just want him to asses the chemical make-up of my strands to make sure somethings not suddenly missing or some random fungi/bacteria hasn’t suddenly appeared. IDK what else to do, but every morning, I could cut off 1/4-1/2 of an inch of my hair due to new split-ends, which I can’t spend the rest of my life doing. Please Help!

Erika October 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

Here is some kind of chart about birth control ingredients – there is some info about androgenicity, but it’s not very conclusive or clear how to compare doses. http://www.wdxcyber.com/ncontr13.htm

DianeA November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I have literally been losing my mind these last few winter weeks – my long, color-treated hair has been staticky beyond belief, breaking at the ends, flying all over the place…and using Shielo’s Hydrate Shampoo has already helped tremendously! The static is gone, my ends look healthier, and although I still have a few flyaways around my crown, I’m willing to deal with it!

Sandra November 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I am 21 years old and currently on my 4th month of Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo (OTCL). I have been on contraceptives for a bout 2 years now. I started in mid 2010 with Cryselle 28 (or something like that) and stayed on it for 1 year. It didn’t help me with menstruation cramps or acne problems so I switched to Zarah (Yasmin generic). It gave me crazy moodswings, so that is when I settled with OTCL. It was perfect. I didn’t get any mood swings or bad cramps or heavy bleeding.

But now, I am in tears because I am losing so much hair. I have half of what I use to. I started losing an extreme amount of hair right from the beginning, but I didn’t think much of it because I had A LOT of hair. I thought it was something I did or a product I used that day, so I didn’t pay much attention. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I cleaned out my drain after showering that I found a giant ball of hair. I started to realize I am losing hair. I went online and did some research and came across many women’s stories about OTCL and hair loss. I can’t believe I let this go on for 4 months without realizing it. I feel so helpless. I would have NEVER thought this can actually happen because I was never inform by my doctor prior to taking any birth controls. She would tell me about weight gain, appetite, and break outs, but NEVER was i informed about hair loss.

I called my clinic today and explained my situation and wanted to know if it can be the birth control for my hair loss, they told me it was impossible. That is just unbelievable. They didn’t even take it into consideration. Nothing in my diet has changed, I haven’t been stressing, and have been using the same shampoo/hair products I’ve always had. I know my body better than anyone else.

I can see my scalp peeking through my hair. I just wanna cry all the time now. I feel so ugly when I look the mirror. My hair was once the envy of every women. I’ll get compliments all the time about my long, lucious hair. Now… I feel practically feel bald.

As fearful as I am for further hair loss, I am getting off OTCL after I finish this pack. Thinking back, I think birth control in general have caused hair loss for me. Just that with OTCL, it was more extreme than the rest. I will be seeing my doctor next week and will be back with updates after I stop taking these.

Ann January 3, 2013 at 9:56 am

It’s like reading a blog I wrote myself! I am 27, have been losing my hair off and on since I was about 17 I think. Started birth control at around 16 for very heavy periods and moderate acne. I have been on MANY different birth controls, but I remember the first one was a patch because I couldn’t remember to take the pill. 10 years later and my hair is noticeably thin, falling out everywhere. The only time I was happy was when I was pregnant and it stopped and thickened up! I had concluded before I got pregnant that birth control was the cause of this and have not been taking any bc since. I am now 6 months post partum and am of course going through the post pregnancy shed everyone talks about(started at 3 months post partum). It is very severe, my head hurts, there is hair everywhere, and I don’t see an end in sight once again. I’ve had my bloodwork checked recently, just as I have had many times over the past 10 years, and of course it’s all normal. I have had access to any type of doctor I wanted and even have a doctor in the family. They weren’t taught anything about female hair loss and hardly know anything about birth control (and as others have stated, some have it completely backwards regarding androgens and birth control). It’s shocking, sad, and unfortunate that we don’t have someone to turn to for help.
Anyway, my goal with this post is to tell a little of my story and to report back here in 3 months with more results of being off birth control. God Bless all of you and I hope we can find a solution or at least find peace.

Tami June 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

I don’t know if anyone else posted this or not, but it’s a good list if birth control and their androgen levels.

http://www.bidpo.org/documents/Contraceptives%20Emergency%20Contraception.pdf

Devany August 8, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I have been on lolestrin for about a year and a half. I had cystic acne so my doctor put me on birth control. Everything was wonderful in the beginning! I had no periods (which was normal), no weight gain, and little to no acne. About 9 months ago I had my hair curled and my hair stylist burned my hair. I never had any hair loss until about 5 months ago and now it’s all I think about. I have thick hair so it hasn’t been a major issue just yet. I went to a check up last week and I was perfectly healthy. Plus, my acne is coming back up. Does anyone know what may be the cause of this??

Kathy January 23, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Hi,
I read all of the stories above, and I am experiencing the same thing. I always had thin hair, but it was never an issue until I started college, this was also when I started birth control. In college and now into university, I feel like I am gradually losing more and more hair and it is becoming more and more noticeable, it was only now that I realize it may be the birth control. I was wondering if anyone has any success stories stopping their BC? I have been on YAZ for 3 years now, and am considering quitting after reading these stories but I am afraid it might just make it worse. Please tell me there is hope!

Nickey March 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

The first time I’ve taken Aygestin I noticed my hair was thinning but didn’t think nothing of it. Then I had to take Aygestin again (December 2103) because my endometriosis returned and my hair on the left side around the edges completely fell out. I can only wear my hair down so no more ponytails for me as of right now. I stopped taking the medication as of today and I’ll just have to wait for a couple of months to see if my hair will grow back.

JP April 12, 2014 at 6:16 pm

Hi everyone,

Like many others, I am so glad to have found out that I am not the only person experiencing this awful hair loss due to BC pills. After reading, literally, every story on here, I feel like sharing mine. For nearly 4 years I was on LoEstrin 24 Fe. I had no problems with this pill. Then when I went to my gyno for my annual check up last fall, instead of getting another script for LoEstrin, I was switched to another,yet similar, BC. I did not know why, but after talking to the pharmacist, it was due to the fact that the company was not making LoEstrin 24 Fe anymore. The new pill I was switched to was called Junel. I took it for about 3-4 months before asking to be switched to another type of BC pill due to the fact that I was spotting incredibly early each month. At this point I was switched to Apri (generic for Ortho Tri Cyclen). By the end of the first month on Apri I noticed a SIGNIFICANT amount of hair loss each and every day. I found it on my pillow case, comforter, floor, carpet, clothes, hair brush, and shower. It was everywhere. I started to investigate online for causes of women’s hair loss. After everything I read nothing was adding up. Then one site said that BC pills can be a cause of it. It was then that I started to wonder if that was the cause of my hair loss. Like many others on this site, my gyno had no clue and was no help. So I decided to stop taking BC pills immediately. I do not know if the cause was specifically due to stopping LoEstrin, if it was due to my body’s reaction to Junel or Apri, or if it was because of all the changes in BC pills in just a few months. Regardless, I stopped taking them. It has been almost 3 weeks now and I have not noticed any change in my shedding. I have lost so much in the past 6-8 weeks since the hair loss started. I never had thick hair to begin with, but my pony tail is so much thinner than it was before all the shedding. I thought I was crazy at first, but I know now that I am not. So this is what I am doing to help my situation: I am no longer taking BC pills, Im using women’s rogain, and I am taking a vitamin for Hair, Skin, and Nails. From my understanding based on the stories above, I am hoping to see positive results in the next few months (and hopefully start to feel/look normal again within the next year). I will update everyone towards the end of the year when I have had time to let my body regulate itself and allow changes to occur. Fingers crossed!

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