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.


Unsure – Maria’s Hair Loss Story

by admin on December 10, 2007

Unsure - Maria's Hair Loss StoryI’ve read some of the other women’s stories here and felt compelled to share mine. I am almost 28 years old and am experiencing some hairloss. Today was the first day I actually talked about it, and cried about it with somebody (my mother). I have been too embarrassed and depressed about it to talk with anybody else. When you look at my hair I don’t think that I look like I am balding, but I lose so much hair every day and I know that my hair used to be so much fuller. I feel like it is going to keep getting worse and I am very worried.

I am in a relationship with the love of my life and I am afraid that if I continue to lose my hair he will not be attracted to me anymore. The worst part is that I am obsessed with my hair. Some of the other women have mentioned being obsessed with it and constantly touching it and looking at it in the mirror. It is so frustrating. When I wear it down I find hairs everywhere, on my shirt, on my boyfriend’s shirt, on my pillow…it is never ending!! I also find myself looking at other women’s hair and comparing mine or being envious of theirs (especially if they are older than me and have a thick head of hair). I’ve even gone as far as trying to keep count of how many hairs I am actually losing per-day because I am still doubtful that this could be happening to me, but I have to face the facts, the thin hair I have now is a far cry from the beautiful full head of hair I had when I was a teenager. I think it has been a gradual loss, but the past two years it seems to be falling out more and more. I started taking the generic BC pill for Ortho-tri-cyclen a few years ago and I am wondering if it could be from that. I want to stop taking the pill, but I am afraid I will get pregnant and then my hair will really start falling out from stress!!

I now have some doctor’s names that I am going to call and try to have some blood work and tests done, but I am afraid that there is nothing that can be done for me or that I will start taking things that will make my problem worse. When I spoke with my mother tonight, she said that she started to shed a lot of hair around my age too. In a way it makes me feel better because although she has thinner hair, she does not look like she is balding. Maybe my hair is just naturally thinning out. I don’t really know what to think, but I am going to be contacting some doctors and trying to get answers. I really feel the pain of the women (and girls) on this site and it does help to be able to talk to someone who understands what I am going through. I feel like everything is going so good in my life, but it can all come crashing down if I start to lose hair and suffer from low self-esteem.


Dear Maria –

I am really glad that you were able to open up to your mom and tell her how you are feeling and how your hair loss is affecting you. The fact that your mom relayed to you that her hair began to thin around your age, but yet she still has maintained enough hair to not look like she has hair loss, is a really really good sign. It is not uncommon for women’s hair to gradually thin as they get older, it becomes an issue when it isn’t gradual at all, but very rapid and sudden. [click to continue…]


Will I Ever Have The Strength To Shave My Head?I talk so much more now about shaving my head with my fiance, he is all for it. If you are wondering why I would want to do that, please read my hair loss story. I cannot treat it anymore, my medications have stopped working, but yet I still am a prisoner to them. I fear if I remove myself from them I will experience greater shedding from a hormone shift. Shaving my head would free me. It would allow me to get off my medication now and not have to “see” the shedding. It is the shedding that tears me up inside, a constant reminder that very soon I’ll just have thin patches of hair around my head.

Talking isn’t doing, but that fact I am talking about shaving my head is really healthy. I am getting more comfortable with the idea each time I really try to envision it. I’m starting to believe that I will eventually be able to make that choice. Thinking about it makes me sigh a breath of relief… I’d be able to finally get off the aldactone and orthotricyclen I’ve been using to treat my hair loss. In my post titled “Regretting Past Decisions on My Hair Loss” I relay my regret about ever getting back on the pill to treat my hair loss, knowing it was the very cause of it. I didn’t really think it through. I didn’t realize that even if it worked I would have to be on it forever to maintain the hair that it saved. But what about children? I haven’t had kids and have felt that that option has been ripped away from me. How can I have kids on the pill? I can’t. But how can I get off knowing that I could have even more increased shedding that would depress me so much I couldn’t get out of bed. How would I be able to be a mother then? I wouldn’t. Not to mention who knows the damage of taking birth control pills and aldactone, an antiandrogen which is essentially a blood pressure pill, long term? I don’t have high blood pressure yet I agreed to take Aldactone for it’s antiandrogen properties, I didn’t think it all through.

I suppose my feelings would be all different if the treatments continued to work warding off impending hair loss, but it isn’t. Not after 8 years it isn’t. It did help me before (I think) although I never will really know what would have happened if I just decided to let be what would be 8 years ago. Would my hair loss have stopped on it’s own? Would my hormones or whatever was causing the extreme loss after getting off the pill rectify by itself? Maybe. Maybe not.

Part of healing will be accepting the decisions I made. Accepting myself. Once I’ve done that, I think I’ll be ready to shave my head and start living again. I look forward to that day.


My Hair Loss Story – How Did I Get Here?

by admin on August 30, 2007

So how did I get here? I find myself asking myself that very same question on a daily basis. The year 1999 was the year that forever changed my life. My hair loss began after having stopped taking the birth control pill Loestrin FE. Later I found out that it is or at least was, an extremely high androgen index pill. Who knew? Certainly not me and certainly not my gynecologist who prescribed it to me.

So the following months after I stopped the pill my hair began to shed and shed like crazy. It was all over the place and coming out what seemed to be by the handfuls. I tried to find answers online, but I found nothing. I went to so-called “hair experts” also known as dermatologists who aren’t any wiser than the other dermatologists, but just know how to capitalize on the vulnerability of women. They were of no help either. Blood work… within normal levels. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t point to it on a paper and say “ah ha that’s it, my estrogen is low” or “there it is, I need more iron.” There simply was no explanation. I should point out that I also saw very expensive “hair experts” who told me I wasn’t losing my hair. What? Like they would know better than me, I’ve only live in this body… umm forever. Of course if I revisited those same doctors today they wouldn’t be telling me that now. This certainly isn’t one of those instances where you want to be right and say “I told you so.”
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