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Hormone Replacement Therapy for Hair Loss

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As we progress forward, there is new development in the field of medicine. One such is hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women with hair loss.

Hormones like progesterone and estrogen in forms patches, pills and creams can prevent menopausal symptoms and prevent hair loss.

Women dont go bald like men do. But there comes a time after 40 years of age where hair starts thinning and falling. This is when there is a shift in the hormone levels in a woman’s body. Symptoms like fatigue, hot flashes,  hair thinning are to be expected.

There are a few treatment options for women with thinning hair. Many would opt for ketoconazole or minoxidil products for treatment.

In this case, doctors suggest a hormone replacement therapy

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy?

The aim is to give women hormones estrogen and progestin at the same time. There are few ways of doing this. It can be done either by pills/topical creams/hormone patches.

This helps subside the side effects of menopause like

  • Moodiness, feeling agitated, anger fits and crankiness.
  • Loss of libido and reduced sex drive (pre-menopause state).
  • Difficulty sleeping or lacking the urge to sleep.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats with heavy breaths.

Some women have another problem called osteoporosis. This is the thinning of bone because of lower hormone levels.

Hair Loss and Hormone Replacement Treatment (HRT)

Hormones directly affect hair health and growth pattern. For example when a woman is pregnant, she has more estrogen in her body. This keeps the follicles active and very few are in rest mode.

During pregnancy, the estrogen levels are high. This results in thicker and fuller hair. After child birth, the levels drop and there is a fair amount of hair fall.

Many follicles go into rest mode. This results in hair thinning. So hormone replacement therapy will help stop hair loss and encourage hair growth.

HRT- Side Effects and Benefits

This is kept as a last resort option for treating hair loss. The condition is that the woman has to be either in menopausal or post-menopausal stage.

This ensures that there are no risks from giving extra hormones via auxiliary means. It is only for women with androgenic alopecia, aka female pattern hair loss.

Here is a list of potential side effects of HRT.

  • Increased risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Higher risk of blood clots
  • Slightly increased risk of breast cancer (from long-term HRT treatments)
  • Chances of actually getting breast cancer
  • Risk of uterine cancer if estrogen replacement is not accompanied by progesterone therapy.

Less serious side effects include

  • Irritability
  • Frequent headaches
  • Sore breasts
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding ( evaluation necessary to determine possibility of uterine cancer)
  • Nausea and bloating

Before starting hormone replacement therapy, it's important to talk to your doctor about the possible risks and side effects of the treatment. If you're already at an increased risk for health conditions like cancer, blood clots and heart disease, then HRT is not the treatment for you.

If you are prescribed HRT, it important to take the lowest doses that are effective, and to only take the drugs for the shortest amount of time needed to control symptoms.

 

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