Can Hair Loss be caused by Pregnancy?
Posted on 4th April 2019 at 09:23
To most, it is common knowledge that, due to heightened levels of estrogen that slow shedding, hair can become thick and radiant during pregnancy. However, the opposite effect can sometimes be found, with mums-to-be experiencing a loss, or thinning, of hair instead. While this may sound concerning, this amount of hair loss is completely natural in the majority of cases, but what factors can cause this? What hair loss treatments are available for women?
Hair loss due to changes in Hormone Levels
The average amount of hair loss in women is anywhere from around 50 to 100 hairs a day, however, increased shedding or thinning can sometimes be experienced as a result of shock or stress. Hormone balances in the body shift dramatically in order to support a growing baby, putting both you and the hairs on your head under increasing pressure This condition, often referred to as Telogen Effluvium, is known to affect only a few women during their pregnancies, but can leave them with a loss of hair up to three times that of the average. While the effects are not permanent, this issue can cause noticeable thinning in as little as 2 months, making it a concern for expectant mothers.
Hair loss due to Health Problems
Similarly, many health issues that can lead to Telogen Effluvium are found to arise during pregnancy. Hair thinning can be quite dramatic in many cases, especially when related to ongoing essential vitamin or hormone imbalances.
A possible cause of issue during pregnancy that may prove difficult to spot would be problems relating to the thyroid. The condition, either presenting itself as hyperthyroidism, too much thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism, too little thyroid hormone, affects around 3 of 100 women during pregnancy and 5 of 100 afterward. Hair loss is only one of the ever-present symptoms caused by this issue, with others being muscle cramps, exhaustion, and constipation. Typically, blood tests can be used as a method to diagnose thyroid imbalances, meaning the problem is identified fairly easily if you know what you’re looking out for.
Another health problem that can have an effect on hair loss in women throughout pregnancy is iron deficiency; an issue that occurs when an individual does not have enough red blood cells to supply oxygen to various tissues in the body. This can cause, as well as hair thinning, an irregular heartbeat, frequent headaches, shortness of breath, and severe fatigue. Pregnant women experience much higher risk of developing iron deficiency anaemia, especially when carrying twins or dealing with severe morning sickness. This condition, alike thyroid issues, can be diagnosed with a blood test.
While hair loss in women due to these health problems is not permanent in the majority of cases, hair may not return to usual thickness until any imbalances have returned to normal levels.
Postpartum Hair Loss
Many Women may begin to notice hair loss within just a few months of delivery, however, this is to be considered as excessive shedding caused by lowered estrogen levels rather than actual hair loss. While it may seem daunting to be losing 300 hairs per day, this is an issue that is normally resolved without any kind of treatment, meaning there’s nothing to be worried about as this change is only temporary.
To conclude, while hair loss during pregnancy may have many causes, all of these are completely natural and, thus, not to be concerned about. The shedding of hair as a symptom of these problems is, in most cases, only temporary and should be resolved without any treatment. However, this is not always true. For some, the increasing loss of hair is a problem that does not cease. While the cause is more than likely to be unrelated to those listed above, those experiencing rapid hair loss may have to consider the use of hair loss treatments, such as hair transplant surgery or hair restoration, as an option.
If you’re suffering with hair loss and are looking for a solution, visit our page on Hair loss treatment for Women to find out what our Birmingham Hair Loss clinic can do to help you.
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