If you are wondering whether endometriosis causes hair loss, you might be one of the 6-10% of women affected by this disease worldwide . Since you are already likely facing symptoms such as severe pelvic pain, fatigue, or digestive issues, adding hair loss to the list of endometriosis woes can be very frustrating.
The good news is that there is no scientific evidence that endometriosis causes hair loss. There is indeed some indication that side effects of some medication used to control the symptoms of this condition may include hair shedding. But that doesn’t mean that endometriosis itself is the reason your hair is falling out.
This article will tell you all you need to know about:
Endometriosis is a chronic disease which makes uterine tissue (endometer) grow in places where it is not supposed to, mainly in the pelvic area (e.g. around the ovaries or the fallopian tubes) . The inflammatory reaction caused by this condition can result in the formation of scar tissue.
Endometriosis affects approximately 190 million women worldwide. It can start as early as a girl’s first menstruation and only end once she has reached menopause (sometimes even beyond that). Given the fact that pain is the main symptom of this disease, it is believed to be significantly underdiagnosed (or diagnosed late), as patients’ complaints are often mistaken for normal symptoms of premenstrual syndrome .
The most common symptoms of endometriosis include  :
The causes of endometriosis are not sufficiently understood by scientists at this time. However, there are several theories which might explain this disease:
There is currently no cure for endometriosis, nor is there any way to prevent the disease. However, its symptoms can be managed with hormonal medicine or contraceptive methods (e.g. combined birth control pills, hormonal intrauterine devices, such as IUDs, vaginal rings, etc.) .
In severe cases, surgery is performed to remove the affected organs, such as the uterus (hysterectomy), the ovaries or even part of the colon (however, this is rare).
While it is unlikely that simply experiencing endometriosis can make your hair fall out, this condition may place you at a slightly higher risk of developing certain autoimmune conditions which cause hair loss, such as alopecia areata or alopecia universalis.
Moreover, the stress and anxiety this disease causes and some of the treatments used to control its symptoms can, indeed, lead to hair shedding.
The good news is that endometriosis does not cause hair loss. If your hair is still falling out, this may not bring you much comfort.
There are however a variety of reasons why your locks may be thinning and how it is related to your condition:
Research indicates that there is some indirect relationship between endometriosis and hair falling out.
That is partly due to the fact that some of the treatments used to alleviate the symptoms of this disease (e.g. birth control pills, danazol, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists or aromatase inhibitors) are known to cause diffuse hair thinning and hair loss .
The sheer psychological burden of experiencing a painful chronic disease such as endometriosis can make your locks fall out. It is a proven fact that stress and anxiety can lead to hair loss, as they can trigger conditions such as telogen effluvium, alopecia areata or trichotillomania .
While further research is needed to demonstrate this, some studies suggest that endometriosis may be an autoimmune disorder, which has common genetic roots with other autoimmune illnesses and is sometimes developed alongside them. Some of these, such as alopecia universalis , alopecia areata  or lupus  are known to cause hair loss.
For example, one longitudinal study on over 35,000 women with endometriosis in Taiwan found that 88 participants developed alopecia areata (0.25%) over the 13 year course of data collection, while only 61 participants in the control group of 140,000 women did so (0.04%). The authors explained that there might be a common cause which makes these two diseases more likely to develop in the same person. However, this does not imply that endometriosis causes alopecia areata.
If this theory is correct, if you have endometriosis, you may be at a somewhat greater risk of being diagnosed with another autoimmune condition alongside it, some of which may cause your hair to fall out   . However, these occurrences are rare and unlikely in the absence of other symptoms.
While it may seem to you like your hair loss is a result of endometriosis, it could just be an unfortunate coincidence. There are a variety of conditions which can cause female hair loss. The most common of these are:
Frontal fibrosing alopecia
Menopause hair loss
Common scalp problems that cause hair loss
Hormonal hair loss in endometriosis is likely not a result of the disease itself, but usually a side effect of the hormone-based treatment you are taking for it. That is why the best thing you can do is to have a conversation with your endocrinologist and let them know that you suspect your medication is causing hair loss. Depending on your health condition, they might be able to recommend a different treatment, which is easier on your hair.
However, if you cannot change your hormonal medication, you can stimulate hair growth through hair loss treatments and therapies.
If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis and are experiencing hair loss, it is important to book a consultation with a trichologist and get a personalised treatment recommendation. That is because some of the most popular and efficient hair growth treatments (especially DHT blockers, such as Finasteride or Dutasteride) can have side effects that may influence your hormones, making your symptoms worse or interfering with your treatment.
For example, it is generally not advised for women to use Finasteride while they are still premenopausal, because it can disrupt your menstrual cycle or cause foetal malformations if you are (or are trying to become) pregnant.
In order to provide you with an effective, personalised treatment plan, the trichologist will first diagnose the nature of your hair loss.
To do so, they might order some blood tests for hair loss, perform a dermoscopy to see your hair and scalp up close, and perhaps measure the extent of your hair thinning on the Ludwig scale.
Then, in accordance with their findings and your preexisting health conditions, they may recommend one of the following common hair growth treatments and therapies which can normally be used by women with endometriosis:
If your hair loss is too advanced for these treatments or its cause can not be treated with medication or therapies, there may be hope yet. You might be a good candidate for a hair transplant.
Female hair transplants are one of the most popular hair restoration procedures and Wimpole Clinic has great experience and a 97-100% success rate in performing them. So regardless of whether patients opt for a FUT or FUE type surgery, they get a natural-looking hair transplant.
Another advantage is that, unlike other treatments and therapies, hair transplants are permanent. You can see the results for yourself in our before and after hair transplant gallery.
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