Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Female Androgenetic Hair Loss

One of the symptoms of PCOS in women can be hair loss that resembles male pattern baldness.

Hair loss due to excess androgens in women is most often due to polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that occurs in 5-10% of all adolescent girls and women. Diagnosis is based on the presence of at least 2 of 3 primary symptoms: 2286102105359

Women with PCOS often show symptoms of metabolic syndrome (e.g., obesity and diabetes). Metabolic syndrome and diabetes by itself have also been linked to hair loss. 102


How Is PCOS Treated?

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Treatments for PCOS involve correcting hormonal imbalances that cause excess androgens, some of which mirror treatments used for female pattern hair loss in women who don't have PCOS: 1530102106107360

Antioxidant supplements may also be beneficial. Research shows that oxidative stress in PCOS is directly linked to excess androgen secretion. 60

How Is Hair Loss Caused by PCOS Treated?

Dermatologists have successfully treated hair loss in women with PCOS with oral contraceptives, anti-androgens, and combination treatment regimens of 5-mg/day of finasteride and the hair growth promoter 5% topical minoxidil (by prescription). 30

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Excess hair growth in areas atypical for females (e.g., face, chest, and back). 15
Produced in the pituitary gland gonadotrophs, luteinizing hormone triggers testosterone production by the ovaries and testes. 105