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Stopped birth control pill after 5 years...losing hair...link?

I recently stopped taking birth control and for the past few weeks have noticed an increase in my hair falling out. I have naturally thin hair and thinning spots due to genes, but I am getting worried that too much hair is falling out. Does this have to do with my stopping the pill and if so, is this going to be a permanent problem?
Anything will help, Thanks!
110 Responses
Avatar universal
HI HAVE YOU TALKED TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THIS PROBLEM?DOES ANY ONE IN YOUR FAMILY HAVE THYROID PROBLEMS?YOU MIGHT NEED TO HAVE YOUR THYROID HORMONES CHECKED.HAVE YOU BEEN LOSING OR GAINING WEIGHT.HAVING SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR THYROID WILL CAUSE YOUR HAIR TO FALL OUT.HAVE YOU BEEN TIRED MORE LATELY?YOU NEED TO CALL AND MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR.TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF TNT406.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comment..I started a job recently that has me pretty tired (up at 5 a.m.) and it might be that my being tiresome is combining with the pill stopping. Thanks!
Avatar universal
HI AGAIN BIRTH CONTROL PILLS "DO NOT" CAUSE HAIR LOSS.I STILL RECOMMEND GETTING YOUR THYROID LEVELS CHECKED.HOW OLD ARE YOU?DON'T BE EMBARASSED TO SAY ON HERE IT IS ONLY WOMEN AND WE DO NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST AGE.YOU DIDN'T SAY IF YOU HAD BEEN LOSING OR GAINING EIGHT WHEN YOU POSTED BACK IN.ANY MORE INFO YOU NEED I'LL TRY TO HELP TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE.TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF TNT406.
Avatar universal
I'm 22 and haven't been experiencing any weight loss/gain. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. If any pertinent information comes up, I'll be sure to share it. Thanks again.
Avatar universal
I'M GLAD YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT FOR TOMORROW.ALL I CAN SAY IS TELL YOUR DOCTOR WHAT IS GOING ON.THIS IS JUST A PATIENT TO PATIENT FORUM WE ARE NOT DOCTORS,WE ONLY GIVE ADVICE.YOU CAN EITHER TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF.TNT406
Avatar universal
I have to differ with DavidsGirl.  I was on Ortho for 4 years, I'm now 35 and I experienced hairloss. Not only was it loss, it was a change in the complete texture of my hair as well.  I used to have a lot thicker hair, now it's very fine and relatively thin. After about 5 months being off the pill, the hair loss lessened, but regrowth has never come for me.  

Hair growth is hormonal so it only makes sense that some people may experience hair loss as a result of altering their hormonal state.  Pregnant women often experience hair loss either during or after pregnancy.  It does happen, though how to address your situation is always a personal decision.  Personally, I have discontinued use of any birth control, but I'm married and ready to start a family, so that works for me.  There are countless chats on line about people in your shoes.  My advice?  Take everything with a grain of salt and talk with your doctor.  If he/she is unhelpful or unwilling to consider your health options, seek either medical or professional assistance elsewhere.  

Suggestions: Be responsible for knowing what goes into your body and what the risks are.  Meat and milk these days are full of growth hormones... any links?  Could be, but find out what is best for you.  Believe it or not, mineral oil and biproducts can affect your hormones.  Read all you can, ask questions and stay grounded.  You certainly have my sympathy as you are going through this.  I know it can really be distressful. I wish you the best.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments. I got my lab results back from the doctor's visit and I have elevated liver enzymes. I haven't gotten a chance to speak with my doctor as of yet, but am going in for more blood work. I am still wondering whether or not the hair loss is linked to anything other than the stopping of the pills. It's so frustrating because now I am hearing from some friends in the medical field that liver problems can stem from taking allergy pills for an extended period of time. I take ZyrtecD and have been for a few years. Does anyone know if the liver can be associated with hair loss? I know that we are all just sharing stories, but anyone else with similar experiences?
Avatar universal
I am so interested that other people have had this problem too!  I have been to many dematologists and undergone extensive blood work about my rapid hair loss, and no one could figure out what had broght it on.  "Stress" and "Genetics" seeemed to be the easy answer when all of my tests came up normal.  Just recently I decided to go back on birth control after 3 yrs of not taking Orth-Tri. (I stopped after college because I no longer had health insurance)  Suddenly it clicked that when my hair started coming out rapidly coincided with when I stopped taking the pill.  I had been on it for 7 years before that, and figured that was my bodys way of coping with a quick change of it's hormonal make-up.  I asked my gynocologist if she thought the two things could be related and she said absolutely.  In fact, other patients had the same experience.  I will be starting Ortho-Tri again, and am extremely hopeful that this will bring back my hair loss.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your story! It's always comforting to know that I am not the only one going through this. I wish I could easily switch my doctor, but I did just graduate college and am stuck on my parent's insurance. He didn't see a link at all so it's nice to hear that your doctor does. Please keep in touch and let me know if you find any marked improvement in your hair growth after being back on the pill for a while.
Thanks again.
Avatar universal
I was experiencing sudden hair loss after being on birth control pills for 7 years.  Blood work was all good, and no unusual stress had occurred.  My dermatologist, a female, said that she has found that discontinuing the pill will often slow or stop the hair loss.  The condition is called "telogen effluvium". If there is some "shock to the system", as many as 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the "shock". This sudden increase in hair loss, usually described as the hair coming out in handfuls, is acute telogen effluvium. This is a different problem than gradual genetic hair thinning. She said that even though there was no "shock" to the system, long-term use of the pill has been found to be a culprit.  I stopped the pill immediately, and within 2 months, the shedding ceased and I grew a thick head of hair.  After 5 months, I had to go back on the pill due to irregular and heavy periods, thanks to fibroids.  After 2 months on the pill, my hair is again falling out at a rapid rate.  I am hoping for a hysterectomy to finally be free of awful periods, and freedom from birth control pills.  However, surgery can also be a stressor that leads to telogen effluvium.  Oh well!  I encourage anyone with shedding to read about the condition and see if it could be what is causing it with you.  Good luck to us all!!
Avatar universal
Hi,
I saw your post and I too have had similar symptoms. I recently got off the pill after taking it for about 10yrs. Mostly because my pituitary wasn't functioning properly. I was told to take the pill for the estrogen. A few months ago I decided to get off the pill to see if maybe my pituitary had started to function on it's own, because there was no found reason that the Dr. could find for it not working. No tumor was found on it or anything.
I got off the pill and after a month of being off I had a period on my own. I then went and got a full physical and they tested for estrogen and it came out that I was producing estrogen on my own and it was in the normal range!! I also got results back from my physical that I had elevated liver enzymes and am supposed to come back in August to re-test. Dr. said it wasn't something to worry about, but it still worries me a little.
Also I've lost about 3-5lbs after getting off the pill and my hair has been coming out a lot more..Just thought I'd respond to this post as I've had similar symptoms after coming off the pill.
Not sure of any of this is related to each other.
Avatar universal
i was on birth control pill for almost 4 months. I stopped  taking it because I felt it was not suiting me. Soon after i stopped the pill I have started to Loose alot of hair. They have also become very thin. I am so worried i dont know what to do. Please advice.
Avatar universal
I'm supposed to start the pill on Friday and it's because my period stopped supposedly from losing a bunch of weight at one time. My doctor says that I'm not extremely underweight so he really doesn't think that's the reason my period stopped but has anyone ever gone on the pill to start their period again? If so, does it work?
I'm also worried about gaining weight on it... a couple pounds is ok but I've read outrageous stuff saying that some people have gained 15-20 lbs... is that just from eating more? Because I have willpower and won't eat more even if it does make me hungry but I just want to know if it's something in the pill or not... if anyone can help, please comment!
Avatar universal
i was on the pill for 6 or so years, stopped taking them and my hair has been falling out for about a year now. it has slowed down but there's not alot more than i can lose w/o completely going bald. This has happened to me everytime i have STOPPED taking the pill and after the birth of my 2 sons. I hope it grows back in. It has in the past but I've always went back on the pill. I have high blood pressure now and don't need to be on the pill but i have started taking Yasmin in hopes it will stop the shedding. my hair was once very thick and now is so thin i can see my scalp and can no longer even style it the same way.
Avatar universal
I'm curious if the Yasmin is helping?
Avatar universal
i've been on birth control for 6 1/2 yrs. now and have just recently noticed increased thinning of my hair at the temples and sides of my scalp within the past 3 months. I have always shed a lot of hair and just thought it was normal, but recently have been shedding a lot more. I'm concerned that because I've been on it for so long the hormones are causing my thinning hair, like when women become pregnant. My mom said her hair started to thin when she was pregnant. I've seen my doctor about it and she said we may need to try something else, but I'm afraid if i go off it will my hair start to rapidly fall out...or will it grow back?? I've read peoples comments and there seems to be both responses. I'm really scared and any advice would really be helpful =) Thanks!
Avatar universal
My husband and I are going to start trying to get pregnant in the next few months so I stopped taking the pill a few weeks ago.  I have been on it a number of years.  My hair is thinning at an alarmingly fast rate now and my husband has had to Liquid Plumber the shower drain twice and now it needs it again.  This stinks!  My hair wasn't that thick to begin with!  I've already had blood tests and thryoid tests years ago when I felt I had unnaturally low energy and hair thinning (despite being ON the pill.)  At the rate it's going I'm going to be bald like Britney soon, though!

A silver lining though, is that I have been dieting and have found weight loss comes easier off the pill.  (But no, I haven't lost enough to cause hair loss, and no, I'm not underweight!)

When will it stop falling out?  Anyone?  < = )
Avatar universal
Iv'e been on birth control for years without having many problems, but for the past year and a half, I've too been losing hair. I was on Aleese, started losing hair and I seemed to start getting a little extra facial "fuzz" which was just freakin wonderful considering I now have to Nair my face! Then, I switched to Ortho tri Cyclen in hopes that my problems would end. Well they haven't, and I have no idea what to do. Im 23, feel fine, I exercise, and Im in great health. Oh yeah, I also get ovarian cysts that rupture about once a year too. Help Please!
Avatar universal
Iv'e been on birth control for years without having many problems, but for the past year and a half, I've too been losing hair. I was on Aleese, started losing hair and I seemed to start getting a little extra facial "fuzz" which was just freakin wonderful considering I now have to Nair my face! Then, I switched to Ortho tri Cyclen in hopes that my problems would end. Well they haven't, and I have no idea what to do. Im 23, feel fine, I exercise, and Im in great health.
Avatar universal
I was on birth control for four years, and I recently stopped taking it because it made me sick every month when I took the first pill. My hair has always fallen out more than anyone I know, but now it is actually scaring me. I hate taking showers because of the alarming amount of hair in the bottom of the tub. I was wondering if the two were linked, and it seems to me that they are, based on the number of people who seem to have the same problem here. I just hope it stops soon! I read about Telegen Effluvium, and that's what I think this is, and it is supposed to stop soon, but I'm only in college! I don't want to go bald!!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I am 33yrs old and have been on and off the pill since I was diagnosed with Endometriosis when I was 13yrs old. I had been on it steadily for the past 5 yrs but I recently stopped in July because I wanted to know if I would still develop ovarian cycts. I workout and am careful about what I eat so I know that weight loss is not the reason why I am losing massive amounts of hair starting about 2 weeks after I stopped the pill. I had bloodwork done yesterday and will get the results tomorrow, my MD is looking for Thyroid, Liver and Kidney issues, but I truly believe it was the pill. Problem is I don't like how the pill affects me in certain ways so I don;t want to take it, plus I really want to have another baby next year and given my Endometriosis it is not easy, so I don;t want to go back on the pill, but I don;t want to be bald either and the back is so thin now, and it was never thick. I have always had baby-fine hair, but there was alot of it and it is naturally got wave and body, now it is so stressful. I don't know what to do, and my MD doesn't believe that the pill affects hairloss.
Avatar universal
I have been on the Pill for almost 10 years and recently got married.  I have hypothyroidism and have been losing hair for over 4 years.  I know that all HORMONES ARE INTERELATED, and after 3 years of trying to optimize thyroid medication (which is not the majority), I continue to lose scalp hair abnormally.  I do not have much left, my temple hair is very short as well.  I am very scared to stop the Pill in fear of shedding worse.  I have to correct this problem, I am only 25 and you can see through my thin thin hair to my scalp in several places.  It looks terrible.  

I know that the Doctors (I've seen 8 Endocrinologist, 4 GPs, and 5 Dermatologists) agree that I will be unable to test for a hormone imbalance while taking the oral contraceptive.  I am also concerned about complications related to long-term use of this product.  I do want to get off of BC Pills.  Do you think that I should stop taking the Pill?  Thanks!!!

B
Avatar universal
I have just finished reading everyone's comments, and i must say wow!!
I didn't know there were so many women dealing with the same problem. I also have to say that I am one of these women as well. I have gone to physicians, done the bloodwork, checked for hormone imbalances changed my diet, gone on the pill, gone off the pill, increased my supplements, decreased stress levels, and nothing! My hair has always  been fine and thin to begin with, but now i am faced with Chronic Telogen Effluvium--a general thinning of the overall hair of the scalp because too many hairs are in the resting phase and the ones that fall out will not grow. This has been happening to me over a gradual, steady period, of over 5 years now. The most frustrating part of all this? No one can help me. And no one knows whats is wrong, and what's worse? Some physicians think it is in my head. I have cried and been frustrated so many times, it's almost no use. I am 26 years old, and I don't mind going bald---just not at this age!!!! I mean hello!!! I want my youthful looks if only for  a while, and no one has any answers. I am not giving up though. If i find out anything new, I will let everyone know. In the meantime, i will pray for yous, please pray for me, I have a wedding next year and i want to look half-decent.
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