Sooner or later, every woman goes through the menopause. During this phase of life, various complaints such as hot flushes and sleep disturbances are often part of everyday life. Apart from that, hair loss is also a symptom for many women. What causes thinning hair and what can be done about it is explained below.
The most important facts about hair loss and menopause at a glance
- As the female body produces less oestrogen during the menopause, there is a relative surplus of androgens.
- In women with a genetic predisposition, the hormonal changes lead to hair loss.
- Women should seek medical advice as soon as possible if they suffer from hair loss during the menopause.
- Hormone therapy may be necessary to control hair loss during the perimenopause.
- Since hormone preparations can have side effects, the use of hormones should be carefully considered and discussed with your gynaecologist.
Hormone changes during the menopause
The menopause usually starts around the middle of the 40s, when the body produces fewer and fewer sex hormones like oestrogen. Ovulation may not occur and fertility decreases.
There are irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Periods start to become more frequent and then less frequent. In addition, many women in the menopause are affected by intermenstrual bleeding.
Other symptoms typical of the perimenopause are, for example:
- Bladder weakness
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flushes
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
Hair loss during the menopause
In addition to the menopause symptoms mentioned above, hair loss can also occur during the menopause. In fact, it is quite common. According to estimates, about 30 percent of all women are affected by it.Period briefs
Like the other symptoms associated with menopause, hair loss is caused by changes in hormone levels. The falling oestrogen level causes the ratio between male and female sex hormones in the body to become confused.
This results in a relative lack of oestrogen or an excess of androgens (male sex hormones). In women with a genetic predisposition, this causes the hair roots to atrophy and the hair to fall out.
How does hair loss become noticeable during the menopause?
Hair loss begins gradually during the menopause. At first, the hair becomes thinner, for example, in the area of the crown, the hairline on the forehead or also on the sides. The scalp increasingly shows through.
At some point, new hair stops growing and bald patches appear. Most women find this extremely disturbing. Moreover, after a certain point, hair loss can no longer be reversed.
Why do not all women suffer from hair loss during the menopause?
Although hair loss is very common during the perimenopause, not all women are affected. The reason for this is that not all women's hair roots are sensitive to the hormonal changes associated with the menopause.
So it may well be that you suffer from hair loss while your best friend still has thick, shiny hair despite menopause. Unfortunately, you have no influence on this. In case of doubt, you should seek medical advice if you are affected by hair loss.
How can hair loss during the menopause be treated?
If women notice thinning hair and hair loss during the menopause, they should seek medical advice promptly. It may be that the hair loss can only be counteracted with medication.
Hormone therapy, for example, can ensure that the relative excess of androgens as the cause of hair loss in the perimenopause is eliminated.
In addition, hormone preparations also help to alleviate other complaints during the menopause. For women who suffer particularly badly from menopause symptoms, hormone therapy can therefore be quite useful.
Taking hormone preparations is not without risk. They can cause various side effects and promote different diseases. For this reason, women should weigh the pros and cons of the treatment together with their gynaecologist and make a well-considered decision.
What else can women do to prevent hair loss?
A visit to the gynaecologist is generally recommended for hair loss during the menopause. However, there are things you can do yourself to keep your hair healthy:
- Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
- Avoid unnecessary stress in your daily life and learn to say no at work and in your private life.
- Take regular time to relax, for example by reading a good book or meditating.
- Drink two litres of water or unsweetened tea per day to ensure adequate hydration.
- Eat a balanced diet that provides your body with the protein and other nutrients it needs.
As you can see, menopausal hair loss is a common problem that affects many women. There is no general answer to whether and how hair loss needs to be treated.
A balanced diet and avoiding stress may be enough to counteract hair loss. However, it is also possible that medical treatment is necessary and that, for example, only hormone therapy can help you to stop hair loss during the menopause.