Hair Loss is a Rare Side Effect of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Hair Loss is a Rare Side Effect of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

If you think you may have PCOS, you should consult your doctor. Hair loss is a rare side effect of PCOS, but it's worth knowing what to look for. Meggie Smith, an ob-gyn in Nashville, specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Although hair loss is a side effect of PCOS, it is usually mild and does not require treatment.

Treatment options

If you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you probably know that hair loss is a common symptom. PCOS causes a woman's ovaries to produce extra male hormones, leading to irregular menstrual cycles. In addition, women with PCOS can experience weight gain, acne, and even hair loss. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to help women with PCOS combat their hair loss.

Treatments for PCOS hair loss focus on regulating hormone levels and regrowing hair. Medications help regulate hormone levels, and you should talk with your doctor about your options. One option is birth control pills, which decrease male hormone androgen levels, contributing to hair loss. While birth control pills may not cure hair loss, they can help you preserve your appearance while using other PCOS treatments.


Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, difficulty ovulating, and high levels of the hormone androgens. These symptoms may be present clinically or on blood tests. Diagnosis of PCOS hair loss can be challenging, but a physician can use several methods to rule out other conditions. During the initial consultation, a doctor may perform a scalp exam and order blood tests. An ultrasound may also be ordered to look for cysts.


PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes female pattern baldness. Women with PCOS typically have short, thin hair, and large areas of the scalp are visible. Genetic and environmental factors are believed to be involved in this condition, which is associated with an imbalance of female hormones. The human body produces certain ratios of estrogen and androgens or male hormones, and when this balance is thrown off, the results are hormonal imbalances and hair loss. Excess androgen levels in the body can cause hyperandrogenism or the overproduction of male hormones. Testosterone is the chief culprit.