Bad Bill -- Good Pill

Discussion in 'Oral Contraceptives' started by Women's Hair Loss Project, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Women's Hair Loss Project

    Women's Hair Loss Project Administrator Staff Member

    I know a lot of women (myself included) are confused by the fact that oral contraceptives are actually used to treat hormonal hair loss, when in fact often times it is the pill that is responsible for beginning the early onset of androgenetic alopecia in the first place.

    This is my situation. The high androgen pill Loestrin FE started my hair loss (actually occurred when I stopped taking it) and then I was later put back on Ortho Tri-Cyclen in an effort to treat it. I suppose it made sense on some level to try and restore hormonal balance. There are times I do kick myself for getting back on a pill when it was the evil little thing that caused this. But I felt I HAD to be proactive. I can't say for sure it it helped or not because I really don't know how much better or worse my hair would have been had I not used that or Aldactone.

    Dr. Geoffrey Redmond posted a list of "hair friendly" pills on BaldTruthTalk:

    There are several birth control pills that are most hair friendly.
    It is harder nowadays to know what you are getting because there are many generics with different names for the same pill. Generic equivalents are in parentheses.

    So here is a partial list:

    Yasmin (ocella)
    Yaz (no generic)
    Ortho Cyclen and TriCyclen (Generics Mono and Tri Nessa, Sprintec and TriSprintec.
    Desogen (Apri)
    Mircette (Kariva)

    These have no testosterone like activity and so will not worsen androgenic alopecia.

    Most androgenic and therefore to be avoided are those containing the progestin levonorgestrel. These include Ovral, LoOvral, Nordette, Alesse and numerous generics.
  2. VictoriaG

    VictoriaG New Member

    Lo Ovral

    I took Lo Ovral for nearly 20 years. I stopped it in May 2004, but i didn't start noticing hair loss till January of 2007. After all that time, it couldn't be the cause, could it? My GYN said no, but I still want to ask here!!
  3. Women's Hair Loss Project

    Women's Hair Loss Project Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Victoria, I honestly don't *think* it is the cause of your hair loss. I think it would have happened within the first year if it was related, but everything with hair loss is so unpredictable. Not every woman who uses birth control pills experiences hair loss, and in my case I actually was on the pill for a very short time in college, just a couple months, then got off. I didn't have any hair loss from that round of pills. Maybe because I didn't take them for that long. But the second time, I was affected. :confused:
  4. kittykat

    kittykat New Member

    My doctor recommended Ortho Tricyclen to help with my thinning hair loss and after reading a lot of stuff on here as well as the internet I have not yet started it.

    I started noticing significant thinning and hair loss in temple area in and around October 2008. At this time three things had occurred:

    - I was under an abnormal amount of stress at work
    -I stopped using the nuva ring
    -To combat the stress I was working out a lot and my body fat dropped quite a bit.

    Prior to the nuva ring I was using the patch. Although I can't pinpoint what caused my hair loss to start for sure I have a hunch it was when I stopped using the nuva ring. Shortly after I also experienced horrible acne on my back and face.

    That being said I don't notice a lot of hairs coming out when I'm washing and styling my hair anymore but it's hard for me to tell if its getting better or worse. Some days I think better and then other days I get really depressed because it looks worse.

    Right now i'm taking iron supplements because I have had chronic low iron for the past 15 years. I'm holding off on taking b.c though because i'm petrified that i'm either going to have to use it forever or experience even worse hair loss when I go off of it.

    I would be interested in knowing other peoples experience of using b.c to help control hair loss. Is it worth it?
  5. Coco

    Coco New Member

    Although birth control pills were the reason for my hairloss. From my own experience there are good pills and bad pills just as they are listed at the start of this thread. I was on Desogen for 15 years and stopped it for four years when I was 35 and never experienced any hairloss during or after taking it. I have no idea why I was put on Ovral when I went back on BCP, but that is the one that has caused all my hairloss problems, and I was taking it for quite a while. Unfortunately, I wasn't as informed as I am now.
  6. Ashah

    Ashah New Member

    In my experience with BCP's, there really is no "good" pill, but it all depends on how each individual responds to different pills. My hair loss began in my early 20's when I started on the pill. My dr. started me out on Triphasil (not sure if then even still make this!?) and my hair fell out horribly. She told me that BCP's couldn't cause hair loss and only at my insistence did she change my prescription to Ortho Tricyclen. The shedding decreased but still continued. I was on Ortho for about 3 years before reading up on Yasmin which had just come out. I had since switched Obgyns and my new Dr. also told me that BCP's couldn't cause hair loss, but regardless I asked to be switched to Yasmin. I was on Yasmin for about 8 years, during which time my hair continued to fall out, though I did notice a slight decrease from when I was on Ortho. While BCP's do help to regulate our hormones, how do we know what is really regular or normal for our bodies? Each brand has different amounts so it just seems really hit or miss, especially for women with hair loss. I stayed sick so much while on the pill, and only after I came off of them completely did I read about how they keep your body from absorbing certain vitamins which probably also can affect hair too. Anyway, just my 2 cents!
  7. NightNurse

    NightNurse New Member

    I'm 46, and I was on BCP since I was 19 (Nordette). I have been off of them for 4 1/2 months now, and I'm experiancing lots of hair loss. After researching the internet, I now find out that Nordette is a high androgenic pill. If I would have know that it would cause me to lose my hair when I stopped taking them...I never would've done that to my body. I have been in tears the last 3 weeks and sick at my stomach. I lose handfuls of hair with each shower and just running my fingers through it. The thinning is noticeable at my temple and through the top.
  8. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member

    Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in here...Im new and honestly don't know what caused my hairloss for sure started when I went on LoOvral and started to grow back while I was still on it. I was on it for 2 years and had a lot of other side effects so I switched to Mononessa. Right after the switch it fell out again. A few months later it started to grow back, and this April fell out again when I decided to come off BC all together. I can't prove it, but it sounds a bit suspicious right? I can only pray that the growth I am seeing now will stay around. My doctor says that if it was the pill my hair would have fallen out right away, but judging from what I have read on the net, that may not be the case. Fingers crossed!
  9. jenn99

    jenn99 New Member

    wondering about seasonique and ortho tri cyclen

    Hi. I was wondering if anyone else out there experieced hair loss with seasonique and if so if they switched to another birth control that didn't cause hair loss? My obgyn swears that seasonique didn't cause my hair loss but I'm not so sure about that. Thanks.
  10. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member


    Hi Jenn,
    I have not been on Seasonique, but have lost a lot of hair on BC pills. I googled Seasonique and found that a lot of women are complaining of hair loss with it. It is listed as a side effect. Cover all of your bases when trying to figure this out, but don't let your doctor minimize the fact that BC does have an effect on hair. There is a reason they have to list it as a side effect, someone somewhere lost their hair!!! Every woman reacts differently to hormones, if it is the Seasonique it may calm down after a few months, the bad news is the same thing tends to happen when you come off of it. If it is the BC it will grow back after a few months. good luck!
  11. Laurie

    Laurie New Member

    My Experience with BCP's

    My hairloss started when discontinuing the pill, OrthoTriCyclen (Trinessa). However, when I look back, I suspect my problems may have begun after taking Alesse. I had always been on hair friendly pills like Ortho Novum and Norinyl. After the birth of my second child, I again requested the Norinyl as I hadn't had problems with it. My doctor decided to prescribe Alesse. After three months of horrible acne (from it being a high androgenic pill), he finally switched me to OrthoTriCyclen. My skin was never better. I didn't think too much of the changes in my hair since I had plenty. We moved at the time and I blamed the dry, fly away hair on the water at our new home. In retrospect, Alesse causing me acne was a blessing in disguise as I switched to the hair friendly OrthoTriCyclen. Although the texture of my hair wasn't the best, IF it was thinning, it was doing so VERY slowly. I got off OrthoTriCyclen when my husband had a vasectomy and as they say, "all hell broke loose". I got back on the pill after 6 months of hair shedding for acne and didn't see much change in my hair shed. I'm off the pill again (for good, it's been 9 months) and have my acne pretty well under control. However, I have the oiliest skin and I still loose about 150 hairs per day. I do have an identical twin and she too suffers from oily/acneic skin. However, she DOES NOT suffer from hairloss. The only difference in our bcp histories is that she never took a high androgenic pill. I can only wonder if the Alesse caused all of this?? I will never know the answer to that question and have to live for today. If after 1.5-2 yrs my hair doesn't stop shedding, I may even go back to the pill. I have to feel like I gave my body a fair chance though.
  12. afoster225

    afoster225 New Member

    Depo Provera

    Hey, I'm new to this.... Has anyone had permanent hair loss from
    Depo Provera??? (the needle) I was on it for 6 months (2 doses) and had every side effect possible. My hair has never been the same since...this was in 2003. I'm still one the pill (Diane 35) it's been 4 years, I started it for acne and i'm scared ...I've considered going off it completely but scared of the side effects. I have an appt with a endocrinologist in a month. I've been told it's a hormone problem by 2 hair professionals. I just can't stand being told it's heriditary!!! there must be a medical explination!!!!
  13. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member

    I think Depo is a pretty strong drug, and like other forms of BC may cause hairloss. I have endometriosis which makes my cycles brutal and my doc said he would only give me Depot as a last resort. He says it is because it has a lot of side effects / issues he is not a fan. as far as your pill goes, I looked it up and it did not list loss of scalp hair as a side effect, but does list loss of body hair...hmm.
  14. afoster225

    afoster225 New Member

    I noticed weight loss, cramps and hair loss after about a month on Depo, my Doc at the time saw nothing wrong and told me to try just one more dose of it....even though I asked her to take me off of it. I spend the whole next year in pain and my hair never came back...I would not recommend ANYONE to take this form of birth should be banned. I don't know if it's possible hair loss is permanent because of Depo, I was hoping someone else may have experience the same as me.
  15. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member

    just a you have patches of missing hair or a general shedding (all over)? I looked up side effects of Depo and I am stunned that this thing is legal. I wouldn't inject my worst enemy with it. I am posting the link to the site I found for you because big surprise, Alopecia IS a side effect. I am also sending it because (and this probably wont be an issue if you are off it) you mentioned you were going for tests and it can interact with some lab work. By the way, if your doctor said that it was not the Depo she obviously doesn't know what she is talking about and should not be allowed to give it out! Hang in there, I hope you find some answers soon. Good luck!
  16. afoster225

    afoster225 New Member

    Thank you for the info, if my doctor had of made me aware of the side effects of this drug I would have never even considered it. My hair loss if all over, thinner on my crown and forehead.
  17. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member


    Mine is all over too, and looks thinner in the front like you said your does, but I often wonder if that is just because I can see it better! LOL. Keep in touch and let me know if you find anything out, and I will do the same for you!
  18. natasha

    natasha New Member

    I was on yasmin for 4 years and stopped taking them one month ago because my hair was shedding worse than my dog. It continues to fall out and my Dr. is directing me to go off birth control pills all together. I'm still undecided...but know for sure I'm done have children. I'm waiting for blood results to check for a hormone imbalance. I really don't know what caused my hair to start coming out. I use to have a thick black head of hair. My gut feeling is telling me birth control pills haven't been good for me. I have used them for 12 years all together.
  19. Stacey2478

    Stacey2478 New Member

    BC pills are notorious for causing hair loss, and if it is the pill causing it you may see more fall out after you come off of it. The good news is that if it is BC pills it will start to grow back a couple of months after the initial shed. Unfortunately most birth control methods (hormonal anyway) can cause hair loss. hang in there!
  20. katt

    katt New Member

    I just started yasmin 3 days ago to regulate my cycle and hopefully help my hair i have never used OC before so it shouldnt make it worse right ? So far my hairs even shedding less and no side effects im keeping my fingers crossed :rolleyes: