TE recovery (from birth control)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Fearofbears, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    :)hello all!
    i'm of course a little reluctant to write this post becuase it hasnt been that long, but I know how I was searching and searching for any glimmer of hope when I started losing my hair from TE. The fact of the matter, TE does recover in time, but women rarely come back to talk about it when they are recovered, plus I think the process is so long, women just kind of forget about it when life goes back to normal.

    Another huge issue, that I think everyone should be aware of, is that often women panic and try to find a quick fix (if the TE was from stopping birth control, they jump back on it), like Rogaine, or other medications, including topicals, which may just continously cause more shedding.

    My approach has been to let it run its course and not try anything. I never went back on birth control through the shedding, never tried rogaine, etc. I take a prenatal vitamin, and Iron pill as i'm a vegetarian and dont get enough Iron.

    My TE started in July-August. I stopped Loestrin in May of 2012. the shedding didnt completely stop until around November, this was when my hair was it's thinnest.

    My hair is still very thin in terms of ponytail width. HOWEVER, I can wear sidebangs again without my scalp showing.

    Everywhere I brush my hair I see bunches of very short (under a half inch) little hairs that are new growth, and some a little longer. Once they reach a few inches, I'm sure they will add to the volume of my head.

    My dermatologists were horrible. Once my bloodwork came back normal, they wrote it off as genetic and kicked me out the door.

    my OBGYN however, was quick to say otherwise. She was great.

    anyway, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I'm nowhere near the volume I had a year ago, but this is a lengthy process. I lost at least 40% of my density in 4 or so months, but I see baby hairs and new sprouts every day! I expect in a year or two I should be closer to normal, and i'm okay with that.

    My advice, is if you can pinpoint a trigger and have no family history of hair loss, you most likely have TE, and as long as your bloodwork is okay, let your body even itself out!

    I hope in a year I can come back and let you ladies know that my hair is back and glorious, for future women panicking about the disorder.

    Good luck!
    Jenny Piotrowicz likes this.
  2. Hellen

    Hellen New Member

    TE recovery (from BCP)

    Thanks for posting this! We don't get many success stories - for whatever reason (I think if the HL does recover then women just want to move on. And I don't blame them)!!

    Hopefully, it will help someone else.
  3. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    Totally agree ! I really think with things that are temporary such as TE or hairloss from a hormonal problem, it is usually temporary. But since the process is so long and gradual women often don't come back to tell us of their recovery. I know I have a long way to go with regrowth, but at age 26 I have time to wait it out. I'm thankful I know now that I will never take another birth control pill. The risk is not worth it ! I nearly cried tears of joy when I could start brushing my hair and only have a few shed hairs in the brush.

    If anyone needs any support id be glad to listen and share stories. This is hopefully something I will never have to deal with ever again, but It has also made me so aware of how we as women perceive ourselves, especially regarding our hair.

    Hugs to all.
    Jenny Piotrowicz likes this.
  4. Jules14

    Jules14 New Member

    Congrats! I too have been suffering from TE for six months now related to switching birth control (has biopsy to confirm). My hair loss in the past month has seemed to taper down a bit but it is still shedding too much overall (plus after losing 50% of my hair any little bit stresses me out).
    I was wondering once your hair loss started to lessen, how long before your hair loss was completely back to normal? My amount of loss is def less, but I'm wondering how long it will take to completely go down.
    Also how long was it before you noticed regrowth. I have some regrowth, but not what I feel like I should be having.
    I'm using rogaine and spironolactone, and I'm wondering if especially the spironolactone could be inhibiting regrowth.
  5. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    I really think the best treatment for TE is no treatment. I know it seems hard and like the shedding wont stop without intervention, but it will. It takes time. I hate hearing the whole "be patient" talk, but it's true.

    The shedding tapered off over a month or two and gradually decreased to normal. the whole process was like a mountain with a peak.

    I noticed regrowth about a month before it stopped shedding, but I lost some short hairs too. It's been 2 months and now I have a bunch of very short hairs all over and some longer ones. It's going to be a while before they give me more volume and thickness. they grew in fine at first and kind of like peach fuzz and eventually thickened up after a few centimeters. Now I keep seeing more and more peach fuzz.

    my hair is still thin for now, above the ears and on top were hit the worst. It sucks it's a slow process, but everything on the Internet stating TE is temporary is true. it just takes time. I'm thankful for that, even if it takes a few years.

    Hang in there ! I'm curious why you are on spiro if you have TE ? I don't think that's necessary if you do not have any androgenic loss.
  6. Jules14

    Jules14 New Member

    haha yes my family and boyfriend everyday tell me I just have to be patient (easy for them to say). I agree that time is your best friend with TE.

    My main dermatologist (a "hair expert) apparently treats women frequently with men's 5% foam rogaine. He says it can encourage all the telogen hairs to fall out more quickly and promote regrowth. So I've been doing that twice a day. At first I had a huge shed, but now it is down to I think less shedding then when I started.

    When all this started I freaked out and saw as many doctors as possible. My main hair doctor does not think my TE is related to birth control. But I am positive it is. The only thing that changed in my life was switching from ortho-tricylin to lo loestrin, and the shedding started about three months after switching. Anyways one of the doctors I saw before I had the confirmed TE biopsy prescribed me spironolactone, and said even if it was only TE that it wouldn't hurt (he said he felt comfortable because I had acne and although my testosterone was in the normal range, it was "high normal.") Anyways I'm on Yasmin and spiro now (which I've been on and off both before for non-hair related reasons with no problems).
    Also birth control is an absolute must for me. If my period is not regulated then it comes for about 10 days at a time every 2 weeks with horrid breakouts. Since I've been on multiple brands before and even with switching had no problems I am almost positive this is a bad reaction to lo loestrin.

    But I'm wondering about the wisdom of this "it couldn't hurt approach." I go back to both doctors for a three month checkup in 2 weeks. I guess if my hair loss continues to go down in that period I'll stick with my routine, but I'm not sure if it is causing more harm? lol

    Anyways sorry for this being so long. I'm 23 and so over this. lol My hair was fine to begin with and I look like I have a small child's hair now. lol over it.
  7. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    I'm 26 and also so over this ! It's a peak time in our lives and it sucks that this is what we're spending our time on. I truly believe loestrin is the worst when it comes to hair. I was on nordette previously with no issues.

    It does get better. I thought I'd be bald truly. all of my doctors were mostly horrible. 2 dermatologists stated it was genetic. I was like, there has never been a bald person in my family. We're hairy Hungarians lol ! And i lost half my hair in 5 months! I think many of them are not knowledgeable about this and don't want to admit it. Loestrin lists hair loss as a side effect right on the package !

    Mine happened when I stopped the pill, 3 months later like clockwork. My obgyn was the best and put my mind at ease. She pretty much was like "you won't go bald, it's common, my aunt had it happen to her and she wore a wig, then a year later her hair was fine "

    Have you been checked for PCOS?

    Keep hanging in there. Regrowth will come soon, I'm really opposed to the spiro if you don't need it. I would get a second opinion, especially the you know that it's just TE.
  8. Jules14

    Jules14 New Member

    Ugh yes I know I feel like I am wasting my early twenties being self-conscious. I used to go out every weekend and have a blast. Now I just try to find a good movie to rent or a good book to read! lol

    I did ask about PCOS with multiple doctors. My gynecologist and my hair doctor said I probably didn't have it. They said typically women with it have a "look," usually have weight issues, and typically do not get their period rather than get their period too often. My endo said it was possible I could have it, but my hormones were all in the normal range (even though my testosterone was a little high in the normal range). I really hope that I don't have PCOS, because it is my understanding that hair loss from this is pattern hair loss. Since my scalp biopsy came up negative for AGA I'm for now going with my doctors thought that I don't have it (not that it matters, I'm already on what treats it lol).

    But anyways now i lose 10-20 in my daily shower, and maybe 10-15 while styling. But what really bothers me is the additional 10-20 throughout the day. I hate it. I know that's in the "normal" range, but that is not normal for me. My hair is so thin I feel like there should be no hair loss by now! UGH but hopefully after the next few weeks I'll be back to normal. One thing is for sure, once my hair comes back I will be over the moon. :)
  9. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    Don't worry about those hairs ! I actually am willing to bet that is normal for you and you are just hyper aware of it now after experiencing the hair loss. I really think that is a great sign. I never realized how much hair I lost, but I always found hair on my clothes and stuff before this happened and never thought too much of it. Then in full blown TE I filled brushes after just one wash. So I can definitely tell that this is normal now.

    As for PCOS, I got info from some lovely ladies on reddit who said hair loss is usually on the far end of the spectrum for PCOS. I was scared because I get normal periods but they are very short (2-3 days at most) but my gyno also said she doubted it, most women have absence of periods and more testosteroney like problems. I

    I also met a lot of lovely ladies on reedit who had gone through TE and recovered greatly but never talked about it. So, it's true that recovery happens, people are always more eager to post negative things on the Internet than positive.
  10. Jules14

    Jules14 New Member

    Yup I def know that the hair loss has gone down so much. I used to shower like every three days when this started because no matter how frequently I washed over 100 would come out in the shower, so just seeing 10-15 in the drain is amazing. I also don't have hair all over my pillow anymore. It is so hard for me to remember how much hair loss I had before! I mean I would have to clean my floor once a week to get up all the hair, and my brush would be full after a couple of months, but I still think I'm not quite back to normal. I'm hoping the next month will see me through the shedding!
    I'm trying to focus on regrowth! Loading up on vitamins and proteins. I also got a chlorine filtering showerhead and started using sulfate free shampoo. I think these have helped!
    My doctors said pretty much the same thing about PCOS, so I really doubt that I have it. My endo said usually it is pretty clear when a woman has it, and he said my complete lack of any facial hair didn't fit either.
    Where on reddit are you finding people with hair problems? I'm on reddit 24/7 now since I have no life anymore. lol
    So ready for this to be over! But according to my doctor I have about a year and a half left to go.
  11. Fearofbears

    Fearofbears New Member

    sulfate free shampoo definitely helped with the inflammation I had from shedding, as well as coconut oil. Be careful of the vitamin intake, too much vitamin A is no good. I just take a multi and iron (my iron is usually low).

    I actually made a couple posts on twoxchromosome on reddit about it and asked for experiences and a bunch of women came forward about it. A lot were related to birth control pills, and some PCOS. But even the women with PCOS got their hair back mostly after their hormones were back in order. the women stated they didn't get all their hair back, but the general consensus was 95% percent which I am totally okay with.