When cells in the lining of the womb abnormally end up in the muscular wall of the womb, it results in a condition known as adenomyosis. But while it’s a gynaecological disorder, it can also affect the hair on your scalp.
Adenomyosis doesn’t directly cause the hair to fall out. As a result of what it does to your body, however, it can very well lead to this situation. Moreover, even the treatment for this condition can cause shedding.
Considering the importance of hair to your appearance, you can definitely feel stressed and self-conscious because of adenomyosis hair loss.
But with treatment, it may be possible for you to grow your hair back. However, it’s also important to know and understand the relationship between adenomyosis and hair loss.
Does Adenomyosis Cause Hair Loss?
Adenomyosis can cause hair loss due to heavy menstrual bleeding, a side effect of medications and surgeries, coexisting conditions and just the stress of the condition itself.
Keep in mind that even as tissue lining the uterine wall enters the muscular wall, it continues to act like it normally would. According to the Mayo Clinic, there’s “thickening, breaking down and bleeding.”
But the size of the uterus is now almost twice (or more) as much. And with this enlarged uterus, women experience painful and heavy periods. But other than problems in menstruation, you can also experience the following symptoms:
- Bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain
- Painful sex
- Pressure on the tummy, bladder and rectum
- Painful bowel movements
But as mentioned above, this condition won’t directly make you lose your hair. It can change your body in ways where hair loss can become a problem.
How Adenomyosis Causes Hair Loss?
Let’s take a closer look at the different ways in which you can experience hair loss due to adenomyosis.
Because of the heavy menstrual bleeding, women with adenomyosis can have iron-deficiency anaemia.
While it can affect your body in different ways, one thing that it can do is cause hair loss.
When there’s not enough iron, there’s not enough haemoglobin to carry oxygen molecules to the hair. And this, in turn, affects their growth.
So, nutritional deficiency due to adenomyosis can cause hair loss due to a lack of oxygen for your hair.
Side Effect Of Treatments
The medications and surgeries for treating adenomyosis can also cause hair loss as a side effect. It can happen due to:
- Birth control pills (containing progestin)
- Progesterone-releasing IUDs
- GnRH agonists
- Aromatase inhibitors
- Tranexamic acid pill
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed to patients to help relieve pain due to adenomyosis. But hair loss and thinning have been reported after the intake of ibuprofen, which is an NSAID.
Although, here, it’s important to note that just taking medications can also cause shock hair loss due to telogen effluvium. And it’s possible that ibuprofen hair loss is caused by this.
Other therapies for adenomyosis can also cause alopecia due to hormonal changes.
For example, birth control pills can help with the bleeding, but those containing progestin (artificial progesterone) increase the level of male hormones in your body, and that may exacerbate pattern baldness.
Progesterone-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs) may also disturb the hormonal balance in your body and make you lose your hair. Mirena is a common example of it.
GnRH agonists, another hormonal therapy that may be used for adenomyosis, have also been reported to cause hair loss with long-term use. Aromatase inhibitors can also do the same.
Lastly, tranexamic acid, which is a nonhormonal drug, has also been reported to cause hair loss as a side effect. One animal model study even reported a change in hair colour from this drug.
It’s possible for women with adenomyosis to also have endometriosis. The two conditions are often confused with each other, but they’re different.
In adenomyosis, endometrial tissue grows into the muscle wall. But in endometriosis, it ends up growing on other organs. Both can cause heavy bleeding (and pain).
However, having both these conditions together can take a greater toll on your body. On its own, endometriosis can cause hair loss due to hormonal issues, treatment side effects, nutritional issues, stress, etc.
So, together with adenomyosis, your hair loss might be worsened.
Adenomyosis can have a significant impact on your emotional well-being.
One study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that adenomyosis can affect a woman’s work and daily life. Moreover, it also increases the risk of anxiety and depression.
How To Stop Adenomyosis Hair Loss?
To stop adenomyosis hair loss, your doctor will try to understand what’s causing the hair loss in the first place.
If it’s heavy bleeding causing hair loss due to anaemia, they’ll try to control the bleeding itself through hormonal or nonhormonal medication. Moreover, you might be recommended iron supplements (consult your doctor about taking them).
But as mentioned above, both hormonal and nonhormonal medications for adenomyosis can cause hair loss.
If this is the case, you should again talk to your doctor first (don’t discontinue any drug before that). They might change your treatment plan to stop your hair loss.
It’s important to get treated for the underlying cause of the problem, of course. Because that alone will affect your life quality in many ways.
To better manage your stress, you can also consider looking into different relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, etc. Exercise may also help.
Is Adenomyosis Hair Loss Reversible?
Whether or not adenomyosis hair loss is reversible depends on the type of hair loss you’re experiencing.
If the hair loss is temporary due to telogen effluvium, it’s likely to reverse on its own. Alopecia caused by drugs is usually reversible.
However, if you have more permanent hair loss, like androgenetic alopecia, you’ll probably not be able to reverse it.
For this type of hair loss, many people choose to have a hair transplant for permanent restoration.
Adenomyosis is not as commonly discussed as other health disorders, but it can be very serious. While it can have many serious consequences for your health, it might also end up affecting the growth of your hair.
And there are many different ways in which it can do that. Sometimes, the hair loss is usually temporary, but it might also lead to more permanent hair loss.
In any case, if you’re experiencing hair loss, make sure to consult a medical professional to learn about your alopecia treatment options. They’ll also give you an accurate diagnosis because hair loss can happen due to many reasons.
Reviewed and Approved by Trichologist Yaprak Yazan