Hair Loss and Progesterone

I have been having hair loss and hair thining for about 15 years now. I had my thyroid removed in 2004 and I am taking thyroid medication to replace the TSH. I read that TSH, DHT and Progesterone have an impact on hair loss/thining in women.

No dermatologist or general practicioner was able to help my hair loss/thining. After I read about the high impact of hair loss (75% of hair loss is due to low progesterone according to that articel) I went to the doctor and asked for a blood test on my progesterone since no doctor had ever checked it before. My progesterone level came back at 0.8! which, according to what the doctor told me, is way too low and he gave me a progesterone medication.

The progesterone level is supposed to be between 3.3 and 26. So my progesterone was almost non-existant. I am hoping that the hair loss and thining of the hair will improve in time. However, I realize that 15 years of hair loss and thining are not going to be fixed in one month, according to the article, it takes a long time. But I am not giving up hope.

Comments for Hair Loss and Progesterone

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Jun 18, 2009
Hair Loss and Progesterone
by: Wray

A lack of progesterone can lead to hair loss, due principally to a relatively high oestrogen level. Excess oestrogen is converted into androgens, it's these which cause the hair to fall out. Supplementing with progesterone suppresses both the oestrogen and the androgens allowing the hair to grow back.

Your level is very low, due undoubtedly to the stress you've been going through with your thyroid. Stress drops progesterone levels sharply. You say you've been given progesterone medication, I do hope it's not a progestin and is progesterone. Please bear in mind if it's oral progesterone most of it is destroyed as it passes through the gut and liver, so very little reaches the cells where it's needed. The best routes are injections, suppositories or creams. Please consider taking 2000mg/day N-acetyl cysteine and 2000mg/day inositol (a B vitamin), often called the anti-alopecia vitamin. Both these do help to restore hair growth. Take care, Wray

Jun 07, 2010
help please 62 hair loss now on hrt
by: kathy

Sheding hair for 3 years now. My estrogen started at about 18. 2 years ago, and dropped to 5.0 this year. My progesterone past 2 years always around 1.1 -1.0 Started hrt Feb 1. Prometrium 100 mg once a day, Eveamist once a day 1.53 once a day. Recent labs, 3 times since end of April, in order= progesterone 8.0 Estrogen {estroidal?} 47. Took hormones 1 hour prior to labs. Next labs=end of May --Progesterone 2.8 estrogen= 22.8 did not take hormones before am labs. Next lab=June 4. Took hormones 4 hours prior to labs. Progesterone 12.37 Estro.= 34.3 Is this normal? My thyroid is also a bit off= TSH anywhere from 2.6 to 5.0. usually around 3.1. T3= usually around 2.5 to 2.6 T4 1.12 Doctor gave me 60 mg Armour. I am afraid to try it as I am having a big shedding now as it usually rages starting in May to August. Any help is so much appreciated. Are my prog/estr levels good?

Jun 09, 2010
help please 62 hair loss now on hrt
by: Wray

Hi Kathy I don't believe any woman needs extra oestrogen, we make more than enough in our fat cells. It will also suppress any progesterone you have. For more info please see here.

I assume you are taking oral progesterone, which is not the best delivery system, as most gets destroyed in the gut and liver. I think this is the reason your progesterone level is low, it would be higher if you were supplementing with suppositories or a cream. It's also best to divide the amount into a minimum of twice a day, levels drop too low before the next dose. Oestrogen also suppresses thyroid function, whereas progesterone suppresses oestrogen and has a slight stimulatory affect on the thyroid. Please consider taking 2000mg/day N-acetyl cysteine and 2000mg/day inositol (a B vitamin), often called the anti-alopecia vitamin. Both these help restore hair growth. I also suggest you have a vitamin D test done, a low level reduces the benefits of progesterone and slows the thyroid down. For more info please see here.
I've given links to Medline below so you can check your levels.
Please see here for progesterone.
Here for oestrogen.
Here for TSH.
Here for T3.
Here for T4
Take care, Wray

Oct 11, 2010
hairloss
by: Anonymous

What brand is the best for actyl cysteine. Thanks, Erica

Oct 15, 2010
hairloss
by: Wray

Hi Erica There are several good brands on the market. Online are LEF. They have excellent articles too. Also DCN, which again has excellent articles. Another is Jarrow. And Solgar which is normally stocked by health shops, see here. Take care Wray

Mar 30, 2011
Hair loss with progesterone alone.
by: Anonymous

I am in chemo induced menopause. I've been on 100mg of natural progesterone cream daily with no estrogen. Recently my hair has been falling out in my temple area -- male pattern baldness. I've read that this can be from low estrogen. I know my estrogen level is almost non existent. Do I need to add estrodiol into my regimen? Progesterone alone is not helping. I don't think increasing progesterone alone will help since I don't have any measurable estrogen in my body (blood tests have showed this).

How much estrodiol should I take. Thanks!

May 26, 2011
no estrogen
by: Michelle

Hi, I posted above (chemo induced) and did not yet get a response. I've been on 150 of progesterone for 6 months. I do show a low level of prog in my bloodwork, but no estrogen. Do you ever recommend taking estrodiol, even when a person has none measurable? I'm having hair loss and I wonder if it could be from no estrogen. Does too much progesterone cause hair loss? I'm considering adding estrodiol to my daily regimen. I'd love your thoughts on this. Thanks!

Jun 09, 2011
Hair loss with progesterone alone.
by: Wray

Hi Michelle I'm sorry I can't get to answer the questions as quickly as I'd like to, there are so many now. I would never recommend oestradiol to anyone, as it's implicated in Cancer. Also see our page on HRT. The oestrogen which is tested for is always oestradiol, very rarely oestrone or oestriol. So I'm delighted your level is low, specially as you've had cancer. If progesterone caused hair loss, every pregnant woman would suffer form it, as we make over 400ng/ml each day in the third trimester. The reverse occurs in fact, as hair growth during pregnancy is usually wonderful. The enzyme 5 alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is implicated in alopecia. Progesterone inhibits 5 alpha-reductase activity by 97 +/- 5.3%, see here. You might like to read these comments for encouragement, see here and here. Please have a vitamin D test done, this nutrient is always low in cancer. In fact it's been found that over 20 different cancers are in part caused by a lack of vitamin D. For more info see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. Plus these excellent video's here, here and here. Vitamin D is essential for the anagen growth phase of hair. Plus a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone. Take care Wray

Sep 01, 2011
help with hair loss
by: Susan

Hello Wray,

I have been taking bioidentical progesterone cream for a couple months now in hopes that it will help my hair loss. I am wondering about the dosage and days to take it. Everything I have read says that you should take a break for a few days each month depending on whether you are still menstruating. Is this true? I am reading conflicting information.

Sep 21, 2011
natural progesterone?
by: Anonymous

Has anyone used a natural/OTC product or cream or vitamin that has helped with hair loss due to low progesterone? I'm 40 and the initial battery of tests found no reason for the hair loss outside of low vitamin D and stress. But I do know I have a luteal phase defect through a biopsy. I used progesterone and it helped sustain my subsequent pregnancies, but I'd like to find a natural way to treat it. I just started taking black cohosh.

Apr 29, 2012
ALMOST TOTALLY BALD WOMAN
by: Anonymous

I am 45 yrs old and am almost totally bald -do I get my hormones checked ? I dont know anyway of treating this baldness and it is totally depressing me. Please help !

Apr 29, 2012
ALMOST TOTALLY BALD WOMAN
by: Wray

Hi there We do have a page on Hair Loss which explains why and how it can occur. It also lists a number of nutrients which can help too. High androgen levels are but one cause of hair loss. Please look through the page and see if you can find a clue to what's causing yours, before having your hormones checked. Take care Wray

Mar 15, 2013
can anyone help!!
by: Anonymous

- I am 47 and have been sheding hair for 3 years!!! I take progesterone for uterine hyperplasia(I do not have hyperplasia anymore...however every time I don't get my period they give me progesterone) and every time I take the progesterone my hair sheds Drasically. Doctors say its not from the progesterone! Can anyone help!!!!

Mar 16, 2013
can anyone help!!
by: Wray

Hi there Please can you clear something up for me. You are getting progesterone from your doctor, are you sure it's progesterone, and not a progestin? Progesterone helps Hair Loss, as do a number of nutrients listed on the page. Take care Wray

Mar 18, 2013
Cananyone help!
by: Anonymous

To Wray, thank you for taking the time to answer. The names of the medications I have been given are the followin: Deprovera, Aygestin, Crinone, and Prometrium. They all had the same horrible side effects....Hair loss, tiredness, shortness of breath....just a 3 year nightmare!!! Thank you for any information you could offer.
Thanks, Kay

Mar 18, 2013
postmenopause progesterone levels
by: Anonymous

Hi Wray,

I just went to see en endocrinologist. She didn't seem to know much about anything. She goes strictly by numbers. She told me that once postmenopausal, women do no need any progesterone and that our levels are and should be zero or close to that and there is no such thing as a ratio of progesterone to estrogen when we get older.

Comments?

Mar 21, 2013
Cananyone help!
by: Wray

Hi Kay Oh so the first two are progestins, both have androgenic properties, so would increase Hair Loss. The Crinone is progesterone, which one were you using, the 4% or the 8%? Both will give you too low an amount, the 4% 45mg and the 8% 90mg. The Prometrium is also progesterone and is usually a 100mg oral capsule. Is yours? If it is you will be getting so little it will make symptoms worse, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues", see here. In fact the same applies to the Crinone too, although you are getting the full amount of progesterone it's not enough. Please read our page on hair loss, it tells you how much progesterone to use, and the other nutrients which help. vitamin D is an essential, please have a test done. Take are Wray

Mar 21, 2013
postmenopause progesterone levels
by: Wray

Hi there Interesting! Our fat cells make oestrogen, oestrone, until the day we die. Plus we are all getting extra from the environmental oestrogen mimics which are found everywhere, see Our Stolen Future. We still secrete progesterone, but not from the ovaries. The brain, central and peripheral nervous systems and the adrenals, but not much. So it's very possible to have a skewed ratio in menopause. I wonder why it is that so many menopausal women find such relief when using progesterone. Maybe it's the placebo effect, if so that's also fine, at least they feel better! Take care Wray

Sep 06, 2013
medications making me lose hair
by: Anonymous

I am taking Warfarin, Metoprolol and propafenone for a-fib. My hair is falling out...doc says probably from stress. I think it is from meds. Will progesterone cream help and are there side effects from that.

Sep 10, 2013
medications making me lose hair
by: Wray

Hi there Has anyone checked your oestrogen and progesterone levels? Oestrogen not only causes clots, but heart arrhythmias too. It doesn't appear that the propafenone causes hair loss, although it comes with a long list of adverse symptoms, see here. I see the Metoprolol is given to treat someone with a long QT interval, this drug does cause hair loss, plus many more adverse symptoms, see here Oestrogen causes prolongation of the QT interval, which results in palpitations, arrhythmia, Torsades de Pointes and sudden death. Whereas progesterone shortens the QT interval, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. These symptoms occur far more frequently in women who naturally have a long QT interval, rather than men who naturally have a short QT interval. Progesterone can help Hair Loss, so too can vitamin D. Both prevent clots, vitamin D appears to play a role in the QT interval too. Has anyone checked your vitamin D levels? Please have a test done if not. So to answer your question, progesterone can help but as it thins blood, prevents clots, plus shortening the QT interval, I would use it under your doctors supervision. Take care Wray

Sep 28, 2013
Currently using 250mg of Prometrium
by: Kendra

Hi,
I am currently taking 250mg of Prometrium daily. I am still producing estrogen so I do not take additional and my testosterone is low enough that the doctor put me on it and prescribed spironolactone to block DHT. My vitamin D is low and I take 10,000 iu's daily. I also take B12 Methylate. I take 500 mg of Metformin now upped to twice daily because I am insulin resistant. My hair has been thinning for years at my temple and the follicle has thinned. Just wondering if I am on the right track and would appreciate your input.

Sep 29, 2013
Currently using 250mg of Prometrium
by: Wray

Hi Kendra Oral progesterone is the least effective Delivery system, "The liver and gut region removed a mean of 96 per cent of the progesterone entering these tissues", see here. So you are getting very little. I would recommend changing to a system which delivers progesterone more effectively. Daft to give you testosterone, then give spiro to block it! Progesterone is as effective as spiro in inhibiting 5-alpha reductase, see here, h

Feb 14, 2014
hair loss and menopause
by: Anonymous

I don't take any prescription drugs, however I take supplements from the local health shop. My hair has been falling out and thinning for 8 to 9yrs. I used to have beautiful hair and now I have ugly hair - or rather what's left of my hair.

I also have painful joints, especially small joints, especially knuckles. I am in my early 50's. I used to have perfectly regular normal periods which suddenly stopped. My energy dissappeared like a light switch going off.

I live in a country with no sun. I take Vit D currently 80mg per day. Some red clover because I get the hot flushes but not as badly as others describe it. I use over the counter yam creme. I think it would be cheaper just to use bio-identical hormones. My biggest issue is that I don't like going to doctors as I never get anything from them that works, and they have ridgid guidelines to follow. I would however, like to find a professional - even alternate - that I could consult.

I like excercise, love fresh raw fruit and veg, and am thin.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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