IVF Babble

My hair is falling out. Is this a result of my treatment?

Fertility treatment is stressful enough, so can you imagine how our reader felt when she started to lose her hair? In a panic she searched through forums to see if other women were experiencing the same hair loss issues. She then dropped us an email and asked us  if this was a direct cause of IVF.

Dear IVF babble,

I have tragically just had my last cycle cancelled, and now, to add insult to injury, I am discovering a considerable amount of hair loss. At first, I put it all down to stress, but then I started to search the internet….and I stumbled across other women who have also started to experience hair loss following fertility treatment”

“I’ve got a bunch of baby hairs growing since finishing my retrieval rounds”

“Yes, my hair texture changed and also thinned out significantly after starting IVF 4 years ago.”

“Yes. I lost a lot of hair after doing IUIs and then again after IVF. It will grow back eventually.”

“Sadly, my IVF cycle was unsuccessful (April) but whilst on the 2ww I started to notice my eyelashes falling out. I assumed it was my hormones being all over the place but began to worry when it continued weeks later. I have seen the three GP’s and they couldn’t explain it as I wasn’t losing any other type of hair. Over the last two weeks, I have been losing hair whilst in the shower, 4 or more strands each time I touched my hair. (the bath is blocked with hair) It’s not so bad when my hair is dry also my eyelashes are worse than ever.”

“So, as you can imagine, I now have lots of questions. Please can you help me understand if this hair loss is/thinning is a result of my IVF treatment, and if so, what can I do to avoid any more hair falling out?!”

We turned to James Hopkisson, Medical Director, Nurture Fertility, Part of The Fertility Partnership to answer our readers questions. This is what James said:
“There are no specific drugs in IVF linked to hair loss and so it is not seen as a risk and there have been no studies looking at IVF and hair loss that I am aware of.
However the many changes in hormone levels that happen over a woman’s reproductive life, and conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid disease and menopause, can result in a plethora of skin and hair symptoms.
Stress is also a recognised cause of alopecia, although the reason behind it is still unknown.
If symptoms are prolonged after IVF, I would advise undergoing tests for thyroid function, iron stores and an endocrine assessment, and also reviewing lifestyle factors.
Complimentary therapists also often recommend supplements. However I would be cautious, as sometimes people can be given advice and sold products or treatments that have very little proven benefit.”
Have you lost any hair whilst undergoing fertility treatment? We would love to hear from you. What advice did your doctor give you? Did you take any supplements? Did the symptoms ease? Drop us aline at info@ivfbabble.com


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