What Causes Hair Loss in Mirena Users?
Are you aware that according to the label about 5% of Mirena users may experience moderate hair loss with long term use? However, the latest statistics suggest otherwise. Women may experience hair loss while on Mirena; however, hair loss becomes even more pronounced immediately after Mirena removal possibly due to changes in the hormonal biochemistry and physiological environment of the body. Mirena contains levonorgestrel that interferes with ovulation by affecting the balance of reproductive hormones. The same hormonal aberration also interferes with physiological functioning of other hormones, enzymes, and chemical mediators that are required for the production of different proteins. For example, synthetic steroids such as levonorgestrel can interfere with the secretion of insulin. Insulin resistance in turn leads to low potassium levels that may affect hair growth and volume.
How is Mirena-induced Hair Loss Managed?
According to a report published in International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (3), the author suggested that 15.7% women report patchy or generalized hair loss and hair thinning that affects their personal life even after removal. There are many alternatives that are both natural and are associated with a lower risk of side effects. Before beginning Mirena use, research the side effects thoroughly. Synthetic hormones affect the natural rhythm of reproductive hormones and should be avoided to ensure optimal health. Here are a few tips to help hair loss issues during or after Mirena IUD use:
- Stop use immediately. If you are experiencing significant hair loss after initiating Mirena use, you should speak to a healthcare professional regarding other contraceptive options. If hair loss continues after removing the device, topical use of minoxidil applied daily on affected areas can aid in hair re-growth (4).
- Eat a healthy diet.It is extremely important to maintain a proper diet that avoids processed foods and includes lots of leafy, green vegetables will supply essential nutrients for healthy hair growth. An adequate amount of protein is also essential for hair growth. Folic acid and vitamin B complex are also helpful in managing hair loss. Also eat lots of leafy green vegetables to help enrich your body with natural elements essential for healthy growth.
- Increase your water intake to flush toxins. It is also extremely important to increase your intake of clean, distilled water to effectively remove hormonal by-products that are causing unwanted side effects. Approximately 12 glasses per day of water is generally helpful in flushing out toxins. Keeping your body hydrated also ensures that your scalp receives proper supply of blood to keep your hair nourished. Mirena Detox is also helpful in regaining your hair volume back.
How Can You Prevent Hair Loss While Using Mirena
- Pamper your hair. Although you are not losing hair because of mistreatment, taking extra precaution is always helpful. As a precaution, stop dying or coloring your hair. Dying and coloring agents have harmful chemicals that can further weaken your hair. Brittle and dry hair is far more vulnerable to environmental and physical changes, resulting in loss with even gentle brushing and styling. Read the label and choose all-natural hair products. In addition, regularly adding oil to your hair will condition and nourish it with ample fats and proteins, both of which are needed for healthy growth and nourishment.
- Avoid excessive shampooing. Restrict yourself to two to three washes per week and not more. Shampoos are usually acidic and also contain stabilizers, preservatives, and alkalis that may damage and over-dry with excessive use. By waiting two to three days between washes, you allow your hair to recover before the next wash. If your hair is inherently oily, hair accessories and certain hair styles can help you look fresh and stylish until the next wash.
- Limit the use of heat. Flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers can cause significant damage to your hair.
- Avoid unusual amounts of stress. Stress will only lead to more hair loss, since stress disrupts your diet and ultimately your health, including the health of your hair. Hair loss is an issue many women hope to avoid, but if you find yourself facing it, there are many ways to counter it including avoidance of drugs and contraceptive devices that may cause or exaggerate hair loss. Self-education and understanding of the side effects of Mirena use can help many women make the smart choice regarding contraception.
- Luukkainen, T., Lähteenmäki, P., & Toivonen, J. (1990). Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device. Annals of medicine, 22(2), 85-90.
- Paterson, H., Clifton, J., Miller, D., Ashton, J., & Harrison-Woolrych, M. (2007). Hair loss with use of the levonorgestrel intrauterine device. Contraception, 76(4), 306-309.
- Backman, T., Huhtala, S., Blom, T., Luoto, R., Rauramo, I., & Koskenvuo, M. (2000). Length of use and symptoms associated with premature removal of the levonorgestrel intrauterine system: a nation‐wide study of 17,360 users. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 107(3), 335-339.
- Hoedemaker, C., van Egmond, S., & Sinclair, R. Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss Case Report-Spironolactone and Minoxidil.
- Russo, J. A., Miller, E., & Gold, M. A. (2013). Myths and misconceptions about long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(4), S14-S21.