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Did HRT improve your hair or make it worse?

(65 Posts)
ALaughAMinute Wed 24-May-17 11:15:54

I was recently prescribed Elleste Duet 1 mg by my GP as I have been suffering from some very unpleasant peri menopausal symptoms including hair loss. I have been taking these for 12 days and so far feel fantastic! However, having done some research on HRT and hair loss I am concerned to learn that some progesterone-based pills, including those containing levonorgestrel, norgestrel and norethisterone, as well as tibolone, may induce or worsen hair loss and as the Elleste Duet progesterone tablets contain norethisterone I have decided that I don't want to risk taking them.

I have just phoned my GP and am waiting for her to call me back. I hope that she might be offer me Femoston as an alternative as it contains dygesterone which is the least testosterone derived.

So as someone who has been suffering from from hair loss even before taking HRT I am hoping that HRT is going to improve it.

I would be interested to hear about your experiences. Did HRT improve your hair? Did you see an improvement in texture and volume or did it fall out? if so which HRT were you taking?

Some progesterone is testosterone derived which I understand has an androgenic effect which can lead to or exacerbate hair loss.

Progestogens which can be used cyclically are of 3 main types:

Testosterone derived - Norgestrel, Norethisterone acetate and Levonorgestrel.
Less testosterone related - Medroxyprogesterone acetate(MPA).
Least testosterone related - Dydrogesterone and Micronised progesterone (Utrogestan).

SunsOutPlumsOut Wed 24-May-17 11:20:14

If you feel good I'd continue to take it - nothing might happen to your hair!

Have you taken the pill? How was your hair then if so?

Alternatively you could try a patch or gel along with utrogestan which is a micronised progesterone more like our own.

I use patch and utrogestan along with testogel and my hair is great. I've tried loads of different hrt types and can honestly say hair loss is not among the reasons I changed smile

ALaughAMinute Wed 24-May-17 11:50:08

I hear what you're saying Sun, but as someone who already has baby fine hair I don't want to take any risks. I was on the pill many years ago and don't remember my hair falling out so it might be okay but from I've read I would rather take one of the HRT's that is least testorone related but I will see what my GP says.

I'm glad yours is working well for you. I like the idea of taking a progesterone that is similar to our own.

PollyPerky Wed 24-May-17 12:16:26

You need to remember that the risks about hair loss only affect some women. You may be absolutely fine. Even if there is some hair loss it would not be permanent. If you are otherwise happy on that brand why not carry on for 3 months then re-assess?

I used norethisterone for 5 years and noticed no hair loss. I am using Utrogestan (micronised progesterone) now and feel my hair loss may have speeded up - it's not noticeable except more hairs in the hair brush and when I comb out my wet hair.

If you decide to try Utrogestan, you need an estrogen-only pill, patch or gel alongside for some of the month, so 2 separate products.

ALaughAMinute Wed 24-May-17 12:53:49

Polly, I dare say the risk of hair loss is very small but it is listed as one of the possible side effects of Northisterone.
Sometimes I think I would be well advised to take an HRT that is one of the least testosterone related and sometimes I think I should continue taking Elleste Duet and see what happens.

I soooo want HRT to improve my hair!

Think my GP is going to phone me after lunch.

PollyPerky Wed 24-May-17 13:05:36

Why not wait and see?
If hair loss starts, change then- presume it will be gradual loss of a few more hairs (100 a day is normal) not male pattern baldness which is irreversible?

You should notice hair loss quite easily so could switch then?

On the other hand it's not a huge step to change to Femoston is that's what you fancy.

ALaughAMinute Wed 24-May-17 13:37:23

Thank you Polly, you're right, I'd probably be fine It's just I couldn't help noticing how much hair I'd lost when I blow dried my hair this morning so I started googling HRT and hair loss which caused me to worry.

Just had a chat with my lovely GP and she said she would investigate and get back to me.

ALaughAMinute Fri 26-May-17 09:26:03

I've just had a text from the surgery to say that a prescription of Femoston is available for collection so I can only assume that my GP thinks it's a good idea to switch from Elleste Duet to Femoston. I just hope she's left instructions as having only been on Elleste Duet for 13 days I'm not sure when I should start taking it. Common sense tells me I should finish the oestrogen (white tablets) in the Elleste Duet packet and then start on the progesterone tablets in the Femoston packet but I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

Just thought I would update this thread in case anyone has a similar concern and is interested to know the outcome.

kylataff Fri 21-Jul-17 22:37:59

Hi AlaughAminute,
I am really keen to hear how you are getting on. I have started taking Elleste today - my main reason for starting HRT has been my hair loss!
I say hair loss but its not that my hair is falling out - it is just growing back finer and finer ( the cause of male pattern baldness). How are you finding Fernaston - considering ringing my GP myself now and asking to change just in case!

ALaughAMinute Sun 23-Jul-17 07:17:43

It's early days yet but the signs are very good indeed. My hair has stopped shredding and I am hopeful that it will grow thicker as the new hair was growing back a lot finer as you say. But time will tell, I will have to wait and see.

I'm also sleeping a lot better at night and my eyes are clear and bright and my completion is positively glowing. And most importantly, I'm happy again! I can't say enough positive things about HRT and I am very pleased that I started taking it. That said, I think I may have overreacted by asking my GP to switch brands so early on as only a small percentage of women that take Elleste Duet experience hair loss, but given that I was already losing hair I didn't want to risk losing anymore.

Good luck.

kylataff Sun 23-Jul-17 14:58:59

Thanks for replying. I think ill try the elleste for the trial period of 3 months and if i feel that my hair is no better or worse then i will request the change. Maybe we can catch up on this thread in 6 months and share our experiences 😊

PollyPerky Sun 23-Jul-17 15:30:30

Just to say it's great you feel better! Long may it last grin

ALaughAMinute Sun 23-Jul-17 17:23:36

I think ill try the elleste for the trial period of 3 months and if i feel that my hair is no better or worse then i will request the change

That sounds very wise Kylataff, Elleste Duet is very popular so there is every chance you will get on well with it.

I will come back in six months (if not before!) to compare notes. Hope all goes well for you.

Thank you Polly, I can't believe I left it so long. I only wish I had started taking it sooner!

Dorje Wed 02-Aug-17 20:14:30

I use bioidentical hrt: oestrogen and progesterone, as oestradiol and utrogestan and my hair has got thicker and curlier.

Glad everything seems to be working out for you with your hrt OP. I love mine.

kylataff Wed 02-Aug-17 21:26:41

Hi Dorje.
Good to hear.....another possibility to request if the others dont help me. Cheers

ALaughAMinute Thu 03-Aug-17 11:52:04

I use bioidentical hrt: oestrogen and progesterone, as oestradiol and utrogestan and my hair has got thicker and curlier.

Thanks for that Dorje, that's good to know!

willosgang94 Sat 05-Aug-17 16:08:55

Hi a laughaminute just read thread of you originally shredding your hair which I too do!!! So scary to brush it and see lots of hair in sink it's making my anxiety worse.what hrt are you taking please is it a high dose? Have you noticed a big improvement with your hair?xx

willosgang94 Sat 05-Aug-17 17:15:39

Hi Dorje.I too suffer with hair loss I am now taking Celeste duet conti 5weeks into it with no improvement as yet,anxiety through the roof!!!! It's trial and error as my hrt that was brilliant has been discontinued .was wondering how your hair is now and how long have you been on your hrt?what name is it please so I can ambush my GP.xx

willosgang94 Mon 07-Aug-17 13:14:58

Hi I too suffer with hair loss due to menopause was wondering how your hair is now as I read your post.are you taking anything that has helped.any supplements or hrt that has helped.x

Dorje Mon 07-Aug-17 14:58:08

My fantastic hrt is called

Oestrogel, or oestradose, it's oestrodiol 17b as the active pharmaceutical ingredient. I rub this clear gel on daily on my upper arms and shoulders and inner thighs.

The progesterone is a micronised progesterone capsule, called utrogestan and I use a 100mg capsule in my vagina for 10days out of 30. It dissolves and gets absorbed locally to thin the endometrium so I have a withdrawal bleed every month.

Both the oestrogen and progesterone are pharmaceutical products but they are bioidentical, so they are chemically what you would produce yourself exactly.
I have no side effects, except feeling fantastic, sleeping well, being mentally on the ball, and having glowing skin and bouncy hair. It's all good.

Fwiw I read carol vordeman uses the same stuff.

Glad to help!

willosgang94 Mon 07-Aug-17 15:48:12

Thank you so much 4 the info.glad you feel fantastic .can't wait to feel like me again.x

PollyPerky Mon 07-Aug-17 16:03:53

Dorje Have you been advised to use 100mgs x 10 days only? The licensed amount is 200mgs x 10 days or 100mgs daily if using continuously.

willosgang94 Mon 07-Aug-17 19:22:38

Hi ,as I too suffer with hair loss due to menopause was wondering how are you getting on with your elleste.any improvement with your hair,

ALaughAMinute Sun 20-Aug-17 12:56:18

Quick update:

I've now been on HRT for 3 and a half months and my hair is very definitely growing back!! 😊😊

Not only was my hair generally thinning but it was actually coming out from the root. I now have new little baby hairs growing that are approximately 1/4 of an inch long throughout my hair, but particularly around my temple where it had started to get quite thin. 👍😀👏

Just to make my situation clear to anyone who is interested. I started on Elleste Duet 3 and a half months ago but read online that Elleste Duet could actually cause hair loss (see my OP) so switched to Femoston 1/10. This worked very well for me apart from extremely heavy periods, so I asked my GP to put me on Femoston 1/5 conti as I am 54 and I have been taking this successfully for 2 weeks and so far so good!!

HRT has also improved my mood and enabled me to sleep at night so I am very a happy bunny! 😊👌😀

kylataff Sun 20-Aug-17 13:52:19

Fantastic news....must admit i bottled it and swapped to femoston. Been on it a moth now... it might be wishful thinking but i do think my receding hairline is less receding.....fingers crossed

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