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Q:  I have been on the oral contraceptive Yasmin for two years now and have noticed an increase in my hair loss. is there any research conected with this issue?

A:  I am asked about OCs and hair loss quite frequently. Those pills that do not have any testosterone-like activity, which includes Yasmin, Mircette, Kariva, OrthoCyclen and TriCyclen and several others, are basically good for hair. However by themselves they will not completely control a tendency for hair loss. So when hair loss begins when a woman is on an OC, it probably would have happened anyway.

It's important to realize that any drop in estrogen may trigger a shed. This includes giving birth, entering perimenopause AND going off the OC. So I do not recommend stopping because of hair loss. Obviously I can't be aware of every factor in your situation so cannot make specific recommendations.

My new book, The Hormonally Vulnerable Woman, includes detailed information about hair loss, including effects of oral contraceptives.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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