Some women notice hair loss during menopause. But when most of us think about this hormone-related symptom, we think about the hair on our heads.
However, that’s not the only area on your body where you might experience thinning and bald patches; your pubic hair can be just as susceptible, too.
This common menopause side effect is rarely discussed, yet a surprisingly large number of women experience pubic hair loss during and after menopause. So, it’s important to understand what causes it and how to navigate this change in your body if it happens to you.
Since I began writing for Simply Menopause, several women have reached out to me, concerned about hair loss in their private areas. Many of them are unsure if the problem is connected to menopause or caused by another issue. So, I want to shed some light on this often-overlooked aspect of the menopausal journey and set the record straight.
Have you noticed your pubic hair getting sparser since you started your menopausal transition? Rest assured, you’re not alone. Countless women experience the same thing during this phase of life.
In this blog post, I’ll explain everything you need to know about pubic hair loss so that you can navigate this aspect of your menopausal journey with confidence and understanding.
Does Pubic Hair Stop Growing After Menopause?
While pubic hair doesn’t usually stop growing completely after menopause, the speed at which it grows can slow down significantly. Hair follicles also begin to shrink, leading to hair loss, thinning, and bald patches.
So, why does this happen?
Just like the hair on your head, the hair in your pubic region is affected by hormones. Before menopause, we have a significantly higher level of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate the hair growth cycle, keeping follicles in the growing phase for longer.
However, once we reach perimenopause, levels of both of these hormones begin to decrease, and follicles spend more time in the resting phase. During this phase, the follicle takes a break from all that growing and prepares to shed the hair to make way for new strands.
As a result of this hormonal shift, we begin to shed more hair at any one time. This is how bald patches and thinning occur.
The process is known as telogen effluvium hair loss, and it can happen anywhere in your body during menopause, including your head, eyebrows, armpits, legs, and, of course, the pubic region.
Another driving force behind pubic hair loss is an increase in male hormones called androgens. As estrogen and progesterone decline, androgens such as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) become more dominant. This causes the follicles to shrink, making the hair strands thinner and stunting new growth.
How Common is Pubic Hair Loss During Menopause?
While there are no official statistics that show exactly how many of us experience pubic hair loss, we know it’s a common phenomenon among menopausal and post-menopausal women.
So, if you’ve noticed thinning and bald patches in this region, you’re certainly not the only one. I myself have observed less growth down there since I entered my menopausal years, and I know from readers’ comments and emails that many other women have gone through the same thing.
However, not everyone experiences this type of hair loss during menopause. Some women maintain the same levels of pubic and body hair as they did in earlier adulthood. However, in most cases, it will eventually turn gray, just like the hair on your head.
How Can I Slow Down Pubic Hair Loss During Menopause?
While there’s no way to stop or reverse hair loss in the pubic region, there are certain things you can do that may slow down the process.
So, if you’re concerned about thinning hair in your private areas, try these tips.
Dehydration can exacerbate hair loss in all areas of the body, including in the pubic region. So, try to maintain optimum hydration wherever possible.
I like to keep a gallon jug of water with me throughout the day. This ensures I always have fresh water in hand and helps me track my intake.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating plenty of nutrient-rich foods and avoiding junk food will improve every aspect of your health, including the health of your pubic hair.
Try cutting back on sugar and simple carbohydrates. These ingredients drive insulin resistance and increase levels of androgens in the body. This further exacerbates hair loss, not only in the pubic region but on your head, too.
Be sure to incorporate hair growth-supporting nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals such as magnesium, copper, iron, and selenium have also been shown to support healthy hair growth.
Stress produces excess levels of cortisol. Cortisol overload can cause hair follicles to prematurely enter the resting phase. As a result, you might notice sudden bald patches or an overall thinning effect of your pubic hair.
Of course, hair loss isn’t the only consequence of excess stress. Stress also drives inflammation and can lead to a whole host of chronic diseases. So, try to incorporate relaxing habits and techniques into your daily life.
I like to practice regular mindfulness meditation and attend yoga classes on the weekends. This helps to keep my mind balanced and deal with the ups and downs of everyday life.
HRT works by replenishing lost reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Since these diminishing hormones are the driving force behind pubic hair loss, HRT can help to slow down the process and reduce bald patches and thinning.
However, HRT is unlikely to be prescribed for pubic hair loss alone, and this type of treatment does come with risks of side effects. Talk to your doctor to find out if HRT is suitable for you.
In most cases, any pubic hair loss that occurs during menopause will be permanent. This is because levels of estrogen and progesterone remain depleted once the menopausal transition is complete.
If you’re experiencing pubic hair loss during or after menopause, chances are it’s caused by natural hormonal changes in the body. However, certain conditions can also cause this type of hair loss. These include:
• Alopecia areata
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Certain medications, including antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation therapy
• Skin infections
If you’re concerned that your pubic hair loss may be due to an underlying condition, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Most of us know that menopause can cause hair loss in some women. However, not many people are aware that the problem can also affect your pubic region. But as we’ve discovered, pubic hair loss during menopause is very common and a perfectly normal bodily response to shifting hormones at this phase of life.
While there’s no way to stop the process from happening, there are certain lifestyle factors that can help to slow the process down. Plus, hormone replacement therapy can also help you to maintain normal pubic hair growth during and after menopause.
If you’re concerned about pubic hair loss, book an appointment with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and rule out any underlying causes. In some cases, they may also be able to recommend a suitable treatment plan.