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How Pregnancy and IVF Takes a Toll on Your Hair

by: Better Not Younger December 13, 2021 5 min read

In this article about How Pregnancy and IVF Takes a Toll on Your Hair, BNY features a mature female ginecologist with short gray hair wearing a blue uniform while holding ecosonograms in her consulting room.

A lot happens to your body during pregnancy—you already know this, but this also includes your hair. In fact, this especially concerns your hair. Because your hormones are changing while you’re going through pregnancy and undergoing IVF, your hair can be affected. Hair loss during pregnancy may be a concern on your mind, especially for aging women who have thinner hair. But hair loss during pregnancy isn’t something to worry about (too much), because it’s likely to not happen. Undergoing IVF could be a different story, though, so let’s get into it.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Hair?

There’s a strong tie between your hormones and your hair, and anyone who has gone through a pregnancy knows how much your hormones are affected while you’re carrying a child. While you’re pregnant, your estrogen levels are steadily rising, which can lead to fuller, thicker hair. So all that worry about hair loss during pregnancy is for naught! But while pregnancy can really boost the look of your locks, post-childbirth can be rough on your tresses.

 

Postpartum hair loss is totally normal, first of all, so if it happened to you or is currently happening to you, there’s no real need for concern. Those hormone levels that were elevated while you were pregnant will eventually regulate, which means your hair will thin out a bit. It could be alarming at first, because you will see hair loss, but after a few months, you should see your hair pretty much back to how it looked before you were pregnant. Plus, there are plenty of ways that you can help get your hair growth back on track and ease this transitional period—more on that below. If your hair continues to fall out or if you’re seeing irregular thinning, then it might be time to check with your doctor to be sure there are no underlying concerns.


Another hair-related side effect of pregnancy can be gray hair, and like hair loss, it is not uncommon. The jury is out, however, on whether the occurrence of gray hair is related to hormonal changes or increased stress levels—after all, we know what stress can do to our delicate strands.


But let’s take a step back for a moment. What if you’re a woman who is trying to conceive and you’re considering IVF treatments? Is there a relationship between hair loss and infertility?

How Is Hair Loss Related to Infertility?

Hair loss can actually be a sign of infertility, which is something women should be aware of. This is because hair loss can be caused by a hormone imbalance, and hormones play a part in fertility. In one regard, hair loss can be a sign of low thyroid hormone levels, which has been linked to infertility. Hair loss is also a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which also involves higher testosterone levels and lower estrogen levels. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, in turn, can lead to infertility.

Do IVF Treatments Cause Hair Loss?

There is a possibility that a fertility treatment like in vitro fertilization can have a side effect of hair loss, but it’s not something that always happens. More common is that a successful IVF treatment would result in a pregnancy, which means elevated hormones leading to shinier, fuller hair.


When IVF treatments do cause hormonal imbalances, it’s more likely that those hormone levels would be elevated, similar to being pregnant. It’s important to keep in mind that because fertility treatments are a bit different than a traditional pregnancy, there’s a possibility that it can affect your hormones a bit differently and lead to a side effect of hair loss from hormonal imbalances.


Fertility treatments involve fertility drugs, and as with any medication, fertility drugs have potential side effects, most of which are temporary. Hair loss as a side effect of fertility drugs, however, is more so related to their effect on hormone levels. But if you have specific concerns about hair loss associated with fertility drugs, this is also something you can discuss with your doctor.


Another factor to consider is the emotional stress associated with a woman trying to conceive and undergoing all the procedures leading to a successful IVF treatment, including egg retrieval and embryo transfer. While procedures like egg retrieval and embryo transfer are now common and considered safe, they do contribute to the overall stress a woman trying to conceive may experience.

How to Take Care of Your Hair During Pregnancy

Pregnancy takes a toll on your body, so self-care is incredibly important. One of the best things you can do for yourself while pregnant or going through the IVF process is showing your hair some love. While your hormones are adjusting, you can help your hair along its journey to shininess with a supplement that promotes stronger, healthier hair. Always consult first with your doctor to determine your body’s needs beyond your prenatal vitamin, which is often already packed with many hair-friendly vitamins and minerals. And don’t forget your favorite hair-care products throughout your pregnancy to ensure you’re treating your scalp and strands to quality care.

 

Postpartum hair needs even more love, especially if you’re experiencing some hair loss. Try our Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum to nourish your scalp and encourage your healthiest hair. Simply massage it in daily to help replenish any hair that’s falling out after baby arrives. It’s also a great idea to use a nourishing shampoo and conditioner designed for damaged hair, like our Second Chance Repairing Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair and Second Chance Repairing Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair.

 

Beyond your hair-care products, make sure you’re taking care of your hair otherwise so as to not lead to any extra hair loss aside from what will naturally happen postpartum, especially for aging women with thin hair. This includes taking the right vitamins and supplements to promote healthy hair, eating the right foods and being extra gentle with your tresses.

 

Pregnancy and the IVF process can temporarily alter your hair, but it mostly comes down to hormones, which should eventually regulate once you’re no longer pregnant or going through IVF treatments. You can rest your mind about hair loss during pregnancy, because Better Not Younger’s products can help nourish your hair and scalp along the way and have your hair healthier than ever in the end.

 

Tell Us: Did you or someone you know experience hair loss during pregnancy or with IVF treatments? Share in the comments below.

 

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