Hair Loss from Mirena IUD: Ways to Promote Regrowth

Updated on March 9, 2016
kittythedreamer profile image

Nicole is a registered nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.

Hair loss is a REAL side effect of the Mirena IUD.
Hair loss is a REAL side effect of the Mirena IUD. | Source
With the Mirena IUD, your hairline may recede or you may notice diffuse shedding all over your head.
With the Mirena IUD, your hairline may recede or you may notice diffuse shedding all over your head. | Source

The Mirena IUD's Side Effect of Hair Loss

The manufacturers of the Mirena IUD will tell you that less than five percent of women will experience hair loss while taking or after taking this form of birth control. The reality is that 1,300 women do a Google search for "hair loss + Mirena IUD" every month. That's at least 15,000 women every year since the Mirena IUD has come out on the birth control market. Are you one of these women who are searching for the link between your hair loss and birth control?

I have been in your shoes, and I am still suffering the repercussions of the Mirena IUD. The actual truth is that the synthetic hormone used in the Mirena IUD wreaks its havoc on your body's natural hormones and therefore your own natural endocrine system. Because of this synthetic hormone, you may either experience hair loss while the IUD is in place or after it is removed. Just look up "telogen efluvium" and its potential causes, and you will see that an abrupt change in hormones can lead to sudden hair loss in females.

Now that we know what's causing it, how do we stop shedding too much hair? How do we grow back what we've lost? Here are some personally proven ways that will help stop your hair loss and promote regrowth.

First Tip: Get Off the Mirena IUD!

The first thing to do if you are experiencing hair loss while on the Mirena IUD is to get it removed! While you will probably need some other form of birth control to replace it, just know that there are other options out there that are more natural and won't displace your body's own natural hormones in order to prevent from getting pregnant. Do your research and choose a form of birth control that does not have levonorgestrel in it.

If in fact you have already had your IUD removed and are now losing your hair, obviously there's not much you can do as far as having the synthetic hormones leave your body. You'll have to wait until your body's own hormonal levels have balanced out and the synthetic hormones have been filtered from your system naturally. It will take time, but in the meantime, there are some things you can do to prevent further hair loss and promote hair growth.

Second Tip: Be Gentle to Your Hair

My first action to prevent further hair loss was to stop or slow down doing whatever seemed to trigger further hair loss. In my case, whenever I dyed or washed my hair, it seemed to fall out even faster. So here's what I did:

  1. Stop coloring or treating your hair with chemicals.
  2. Do not wash your hair as often. For me, I cut it down to once every three days (you can always put a hat on one of the days or throw your hair up in a ponytail to prevent it from appearing oily).
  3. Switch shampoos to a natural shampoo low in chemicals (most commercial shampoo have paragons and sulfates—things you want to avoid). Or make your own homemade natural shampoo from oils, coconut milk, etc.
  4. Do not brush your hair as often. This sounds weird, but many of us tend to overbrush our hair on a daily basis, causing further unnecessary shedding.
  5. Do not use any ponytail holders that are prone to pulling out your hair. Also, do not put in a ponytail holder so tightly that it will pull out any hair.
  6. Do not use a hair dryer, a curling iron, hot curlers, or a flat iron on your hair—or, if you have to, use it as little as possible. The extra heat can cause further damage to your still-healthy locks.

While this may seem like a huge change to some women who are used to over-treating and over-doing their hair, once you realize you are losing hair, you might change your mind and approach hair care in a different light! I know I did!

Third Tip: Watch Your Nutrition and Drink Water

So now that you know what actions to take in order to prevent further hair loss, what can you do to promote hair regrowth?

Here are some of the things that I changed with my daily routine that is proving to aid in hair regrowth.

  • Take a prenatal vitamin every day (the B vitamins and folic acid in the vitamins are proven to help with hair growth).
  • Drink aloe vera juice. You can blend it into a smoothie or mix it with orange juice in the mornings. The enzymes in aloe vera juice have been used to promote hair growth for years!
  • Drink lots of water. Take half of the number of pounds you weight and drink that many ounces of water each day. (This means if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be drinking 70 fluid ounces of water every day. The reason behind this is that your body needs water in order to hydrate itself and to promote circulation to your scalp and elsewhere.)
  • Eat leafy greens and other foods high in folic acid.

Post-Mirena Hair Growth Regimen (My Own Video):

Other Ways to Prevent Hair Loss and Promote Growth

So once you've realized you have to change the way you care for your hair and your diet, what other ways can be used to promote further hair growth?

Here are some other changes I've made to my life and daily routines.

  1. Stop stressing so much over the little things. Stress only causes further hair loss, and we want to keep what hair we have, right?
  2. Exercise is important. And I can admit that I don't always follow this rule, but in order to have a healthy head of hair, the rest of our body has to be healthy too!
  3. Evaluate how much of your self esteem is wrapped up in your hair. I realized how much of my ego was locked into my hair once I started losing it after I had the doctor remove the Mirena IUD. This caused me to re-evaluate how I felt about myself and really determine other areas of my life that build my self confidence.
  4. Do something positive to outweigh the negative thoughts about your hair. When I first started losing my hair and noticed balding spots, my self esteem was very challenged and I felt extremely depressed. But then I realized that there are way worse things to be going through in life than a few thin patches of hair! It made me appreciate what I do have in my life on a higher level. And so now I am making something positive out of the experience by writing about it and helping others who might be experiencing the same thing.

I wish you all a wonderful life and a full head of healthy hair! Blessings.

Written and copyright © KittytheDreamer (May Canfield), 2013. All Rights Reserved.

We all want hair like the girl on the left, don't we? It is possible, even after Mirena.
We all want hair like the girl on the left, don't we? It is possible, even after Mirena. | Source

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  • profile image

    Strezdoutmommy 9 months ago

    I signed up just to comment on this! I just had my mirena removed about 2 weeks ago because it has been 5 years. Ive been suffering with hair loss the whole time and never connected the two! I'm furious that this is obviously a serious side effect that the drug companies and doctors blow off. I used to have pretty thick curly hair. Now all I can do is pull it back, and I have to be careful how I do so to avoid bare spots. My "bun" or pony tail is so pathetic. I've considered chopping it all off, but I worked so hard to grow it out! After reading your article, I have hope that I may regrow some of what I've lost, but at my age, I'm sure it won't be like it was. (On the menopause train). Thank you for your article. Prenatal vtmns have just made my grocery list!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 12 months ago from the Ether

    Kylie42 - I heard the same thing from people about my hair, but the truth of the matter is, as women we know when our hair is different. And even if other people don't notice it, we do. I would suggest having the Mirena removed, definitely, and yes paragard IUD is a better option. After I had mirena removed, I had the copper IUD placed and had no issues with it. And I've always been a heavy bleeder, myself. The great thing about the copper IUD is that it has NO fake hormones and it lasts for up to 10 years. And from my experience, it has way less side effects than Mirena. Good Luck, Kylie.

  • profile image

    Kylie42 12 months ago

    I think I have lost 1/3 of my hair. I plan to get mirena taken out soon, but I need a replacement BC. I am trying to decide between copper IUD and Nuvo ring. Which one would you recommend?

    I have ruled pills and injections and the patch. I have a history of VERY heavy and long periods, so the copper one I heard can make that worse, but I'd love the extra effectiveness and convenience of an IUD.

    I think my OBGYN thinks I am crazy for thinking that the Mirena is causing hair loss. She says "it's probably just stress" despite noticing the hair loss within 3 months of Mirena. She will say "your hair looks fine" --which it does, I was born with a lot of hair, so when I lost a third it wasn't tragic. Anyway, thank you for this wonderful article and I'd appreciate a little advice. :)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 14 months ago from the Ether

    Angela - Sorry you are experiencing this. It will grow just takes time.

  • Angela Ficca profile image

    Angela Ficca 14 months ago

    I have very thick hair and have always "shed" a lot. About a month after having Marena I started losing hair in large clumps. I have curly hair so I don't brush it. I just run my fingers through it in the shower. So I just assumed I was losing the hair that would normally come out in a brush. But it was A LOT - clumps and clumps. The only thing I had changed about my daily habits or life was the Marena, so I googled it and was shocked to see that I wasn't alone. Last night I removed my IUD by myself (I am not a doc but it was easier than removing a tampon). Now I am waiting for this hormone to leave my body and I'm paranoid about losing more hair. I am going to stock up on herbals and natural solutions for regrowth. I'm really sad about it. My pony tail feels like 1/2 it's thickness :(

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    I had had the Mirena for almost 5 years when I started experiencing hair loss and abnormal pap smears.

  • Jessica Ballard profile image

    Jessica Ballard 3 years ago

    How long have you all had Mirena? I have had mine almost 5 yrs and just started having hair loss. Wonder if this is Mirena or something else?

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Thanks for letting me know. It happens all too often, unfortunately.

  • Lionrhod profile image

    Lionrhod 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Please remove this after you read. I believe your content has been stolen here: http://bestspace4you DOT blogspot DOT com/2014/10/hair-loss-from-mirena-iud-ways-to.html

  • profile image

    Not PreMeno!!! 3 years ago

    I was diagnosed as being pre-menopausal at age 38. Not unheard of, but not exactly common. The problem? I have all of the symptoms but none of my blood levels support the diagnosis. So I start doing research and discover that the hair loss, back pain, hot flashes, night sweats, painful breasts, mood swings, uncontrollable crying and more are probably all related to the Mirena.

    I'm on year 7, that's right, I'm on my second one, and had none of these problems with the first. I wonder if they changed the ingredients or if the whole thing was a bad idea to begin with. Strangely, it's my hair loss that's upset me the most. I'm having the IUD removed in a week, I can't wait. Thank you for the sound advice. I have bald patches all over my head and short enough hair that it really shows.

  • profile image

    gloria 3 years ago

    I don't like iud. I had it put in before i ever had kids and it hurt more then it did when i had my kids. I don't recommend anyone getting it. I didn't keep it in long. I had so many issues after getting it then once it was takin out i went back to normal in no time

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

    Arykah - I don't think it's supposed to hurt to re-grow hair. I know that sometimes your scalp will get itchy losing it but not re-growing it. All the best of luck to you!

  • profile image

    Arykah 3 years ago

    Thank you for writing this! So great to know its not just in our heads, even when our doctors won't admit to anything...which is so strange! I had my mirena taken out 4 months ago, and it took over a month for the hair loss to stop. But I continue to have such a painful scalp that just won't get any better. I can only assume its still from the hormones in the mirena, but I have no idea how to make it get any better, and the dermatologist is at a loss, too...even doing a biopsy next week. !!! Is it possible it hurts this badly just to re-grow your hair?

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is such useful advice. I had hair loss issues when I was getting the Lupron Depot shots. I was also told to take prenatal vitamins. That was about 7 years ago and my hair is totally normal now. I remember it was so scary waking up to hair on my pillow each morning. I am glad to hear your hair is growing back now. :-)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    Hi, Mp. Unfortunately I know all too well the pain you're going through. I can tell you that my hair is growing back now. I have visible baby hairs where I had lost my hair and my hair is looking thicker than it had 5 months ago. Give it time after having it removed, and it will grow back if indeed it is the Mirena causing the issue. All the best to you.

  • profile image

    Mp 4 years ago

    Did your hair ever get better?! Grow back or just stopped shedding? I have the mirena and am removing it tommorow .., have also experienced hair loss since I got it but others convinced me it was all in my head well forward about 1 year and a half later my hair is so thin thAt you can see my scalp and I've been to dermatologist wad told i have androgenic alopecia! And she also told me mirena is not good because it doesn't help with hair loss . I'm also almost 90% sure the mirena caused it because I experienced my hair loss all in one year ... Androgenic Alopecia is something thAt happens over long period of time ... I feel so emotionally unstable and sad because of this ... Just hoping my hair won't get worse after I remove it and praying for a miracle.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    ChristinS - Oh my gosh, yes! I agree. Thank you so much. Blessings.

  • ChristinS profile image

    Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

    Another great hub on this topic. One thing I would recommend is to get your B vitamins in a sublingual form as they will absorb better than the types in hard tablets. Liquid B's help immensely as does a healthy anti-oxidant rich diet. So glad I got rid of Mirena - not only for hair loss but due to huge, painful cysts it caused too.