Can Fibroids Cause Hair Loss?

Uterine fibroids can impact a woman’s overall health in multiple ways. For instance, symptoms like anemia from heavy bleeding and hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair loss.

While fibroids do not directly cause hair loss, thinning hair due to fibroid-related symptoms is more common than many might think. Understanding this connection can help women seek proper treatment and manage their fibroid symptoms and overall health more effectively.


What are Uterine Fibroids? 

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths forming in or on the uterus. More than 70% of women will have fibroids by the age of 50, though many may not even realize it.¹ Fibroids vary significantly in size and location, leading to different symptoms. The location of the fibroids within and around the uterus determines their type.

There are five types of fibroids, including:

  • Subserosal fibroids: Grow on the uterus’ outer wall, causing it to enlarge. They can grow quite large, sometimes reaching the size of a grapefruit. 
  • Submucosal fibroids: Develop within the uterine wall or protrude into the uterine cavity. Submucosal fibroids often cause heavy bleeding during and between menstrual periods.
  • Pedunculated fibroids: These fibroids develop on stalks attached to the uterus and can result in severe pain if the stalk twists. 
  • Calcified fibroids: When fibroids outgrow their blood supply, they begin degenerating, which can lead to calcium deposits hardening the fibroid’s outer edges. 

Is Hair Loss a Symptom of Fibroids?

While hair loss is not a fibroid symptom in itself, symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia can affect hair loss.

Regarding fibroids and hair loss, symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding and anemia affect hair loss. The more common fibroid symptoms include:

  • Anemia due to blood loss
  • Bloating or enlarged uterus
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pain in the lower back and pelvic area
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Frequent urination

If you are unsure whether you have fibroid symptoms, our symptom checker can help determine if you should consult a fibroid specialist about treatment.


The Connection Between Fibroids and Hair Loss

The Connection Between Fibroids and Hair Loss
Fibroids can cause cramping and pelvic pain.

Although many women with thinning hair assume it’s due to genetics or aging, another probable cause is fibroid symptoms. The symptoms of uterine fibroids, which impact hair loss, include heavy periods, anemia, and hormonal imbalances.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Heavy menstrual bleeding often lasts longer than a typical 4—to 5-day cycle. Some women with fibroids also experience bleeding between periods, leading to substantial and chronic blood loss over time. This blood loss can produce chronic iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which there’s a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein in blood carrying oxygen. 

Anemia Due to Blood Loss

Anemia due to uterine fibroids can cause hair loss due to strain on the body. This strain causes the body to prioritize essential functions while diverting resources from less critical processes like hair growth. Reduced oxygenation and nutrient supply to hair follicles cause dry and brittle more prone to falling out. 

Hormonal Imbalances and Their Impact on Hair

Fibroids can also cause hormonal imbalances, disrupting hair growth. Hormones regulate hair growth, so any disruption can increase hair shedding. Hormonal changes from fibroids can exacerbate these effects, particularly in women already susceptible to hair loss. 

The hormones estrogen and progesterone primarily regulate hair growth. Estrogen helps prolong the growth phase of hair follicles, while progesterone supports hair health by balancing the effects of androgens (male hormones), which shrink hair follicles.

However, elevated estrogen levels and the fluctuations in hormone levels caused by fibroids disrupt hair growth, leading to increased hair shedding and thinning. 

Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA) and African-American Women

Losing hair from symptoms of fibroids predominantly affects African-American women, who are also more likely to suffer from fibroids. The specific condition is known as Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (CCCA). 

CCCA is alopecia that causes permanent hair loss by destroying hair follicles. This hair loss typically starts at the center of the scalp and spreads outward as scar tissue forms over the destroyed follicles, producing a shiny and smooth-looking scalp. 

Women with CCCA may notice the following symptoms around their scalp: 

  • Itching
  • Pain 
  • Tenderness 
  • Burning 
  • Stinging 

Research indicates a higher prevalence of CCCA in African-American women compared to other demographics. A study from Johns Hopkins Hospital reviewed the medical records of 487,104 Black women over four years and identified 447 women (0.09%) with a medical history of CCCA. Notably, 62 of these women (13.9%) also had a history of fibroids, compared to 3.3% of women without CCCA.²

The genetic predisposition to CCCA may be linked to the inheritance of profibrotic genes, possibly explaining the association with conditions such as uterine fibroids.³ 

Other Factors Associated with Fibroids and Hair Loss 

Other Factors Associated with Fibroids and Hair Loss

Although hair loss from symptoms of uterine fibroids is common, hair loss is a complex issue with numerous potential causes. Other factors contributing to hair shedding include: 

Stress: Chronic stress increases cortisol production, which disrupts hair growth by prematurely pushing hair follicles into the shedding phase. Women with fibroids may experience significant stress due to chronic pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, and other symptoms.

Nutritional deficiencies: Iron deficiency anemia is common among women with fibroids due to heavy menstrual bleeding. This condition causes chronic fatigue, weakness, and, more significantly, for hair health, decreased scalp oxygenation. Additionally, iron deficiency can impact zinc metabolism, which is vital for hair tissue to grow and repair itself.

Medications: Certain medications and treatments for fibroids can also affect hair health. Medications regulating hormone levels, such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, can cause hormonal fluctuations affecting hair growth. 

Genetics: Genes related to fibroid growth may also influence the likelihood of developing hair loss conditions like CCCA. 

Understanding how fibroids and other conditions impact hair growth makes it easier to manage hair loss more effectively. Addressing these issues with a healthcare provider is essential, as they can offer comprehensive care mitigating fibroid symptoms and their impact on hair health.

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Managing Hair Loss Related to Fibroids

Women who experience hair loss due to fibroid symptoms can manage their condition in various ways, including medical treatments and lifestyle changes.

Here are a few ways to help manage fibroid-related hair loss related: 

  • Iron Supplements:  Supplements help treat iron deficiency anemia by improving blood oxygenation and overall energy levels. However, managing any gastrointestinal side effects impacting nutrition absorption is essential.
  • Stress Management: Yoga, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises can help reduce stress for better hair health.
  • Scalp Care: Regular scalp massages can improve blood circulation to hair follicles, enhancing nutrient delivery. Coconut, castor, and other natural oils can also nourish the scalp.
  • Hair Care Practices: Avoiding excessive heat styling, chemical treatments, and tight hairstyles can prevent additional stress on the hair and reduce breakage.
  • A Balanced Diet: Maintaining a diet with iron-rich foods (lean meats, leafy greens, and beans), Vitamin C (citrus), Zinc and Biotin (buts, seeds, eggs, and whole grains), and Omega-3 Fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts) can help support hair health while combating anemia. 
  • Fibroid Treatment: While fibroids themselves don’t cause hair loss, some symptoms, like heavy bleeding, can lead to iron deficiency and contribute to hair loss. Consult your doctor to discuss if fibroid treatment, like uterine fibroid embolization (UFE)  might be right for you to address both concerns.

USA Fibroid Centers Can Help Treat Your Fibroids

USA Fibroid Centers Can Help Treat Your Fibroids

While fibroids do not directly cause hair loss, symptoms such as heavy bleeding, anemia, and hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair thinning. If hair loss treatments are ineffective, seeking further medical help is vital. 

For women experiencing hair loss and other fibroid symptoms, consult a fibroid specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

One effective treatment option is uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). USA Fibroid Centers offers this noninvasive, in-office procedure, which helps eliminate fibroid symptoms. In some cases, this can address anemia, caused by symptoms like heavy bleeding, leading to hair loss.

With a shorter recovery time of typically 1-2 weeks, UFE is a viable alternative to major surgeries like hysterectomy or myomectomy.

To schedule your consultation with USA Fibroid Centers today, call 855.615.2555 or use our online scheduler

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  1. “Women’s Health and the Environment.” n.d. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
  2. Dina, Yemisi, Ginette A. Okoye, and Crystal Aguh. 2018. “Association of Uterine Leiomyomas with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia.” JAMA Dermatology 154 (2): 213.
  3. Green, Maxwell, Aileen Feschuk, and Manuel Valdebran. 2023. “Risk Factors and Comorbidities Associated with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia.” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology 9 (3): e108–8.