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Choosing the Right Contraceptive for Those with Alopecia: A Comprehensive Guide

When you suffer from hair loss or alopecia, selecting the right contraceptive is crucial as some hormonal contraceptives can exacerbate the condition. Hormonal fluctuations can significantly impact hair health, and while some contraceptives can help balance hormones, others might worsen hair loss. This blog will explore various contraceptive options available in the UK, detailing their suitability for individuals concerned about hair loss. Please note that this acts as a guide to help you, when discussing contraception with your prescriber.

Non-Hormonal Contraceptives

Copper IUD (e.g., T-Safe, Flexi-T)

Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) are a highly effective, long-term, non-hormonal method of contraception. They work by creating a local inflammatory reaction that is toxic to sperm and eggs, preventing fertilisation. Since copper IUDs do not release hormones, they do not affect the body’s hormonal balance, making them an excellent choice for individuals concerned about hair loss.

Barrier Methods (Condoms, Diaphragms, Cervical Caps)

Barrier methods physically block sperm from reaching the egg, preventing pregnancy without altering hormonal levels. This category includes condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps. These methods are free from any hormonal components, thus preserving the natural hair growth cycle and avoiding any potential for exacerbating hair loss.

Hormonal Contraceptives with Low Androgenic Activity

Combination Oral Contraceptives (COCs)

Yasmin (drospirenone and ethinylestradiol)

Yasmin contains drospirenone, which has anti-androgenic properties. This combination pill helps balance hormones without significantly increasing androgens, which can contribute to hair loss. It is often recommended for individuals with concerns about hormone-related hair loss.

Cilest (norgestimate and ethinylestradiol)

Cilest contains norgestimate, a progestin with low androgenic activity. By maintaining a balanced hormonal environment, Cilest is less likely to cause hair thinning or loss associated with higher androgen levels.

Marvelon (desogestrel and ethinylestradiol)

Marvelon includes desogestrel, another low-androgenic progestin. This combination helps regulate hormone levels without the significant risk of exacerbating hair loss.

Femodene (gestodene and ethinylestradiol)

Femodene contains gestodene, a progestin with low androgenic activity. It maintains a balanced hormonal environment, reducing the likelihood of hair loss related to hormonal fluctuations.

Vaginal Ring

NuvaRing (etonogestrel and ethinylestradiol)

NuvaRing provides a consistent, low dose of hormones through the vaginal ring. This steady hormone delivery helps maintain balanced hormone levels, beneficial for hair health. The consistent hormone release avoids the peaks and troughs associated with oral contraceptives.

Transdermal Patch

Evra Patch (norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol)

The Evra Patch delivers hormones steadily through the skin, providing a stable hormone level that helps avoid the hormonal fluctuations that can affect hair growth. This method typically includes low-androgenic progestins, making it a suitable choice for those concerned about hair loss.

Progestin-Only Options with Low Androgenic Activity

Progestin-Only Pills (Mini-Pill)

Cerazette (desogestrel)

Cerazette contains desogestrel, a progestin known for its low androgenic activity. This makes it a favourable option for individuals concerned about hormone-induced hair loss.

Norgeston (levonorgestrel)

Norgeston contains levonorgestrel, which has some androgenic activity but is present in a lower dose in this formulation. It can be a viable option for those seeking a progestin-only pill.

Hormonal IUD

Mirena (levonorgestrel)

Mirena releases levonorgestrel locally within the uterus, resulting in minimal systemic absorption and thus less impact on overall hormone levels. This localised hormone release makes it less likely to cause hair loss.

Jaydess (levonorgestrel)

Jaydess is similar to Mirena but with a smaller dose and size, making it suitable for individuals who are sensitive to hormones. Its minimal systemic absorption helps maintain stable hormone levels, reducing the risk of hair loss.


Nexplanon (etonogestrel)

Nexplanon provides a low, steady release of progestin over time, reducing the likelihood of hormone-related hair loss. While it is essential to monitor for any signs of androgenic effects, its low dose and stable hormone release can be beneficial for hair health.

Additional Considerations

Consult with a Healthcare Provider

It’s essential to discuss your specific concerns and health profile with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate contraceptive method for you. They can help assess the risk factors and choose a method that minimises the potential for exacerbating hair loss.

Monitor and Adjust

If you start experiencing hair loss with any hormonal contraceptive, consult your healthcare provider. They may suggest switching to a different method or brand to better suit your needs.

Choosing the right contraceptive method is essential for those suffering from alopecia. Understanding the impact of different contraceptives on hair health can help in making an informed decision. Always consult with a healthcare provider to find the best option tailored to your needs.


1. Cleveland Clinic. "Intrauterine Device (IUD) for Birth Control." [Cleveland Clinic](

2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). "Birth Control Options: Barrier Methods." [ACOG](

3. DermNet NZ. "Contraceptive Choices and Skin Health." [DermNet NZ](

4. Planned Parenthood. "Contraceptive Vaginal Ring." [Planned Parenthood](

5. Mayo Clinic. "Birth Control Patch." [Mayo Clinic](

6. Contraception Journal. "Progestin-Only Oral Contraceptives (Mini-Pills)." [Contraception Journal](

7. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). "Hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Skyla)." [ACOG](

8. Mayo Clinic. "Nexplanon (Etonogestrel Implant) for Birth Control." [Mayo Clinic](


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