Unwanted Hair Growth During Pregnancy

pregnant woman in the grden

While you may love the thick, luscious hair on your head, behind closed doors, you may be horrified at all the new places your body is growing unwanted hair. Many pregnant women complain that they’ve experienced unwanted hair growth on their upper lip, chin, cheeks, neck, back, breasts and abdomen. Before you fall into utter despair at the thought of how you will have to remove all this unwanted hair, take heart — the fluctuation in hormones that is causing this extra hair growth will eventually level off and disappear after you have your baby. After delivery, your pattern of hair growth should return to normal within six months.

Unwanted hair growth during pregnancy is caused by the hormones of pregnancy. Androgens, or sex hormones, are primarily to blame, in addition to higher levels of cortisone. As pregnancy hormones begin to rise rapidly during the first trimester, women may start to notice the new hair growth. It may be more noticeable in women with dark hair already, but even fairer women may notice dark hair growing where there was none previously. Other women may simply notice that their arm or leg hair is growing thicker and darker than before.

pregnant woman sleeping

During the pregnancy, your treatment options for unwanted hair growth are fairly limited. You should avoid any depilatory creams until after the pregnancy and instead, stick with manual options such as tweezing, waxing or shaving. Thanks to increased blood flow, your skin may also be more sensitive to more aggressive treatment using chemicals or bleaches, and they may affect your fetus as well.

After your pregnancy, if you find that the pregnancy-induced hair growth is not resolving fast enough, ask your dermatologist what treatment options are available to you. More permanent options for removing the hair may include laser or electrolysis treatments which can be quite painful. These treatments are generally thought of as safe during pregnancy, but many women opt to wait to get them until after delivery, instead of subjecting themselves to more pain and discomfort. While some may believe that the price of these treatments may be cost-prohibitive, preventing re-growth of the hair during subsequent pregnancies may be all the convincing you need!

While you have less unwanted hair growth to look forward to after having your baby, the unfortunate side to it is that you’ll start losing all the thick hair you developed on your head. Due to the fact that the hormones of pregnancy that put your hair follicles’ resting stage on hold, more than the usual numbers of follicles go into the resting stage at the same time after delivery. This results in the shedding of more hair. This hair loss after delivery should level off within a few months as well, hopefully by the time your unwanted hair growth disappears.

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