The changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the post-partum period

Authors


  • Conflict of interest

    None.

  • Funding sources

    None.

Abstract

Background

In pregnancy, increased numbers of hair follicles remain in the anagen phase for longer periods due to hormonal changes and return to the telogen phase within 3–6 months of delivery with a sudden drop in hormone levels. This results in excessive shedding of hair known as post-partum telogen effluvium.

Objective

To determine the changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the post-partum period.

Methods

We included 116 women in this study; 28 women at the 24th week of pregnancy, 30 pregnant women at term gestation, 29 women in the 4th post-partum month, and 29 in the first post-partum year. The number of breastfeeding mothers in the post-partum period and the month in which they were examined were also recorded. The ratios of anagen and telogen were measured using Trichoscan.

Results

A statistically significant difference was observed between the groups in terms of the anagen and telogen ratios (P = 0.042, P = 0.042). In the inter-group comparisons, the mean anagen rate in the 4th post-partum month was significantly lower than that in the 6th and 9th month of pregnancy (P = 0.045, P = 0.038), while the average telogen rate was significantly higher (P = 0.045, P = 0.038). The mean anagen rate in the 4th post-partum month in the breastfeeding group was significantly higher than that in the non- breastfeeding group (P = 0.014), while the mean telogen rate was significantly lower (P = 0.014). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (the breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding groups) in terms of the mean anagen and mean telogen ratios in the first post-partum year (P = 0.385).

Conclusion

The anagen rate increases during pregnancy and the telogen rate rises after delivery, however, there is no exaggeration in these changes in most women.

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