Lack of Hair Growth

I am a 54-year-old woman who hasn't had a period for 5-years. For the past 5-months the hair under my armpits hasn't grown! Can you tell me why?

 

Answer:

 

There are many reasons why hair loss is linked to menopause - and these reasons affect everything from head to toe. 

 

During menopause many women complain of losing hair or thinning hair on their heads; however I've never heard of a woman complaining of hair not growing on her underarms.  Even though for many this may seem like a blessing in disguise - no use for razors, waxing, etc. - in reality it's the body's reaction to a hormone imbalance.

 

When a woman enters perimenopause (the stage before full menopause) her female and male hormones are thrown off balance. All of a sudden a body that's been dominated largely by female hormones - estrogen and progesterone - is taken over by male hormones.

 

This occurs as the body begins producing less and less estrogen and progesterone. As a result the male hormones predominate, and levels of the male hormone androstenedione increase and make up for it. This process can sometimes cause male-like traits in females and as you already know, hair loss is largely a masculine trait. As a result, an increase in body hair and loss of scalp hair can occur.

 

During my research I haven't come across any instances of body hair loss in women; loss of hair on the head yes, but on the body - no. It's typically the opposite with perimenopausal women; many sprout hair in all sorts of unsightly areas. However, I do know that many perimenopausal women develop thyroid dysfunctions that slow down the function of the thyroid and the metabolism - causing sudden weight gain. While a low functioning thyroid can also result in hair loss, I can only speculate that I might be onto something here.

 

Regardless of the cause of your particular hair loss, your best option is to visit your doctor for a medical opinion. 

 


8 comments
Posted by Angela on April 19,2007 at 4:00 PM

Hi I have had lose of hair growth under my arms and legs for 3 years, now I have started to thin down below this is very worring to me, not had cancer treatment, I don't want to lose my hair on my head although it is not as thick as it was. I'm now A young 53

Posted by Terri Nunn, Sebree, KY on December 30,2006 at 12:54 PM
my mom is 55 and is experiencing alot of hair loss on her scalp. she has been in menopause for a couple of years.She is on no medicine. She has no other symptoms. Is there any thing she can do?
Posted by Doreen woad on December 23,2006 at 9:47 PM
I have been menoPausal for the past three years. I am 54 years old. Although hair growes all over my face at times, my head hair has remaind the same length. What is up with this? If I cut my hair which is below my sholder blades, will it grow back?? thankyou for your consideration.
Posted by mickey on December 2,2006 at 4:21 PM
i had chemo  in 1981 and 1982 no period since then i am 67 now. How long does a person stay in menopause? my hair is thinning and i take lots of rx for chf and diabetes and blood pressure meds.  my doctor says no more meds for me.
Posted by lea on November 26,2006 at 1:55 PM
i found this website when searching for an answer to the no underarm hair question; however, i've only experienced lack of growth under my left arm - my right arm still needs light shaving. i've never used any hrt or other treatments. i'm 53 years old (menopausal for 1 year), exercise regularly and am in excellent health.
Posted by Lucy DesRosiers on October 18,2006 at 4:41 PM
Regarding the comments on no hair underarms....guess again, I have experienced lack of shaving on both underarm and legs since my menopause.  While on menopause I was using HRT, whether that attributed to it or not, I dont know, but I save on shaving equipment.
Posted by Editor on September 14,2006 at 9:14 AM

Thanks for your comments Judy.

Hair loss is not unusual for menopausal women, and it's often low thyroid function and changing hormone levels (which are also common during menopause) that cause hair to thin and fall out. Often the hormones in menopausal women are affected in large part by the increased stress they are feeling due to "the change". However if the women in your family have experienced hair loss during menopause then heredity can be the blame.

If you are menopausal and have suddenly experienced hair loss you should visit your doctor immediately. Your doctor will likely ask you what has been occurring in your life in the past 3 to 4 months, before you noticed the thinning of your hair. This is because factors that contribute to hair loss will often take this long to have an affect on our bodies. To be prepared for your doctors questions, it's best to draw up a list of any factors or changes that have occurred in your life during the last 3 to 4 months that you think may be affecting your hair loss.  For example:

  • Have you been diagnosed with a condition/disease?
  • Has your doctor prescribed any new medications?
  • Have you recently experienced a traumatic event in your life (job loss, marital problems, family deaths, social stress, etc.)?

Bring the findings with you to your doctor, and it will help pin point the root of your hair loss/ hair thinning that much easier.

Many doctors and registered dieticians have recently started prescribing soy isoflavones and omega 3 fatty acids to boost estrogen levels and prevent further hair loss in women. Soy isoflavens and omega 3 fatty acids have been shown in some studies to remedy hair thinning in menopausal women.

Posted by Judi on September 13,2006 at 11:27 PM
I am experiencing thinning hair also.  I have been thinking of doing the progersterone cream to balance my hormones.  
Advertiser Links for