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Pubic Hair Loss
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spoiltj posted:
I had a hysterectomy in 1992 and since then have lost almost all of my pubic hair....Does anyone else have this problem, or know why???? I was 37 when I had the surgery and am now 55.
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear spoiltj: Here are some POSSIBLE explanations.

1. Oophorectomy--If you had your ovaries removed at the time of hysterectomy, that can remove a significant source of androgens (male hormones) like testosterone. Such hormones are a stimulant to pubic hair growth (as well as unwanted coarse facial hairs).

2. Adrenocortical Insufficiency---The cortical portion of the adrenal gland also produces androgens. A woman may present with absent armpit hair as well. If there is high blood potassium levels and hyperpigmentation this diagnosis is most likely.

3. Autoimmune Disorders--Autoimmune problems such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can be linked to female hair loss. Alopecia areata can produce patchy hair loss which can range from thinning to overt bald spots. Allopecia areata, like other autoimmune disorders, is characterized by exacerbations and remissions. Other autoimmune conditions which may involve hair loss include lichen planus, and scleroderma.

spoiltj, you did not mention any other constitutional symptoms (eg weakness, fatigue, weight loss), but if you still have your ovaries I would suggest that you mention the pubic hair loss to your GYN or primary care MD. If you do get a conclusive diagnosis, would you be kind enough to write us all back? Yours is a difficult question which we get only rarely, so it would be of benefit to know what actually caused the loss.

In Gratitude,
Jane
 
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spoiltj replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
Jane, thank you for your help. Have scheduled an appointment with my GYN and will be sure to bring this up. I just believed that the loss of pubic, underarm and leg hair was something that happened as I got older.
To answer your other questions: I have had no weakness, fatigue or weight changes. The only physical change seems to be the extreme insomnia which started right after the hysterectomy. I now get by on 3-4 hours sleep.
I will definitely let you know the result of the Dr appointment.
Again thanks, spoiltjT
 
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someonewhocares3 responded:
I know that loss of pubic hair is very common for women in "surgical menopause" (castration). I don't know how common it is in natural menopause. But it's fairly common for the ovaries to fail or function less than optimally after a hysterectomy which causes some of the same severe symptoms as if they'd been removed. This may not occur for a number of years after the hyst.
 
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someonewhocares3 responded:
Regarding insomnia - it is so common after hysterectomy! So you've been getting by on 3-4 hours sleep since 1992? I feel for you! Have you tried a calcium/magnesium supplement or a sleep aid? Are you on HRT - that usually helps!
 
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to spoiltj's response:
Dear spoiltj: To a certain extent you are correct, with aging there may be a decrease in hair growth. As you may have noticed, many women even get thinning hair on their heads with aging. But to have a hairless vulva is not common (unless you are a woman who shaves away pubic hair). Having your GYN check things out is very reasonable--even if it just leads to reassurance that the hair loss is not a symptom of something else.

Someonewhocares has offered some good thoughts about the insomnia. Only 3-4 hours of sleep is not a lot, unless that has been the case most of your life. You might want to broach that subject with your GYN as well, if the insomnia is troublesome for you.

Yours,
Jane

PS Thanks to someonewhocares for a careful reading and a supportive reply.
J


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