Hirsutism

Excess of male hormones

Heavy hairiness in women, also called “hirsutism”, occurs mainly in those places where men normally have hair: Breast, neck, chin, upper lip, back. The extent to which a woman feels affected by the condition is very individual and depends on how comfortable or uncomfortable she feels with the hair. Hirsutism can be associated with oily skin and menstrual irregularities, among other symptoms. Female hirsutism often occurs when women produce too many male hormones (androgens).

It is also possible that the natural conversion of androgens into estrogens is disturbed, resulting in an excess. A tumor in the adrenal gland or ovaries can also lead to hirsutism. To diagnose the condition, blood and hormones are the main tests. Genetic tests and an ultrasound of the ovaries may also be diagnostic. Therapy is usually medication (including the pill). Tumors are removed surgically.

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