How to Treat Hirsutism And Virilisation?

  • December 08, 2023
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How to Treat Hirsutism And Virilisation?

What is Hirsutism and Virilization? 

The condition is closely linked to hormonal imbalances, with an emphasis on the overproduction of androgens, including testosterone. Androgens are male sex hormones that, when present in excess in females, can lead to the manifestation of male physical traits. These hormonal imbalances can be indicative of underlying health issues, making it essential to address both the visible symptoms and the root cause of hirsutism. Hirsutism and virilization are conditions that primarily affect women and individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB). These conditions are characterized by the abnormal and excessive growth of coarse, dark hair in areas traditionally associated with male hair patterns. Hirsutism specifically involves the development of unwanted hair on the upper lip, chin, chest, abdomen, or back, in contrast to the fine "peach fuzz" that typically grows in these areas.

Virilization, on the other hand, not only entails excessive hair growth but also encompasses the development of male secondary sexual characteristics in females, such as a deepening voice, increased muscle mass, and male-pattern baldness. The condition is closely linked to hormonal imbalances, with an emphasis on the overproduction of androgens, including testosterone. Androgens are male sex hormones that, when present in excess in females, can lead to the manifestation of male physical traits. These hormonal imbalances can be indicative of underlying health issues, making it essential to address both the visible symptoms and the root cause of hirsutism.

Why Does Hirsutism and Virilization Occur?

The underlying causes of hirsutism and virilization are closely linked to hormonal imbalances, notably the increased levels of androgens in women. Androgens are male sex hormones, and while women naturally produce small amounts of them, an excess can lead to the manifestation of male physical traits. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common endocrine disorder, is a frequent culprit behind these conditions. PCOS is characterized by cysts on the ovaries and hormonal imbalances, often resulting in elevated androgen levels. Other potential causes include congenital adrenal hyperplasia, adrenal tumors, and ovarian tumors that produce androgens.