Definition - What does Hirsutism mean?

Hirsutism is the growth of male pattern hair or other masculine features in women. Hirsutism is triggered by a hormonal imbalance, which may be triggered by the development of certain conditions or hereditary syndromes. The hormonal imbalance may interfere with conception and prevent pregnancy from occurring.

FertilitySmarts explains Hirsutism

Hirsutism is caused by an imbalance of sex hormones. While women naturally produce a limited amount of male-based hormones (called androgens), the onset of symptoms is due to the overproduction of these hormones. Several conditions can cause the overproduction of androgens:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Tumors
  • Medications
  • Cushing’s syndrome

Symptoms of hirsutism include:

  • Dark stiff body hair on the chest, face, and back
  • Deepening voice
  • Acne
  • Breast size decrease
  • Clitoris enlargement
  • Acne

Women with a family history of hirsutism are more likely to develop the condition.

Treatment for hirsutism involves a variety of home based treatments, medication, and therapy:
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Anti-androgens
  • Topical cream
  • Electrolysis
  • Laser therapy
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