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Hirsutism


Overview :

Hirsutism is not a disease. The condition usually develops during puberty and becomes more pronounced as the years go by. However, an inherited tendency, over-production of male hormones (androgens), medication, or disease, can cause it to appear at any age.

Women who have hirsutism usually have irregular menstrual cycles. They sometimes have small breasts and deep voices, and their muscles and genitals may become larger than women without the condition.

Types of hirsutism

Idiopathic hirsutism is probably hereditary, because there is usually a family history of the disorder. Women with idiopathic hirsutism have normal menstrual cycles and no evidence of any of the conditions associated with secondary hirsutism.

Secondary hirsutism is most often associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (an inherited hormonal disorder characterized by menstrual irregularities, biochemical abnormalities, and obesity). This type of hirsutism may also be caused by:

  • malfunctions of the pituitary or adrenal glands
  • use of male hormones or minoxidil (Loniten), a drug used to widen blood vessels
  • adrenal or ovarian tumors.




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