Hirsutism is defined as excessive hair growth in androgen-dependent areas of a woman’s body. The condition can affect any woman regardless of race, ethnicity, or age. It most commonly affects women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but it can also occur in women who do not have PCOS. For example, some non-PCOS causes include medications containing male hormones and disorders like Cushing’s disease.
Hirsutism is the growth of unwanted hair in areas where hair is not normally found. The most common symptoms are:
- Facial and body hair on the chin, upper lip, cheeks, or forehead (synonym: “masculine pattern” or “male-pattern” hirsutism)
- Hair growth on chest, back, and abdomen (synonym: hypertrichosis)
Hirsutism can cause acne, irregular periods, weight gain, and fertility problems.
Hirsutism is caused by a lot of male hormones called androgens. These are present in both men and women but in different amounts. Women with hirsutism have higher than normal levels of androgens, which can lead to excessive hair growth on the face and body.
Hirsutism is most commonly caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition causes irregular periods or no periods; it also increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you have PCOS or suspect that this might cause your symptoms–including hirsutism–talk to your doctor about how best to treat them.
Several risk factors can contribute to hirsutism.
- Hormonal imbalances,
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Other conditions, such as Cushing’s disease and hyperandrogenism, may also cause excessive hair growth on the body and face.
- Women with a family history of excessive facial or body hair may be at a higher risk of developing this condition; however, many other factors regarding genetics-related causes of hirsutism are at play.
In addition to genetics and hormonal imbalances, there is some evidence that lack of or irregular periods may contribute towards increased levels of testosterone production in women who experience these symptoms regularly throughout their lives.
Hirsutism can lead to social problems, including low self-esteem and depression. It can also cause infertility in women with PCOS, making it difficult for them to conceive a child. Those who are not infertile but still have hirsutism may also experience severe acne.
There are some steps you can take to prevent the onset of hirsutism:
- Avoid hormone-based medications like birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If you’re on these medications and experiencing symptoms of hirsutism, talk to your doctor about switching them out for non-hormonal alternatives.
- Try not to smoke or drink alcohol; both are known causes of PCOS and have been linked with increased hair growth on the face and body.
- Reduce stress by getting enough sleep each night and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga whenever possible–especially when dealing with an unexpected change in hormones!
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed foods as much as possible; this will help keep your body functioning well overall, which helps regulate hormones so they don’t cause excessive hair growth instead!
How common is hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a common condition affecting up to 20% of women. It’s most often seen in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but can also be present in those without this condition.
How does hirsutism affect my body?
Hirsutism causes hair growth in areas of the body where it is normally not seen. These include the face, chest, abdomen, and back. Hair growth can be thickened or coarser than usual. The main cause of hirsutism is excess male hormones called androgens (testosterone).
How does hirsutism affect my body?
If you have excessive body hair due to your menstrual cycle or pregnancy (hyperandrogenism), this could indicate an underlying condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome or Cushing’s syndrome which may require further investigation by your doctor.
How is hirsutism diagnosed?
Hirsutism is a symptom, not a disease. It’s usually diagnosed by your doctor, who will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Blood tests can be done to check for other conditions that cause hirsutism.
Hirsutism is a common condition that affects women and men. It can be diagnosed by your doctor and treated with medication or other methods. If you have hirsutism, it’s important to know what causes it so that you can take steps to prevent future problems with hair growth on your body.
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