Hormonal hirsutism: what is it?

What Is Hormonal Hirsutism?

Hirsutism refers to excessive facial or body hair development. Women may experience hair growth in locations where only men frequently have thick hair. This location comprises the chin, chest, back, and upper lip. Androgens, a class of male hormones, are to blame for such an occurrence. Androgens are produced in trace amounts by all women. But hirsutism can result from high quantities of this hormone.

Many underlying medical disorders have the potential to cause hirsutism. There might not always be a root cause. A person can have undesirable hair removed aesthetically and choose whether or not to have subsequent treatment.

Triggers Of Excess Body Hair

Triggers Of Excess Body Hair

After puberty, androgens—sex hormones—help males grow their reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics. Testosterone is among the most typical androgens. Even though androgens are found in female and male bodies, clinicians often refer to them as male hormones.

After puberty, hair grows in the pubic region and beneath the arms of both sexes. They also encourage the development of facial hair, like the beard and mustache, in addition to other body hair in men. People considered female at birth may create several more androgens and develop excessive amounts of hair due to various medical issues.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that causes the body to create too many androgens. It is the most frequent reason for excessive body hair in individuals born with a gender preference for women. Over 70% of hirsutism occurrences can be attributed to the disorder. Doctors do not entirely understand the triggers of PCOS. However, a person can use birth control tablets or other hormonal therapy to regulate the symptoms.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

An uncommon category of conditions known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia damage the adrenal glands and can result in severe symptoms. The female body will produce excessive androgens whenever the adrenal glands are not functioning properly. Numerous symptoms, including increased hair growth, might result from this. There is medical screening for diseases that result in adrenal hyperplasia. However, it could take till puberty to diagnose minor cases.


0.3% of hirsutism occurrences, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, are caused by tumors that secrete androgens. In some situations, the body hair emerges quickly and may be accompanied by additional symptoms, including a lump in the pelvis or stomach.


Some drugs have the potential to increase hair growth. After starting a new prescription medication, a person should notify their doctor if they see unusual hair growth. Among the medicines having hirsutism connections are:

  • Certain antipsychotic medications
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Specific anti-seizure drugs
  • Some immunosuppressive drugs
  • Hormone treatments like testosterone as well as certain medications that change the synthesis of hormones


The condition known as hyperprolactinemia makes the body create excessive amounts of the prolactin hormone. When a person is nursing, prolactin is mainly responsible for generating breast milk. Regardless of whether they are breastfeeding, people with this disease may lactate.

Some individuals with hyperprolactinemia might not get pregnant or have periods. Additionally, hirsutism may result from the condition.

Thyroid Conditions

The thyroid creates hormones that assist in controlling body temperature and metabolism. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the two most prevalent thyroid conditions. In rare instances, a thyroid disorder may result in a hormonal imbalance that promotes excessive body hair growth.

Other Triggers

Sometimes there is no obvious cause for hirsutism, and doctors are unable to identify any obvious signs of an underlying illness. Idiopathic hirsutism is the term used by doctors to describe hirsutism that has no apparent cause.

When a clinician can rule out all known, potential underlying reasons, they will often make an exclusionary diagnosis. Approximately 10% of all hirsutism instances and 50% of mild instances of excessive hair development are caused by idiopathic hirsutism.

Genetics may play a role when there is no established cause for hirsutism. These types of hair growth are more common in people of Mediterranean and East Indian descent who were assigned the gender of femininity at birth.

Detection Of Hirsutism

A doctor usually diagnoses hirsutism by ruling out other reasons for excessive hair development besides the Ferriman-Gallwey scale. A doctor must determine the cause of an initial examination that indicates that a patient has unnaturally high hair growth. Testing might involve:

  • Full physical examination
  • Inquiries on the patient’s beginning of symptoms, family background of comparable Symptoms, and any drugs they could be consuming
  • Blood tests to determine androgen and hormone levels
  • Collection of a person’s menstruation history and period tracking
  • Imaging scans to look for growths and cancers.
  • Examining the pelvis to check for malignancies or symptoms of androgenization

Options For Natural Therapies

Experts can treat unwanted hair growth caused by PCOS naturally. These include:

Changes in diet: Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake may benefit those with insulin resistance born with the gender assigned to them. Some people experiment with specific PCOS diets. The effectiveness of these diets, however, has not received much research.

Managing one’s weight: Keeping your weight in a healthy range can help you manage several PCOS symptoms. The ideal diet and fitness regimen may be crucial for many people born with the gender assigned to them.

Aid for mental health: A complex condition called PCOS can affect a person’s fertility, health, and physical attractiveness. Support clubs, therapy, and encouraging self-talk are helpful for most people.

Hair removal methods: Shaving or employing hair removal lotions are two methods of hair removal that can be efficient. However, these techniques won’t address the fundamental cause of excess hair growth.

Other medications can decrease the hormones that promote hair growth. You might not begin to notice the effects of these medications for at least six months. This is due to the long cycles that hair goes through as it grows, rests, sheds, and grows back. Additionally, not every hair is in the same phase at the same moment.

Individuals should discuss medical care with their doctors if they lack a diagnosis or have an inherent medical issue.


Hirsutism is the excessive development of hair with a masculine appearance in a person born with gender identity. When an underlying ailment is a cause, such an individual can seek therapy for the disorder to lessen excessive hair development.

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