Virilism – What is it, Causes and Treatments!

Virilism – What it is, Causes and Treatments  that everyone should be aware of. Furthermore,  Virility is a condition where women develop male pattern hair growth  and other male physical traits.

Women with Virilism often have an imbalance in sex hormones, such as estrogen  and male sex hormones, or androgens , such as testosterone. An overproduction of androgens can cause Virilism .

Androgens are mainly  produced by the adrenal glands, which are present in both females and males, and the testes. To a lesser extent, they are produced in ovaries . The testes are the main source of testosterone, but androgens  produced by the adrenal glands are just as important as secondary male sex characteristics.

Anabolic steroid use can also cause Virilism . These are synthetic substances that act like the male hormone testosterone.

Symptoms of Virilism : Symptoms of Virilism  include:

Acne is also a sign of virilism that tends to show up on:

Causes of Virilism: Any medical condition that causes an imbalance in sex hormone levels can result in Virilism . These conditions tend to cause an overproduction of hormones in the adrenal glands.

Sometimes an adenoma, which is a type of cancerous tumor, causes virilism . A dysfunction in your hormone production pathway or an increase in the size of the adrenal glands, which is called hyperplasia, can also cause Virilism .

Other Causes of Virilism:

  • The use of male hormone supplements
  • Using steroids to increase muscle mass
  • Polycystic ovary  syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition where women of childbearing age have multiple cysts on their ovaries .

Cases of virilism  caused by PCOS are typically mild. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes PCOS. However, they believe that high insulin levels, low-grade inflammation, and genetics may play a role. Women with PCOS often have masculine physical characteristics, including male pattern baldness  and  facial hair .

Diagnosing Virilism : Tell your doctor about any symptoms or physical changes you have experienced. Mention the medications you are currently taking, including birth control. Learning and sharing your family’s medical history can also help your doctor determine the cause of your virilism .

If your doctor suspects you may have features of virilism , they will take a blood sample. Your blood sample will be tested for testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and other hormones. An increased level of androgens  is usually a sign of this condition.

If you have high levels of androgens in your blood, your doctor may perform a test called a dexamethasone suppression test to check for virilism . This test will help them determine the cause of androgen excess .

If your doctor suspects you have a cancerous adenoma, they will perform an imaging test, such as a CT scan. This will allow them to view the structures within your body in detail. Your doctor can tell if there are any abnormal growths using imaging tests.

Treatment for Virilism: If you have an adenoma in your adrenal gland, your doctor will likely suggest surgically removing it. If the tumor is located in an area that is dangerous or difficult to reach, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or radiation treatments. These therapies help shrink the tumor before they are removed.

If a tumor is not to blame, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills . These can help regulate your hormone levels. They may also prescribe medications that block your androgen receptors  causing you to eliminate  virilism .

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