What is it?

Hirsutism is a condition in women that results in excessive body hair in women. The hair is dark and thick, and grows in a male-like pattern. This includes the upper lip (mustache area), chin, chest, back, and upper part of the belly.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Familial hirsutism
- Hypertrichosis
- Hypertrichosis lanuginosa
- Localized hypertrichosis
- Excess body hair

Signs & symptoms

Hirsutism is stiff or dark body hair, appearing on the body where women don't usually have hair, primarily the face, chest, lower abdomen, inner thighs and back. Other symptoms that may appear are:
Deepening voice
Decreased breast size
Increased muscle mass
Enlargement of the clitoris
Irregular periods
Obesity or weight gain


Your doctor will decide which tests you should perform based on your age, other symptoms, and individual situation. Possible tests include:
- Blood tests: to measure hormone levels
- Pelvic ultrasound: to check your uterus and ovaries. The pictures can show if you have polycystic ovaries or another problem.
- Imaging tests: CT or MRI scans to show if a tumor is causing the problem.


Treatment depends on the cause of your hirsutism and how bad your symptoms are. If you choose to get treatment, options include:
- Birth control pills (for non-pregnant women) - the most common treatment. They lower androgen levels and make periods regular (high levels of male hormones like androgens can cause excessive hair growth in women).
- Medicines called anti-androgens, which lower androgen levels or block the effects of androgens.
- Removing extra hair or making it harder to see.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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