Log in with your Medical News Today account to create or edit your custom homepage, catch-up on your opinions notifications and set your newsletter preferences. Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Together with the female sex hormone estrogentestosterone plays a role in the growth and maintenance of female reproductive tissue and bone mass.
These hormones also influence behavior. In this article, learn about conditions that cause high testosterone in women, as well as about symptoms and treatment.
The level of hormones produced in the body varies each day and throughout the day. Testosterone levels are highest in the morning. Severely high levels of testosterone in women can cause obesity and infertility. CAH is the term given to a group Signs of high testosterone in women inherited disorders that affect the adrenal glands.
These glands secrete the Signs of high testosterone in women cortisol and aldosterone, which play a role in managing metabolism and blood pressure. People with CAH lack one of the enzymes necessary to regulate the production of these hormones, so they secrete too little cortisol and too much testosterone. While there is no cure for CAH, most people with the condition can receive treatment that will reduce symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Hirsutism is characterized by unwanted hair growth in women. It is a hormonal condition thought to be linked to genetics. PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age.
Some sources suggest that PCOS affects between 8 and 20 percent of women worldwide. Women are not usually diagnosed until they are in their 20s and 30s, but children as young as 11 years old can be affected.
Doctors do not know what causes PCOS, although genetics and excess insulin may play a role. If PCOS is suspected, the doctor may visually and manually examine the pelvic region to look for abnormalities.
If symptoms suggest high testosterone levels, the doctor will take a blood sample and have hormone levels tested. They may also check glucose and cholesterol levels.
To check for PCOS, the doctor may perform an ultrasound of the ovaries and uterus. Typically, a doctor will recommend both lifestyle changes and medication. Some treatments may also be used to control unwanted hair. High testosterone Signs of high testosterone in women women and associated conditions can be treated with the following medications:.
Oral contraceptives may also be prescribed, as this treatment helps to block excess testosterone. The best types of oral contraceptives for high testosterone and hirsutism are ones that contain low doses of norgestimate, gestodene, and desogestrel. However, oral contraceptives may not be suitable for women who are trying to get pregnant, and they can also cause adverse side effects.
Both electrolysis and laser therapy may be used to control unwanted hair. However, these treatments will not resolve an underlying hormonal imbalance. Note that these hair removal treatments can cause adverse reactions, and they may have other associated risks. Anyone with a hormonal imbalance should speak to a doctor before trying medical treatments for excess hair growth.
Some of the following lifestyle changes can reduce high testosterone in women, while others simply manage symptoms. Achieving a healthy weight may help with the symptoms of a hormonal balance. Losing even 5 to 10 percent body weight may improve PCOS symptoms, reduce testosterone levels, and help prevent complications, including infertility. Some women choose to treat their facial and body hair growth by plucking, shaving, waxing, or using chemical Signs of high testosterone in women. Others bleach their hair to make it less visible.
High testosterone in women can cause a range of symptoms, from excess facial hair to infertility, and is usually caused by an underlying medical condition. Treating the underlying disorder will often reduce symptoms and improve a person's quality of life. Women who are or think Signs of high testosterone in women may be experiencing high testosterone symptoms should consult their doctor to determine the cause and to gain access to appropriate treatments.