Androgenization (Masculinization, virilization), means a hormonal change in women due to male sex hormones. These are testosterone and androstenedione. These hormones lead to various physical changes as well as changes in behavior.
Cause of androgenization
A Androgenization arises from an increased supply of androgens. These are the male hormones testosterone and androstenedione. In men, these hormones lead to the development of primary (Testicular development) and secondary (Voice, body hair) Sexual characteristics. Women also carry a certain amount of this hormone in their bodies. If the androgen metabolism is disturbed, the male sex hormones may be increased. The androgens are in the Adrenal cortex and the Ovaries (Ovary) produced and about the Pituitary gland (Pituitary gland) controlled. Tumors or disturbances of this control can lead to an increased supply of androgens. These then lead to the typical clinical symptoms.
This is a relatively common clinical picture adrenogenital syndrome. This is accompanied by an enzyme deficiency, which leads to an increased supply of male hormones in the adrenal cortex. That too polycystic ovarian syndrome can be a trigger.
An increased supply of hormones can also be achieved by taking Anabolic steroids or other hormone preparations.
To the Symptoms of androgenization include all the appearance features that are typical of a man.
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- Hirsutism: Increase in body and facial hair in women leading to a male hair type. As a rule, no new one grows hairbut the existing downy hair is converted into thicker terminal hair.
- Alopecia: It is a typically male Hair loss. A receding hairline or a so-called monk tonsure can develop.
- Acne: Often it comes from the increased Testosterone production to an increased production of the sebum glands. This can lead to blemished skin and even acne.
- Enlargement of the clitoris: The clitoris is the erectile organ in women. Testosterone can increase this significantly (Clitoral hypertrophy). Changes of this kind were observed mainly in women athletes.
- Deepening of the voice: Through an increased effect of the Androgens on the vocal cords and the larynx, the voice can become deeper.
- Increase in muscle mass: Due to the increased effect of Androgens muscle mass increases. This is especially evident in athletes who are multiplying Anabolic steroids take in.
It can also lead to the regression of female sexual characteristics. That means that Breasts can regress that Menstrual cycle is disturbed and women become sterile. However, all symptoms are usually reversible with appropriate therapy.
As a rule, the suspected diagnosis is based on the clinical signs and the medical history.
The blood values show increased Hormones (Androgens, pituitary, and adrenal cortex hormones) and can secure the diagnosis.
To rule out hormone-producing tumors, come MRI for imaging the head and Ultrasonic or. CT used to examine the abdomen.
As the disease is usually protracted, therapy is often necessary over a longer period of time. To the Androgenization To be able to provide lasting therapy, the real cause should be found. Hormone-producing Tumors should be removed or treated, for example. However, if the cause is enzyme defects or an organ sensitivity to androgens, hormone treatment is necessary. These act on the Androgen production in the ovaries and adrenal glands and inhibit education here. You can also go directly to the control on the Pituitary gland or influence the actual organ function.
Prognosis of androgenization
Is a causal one Therapy of androgenization possible, the prognosis is very good and the symptoms can subside again. If such a therapy is not possible, it is often a long-term one Therapy with hormones necessary. Will the Medication discontinued or not taken as directed, symptoms may return.