What Causes High Testosterone in Females?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone, but is also present in female bodies and is produced by the ovaries. Testosterone has many uses in female bodies, including growth, maintenance of cells, repair of reproductive tissues, bone mass, and regulates some behaviours.

Some female’s will experience higher testosterone levels than normal. This can be due to a few different factors or imbalances, including:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder which is caused by an excess of androgen hormones in females. Some symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, a high volume of body hair, and ovaries that do not function normally.

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

CAH affects the adrenal glands and how hormones are produced in the body. Similar to PCOS, a female with CAH may experience an overproduction of androgen.

  • Hirsutism

A female with Hirsutism will experience increased growth of hair, usually on the face, back, and chest. Hirsutism is also caused by an imbalance of androgen hormones. The amount and location of body hair a female will grow depends on their genetics.

An excess of testosterone in females will not always be caused by the above conditions. Other signs a female may have high testosterone include:

  • excess body or facial hair
  • irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles
  • low libido
  • unexplained mood changes
  • enlarged clitoris
  • decreased breast size
  • deepening of the voice
  • increased muscle mass and/or strength
  • balding
  • acne

While some of these symptoms can be unpleasant, there are treatments available for women with high levels of testosterone. If any you have been diagnosed with any of the above conditions, or are experiencing any symptoms listed, seek medical advice.

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