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Antiandrogens and women’s health

Hirsutism is the development of male pattern body hair growth in women. This is a frequent cause of psychologic distress because the affected individual erroneously feels as if gender is changing. The extent of problematic body hair growth varies, and depends on the amount of normal body hair among racial groups or subgroups. Hirsutism includes terminal hair on the face, chest, or back. It is often associated with an endocrine abnormality of the adrenals or ovary causing raised androgens and is frequently associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Some women have no obvious underlying disorder and this is termed ‘idiopathic’ hirsutism. The assumption that idiopathic hirsutism is due to a greater sensitivity of the follicles to normal androgens is suggested by the observation of asymmetrically occurring hirsutism.6