Androgen Excess in Women: Experience with Over 1000 Consecutive Patients

    Ricardo Azziz, Luis A. Sanchez, Eric S. Knochenhauer, Carlos Morán, J. Lazenby, Kelley Stephens, Kevin Taylor, Larry R. Boots
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    TLDR Most women with excess male hormones have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and hormonal therapy can improve symptoms but may cause side effects.
    In a study conducted from 1987 to 2002, 873 patients with symptoms of androgen excess were analyzed. The majority of patients (82.0%) were diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), while other conditions such as idiopathic hirsutism and hyperandrogenic insulin-resistant acanthosis nigricans syndrome were less common. Of the 257 patients assessed for response to hormonal therapy, improvements were seen in hirsutism (86%), menstrual dysfunction (80%), and acne (81%), but only 33% saw improvements in hair loss. However, over 60% of patients experienced side effects like irregular vaginal bleeding, nausea, and headaches. The study concluded that specific identifiable disorders were observed in about 7% of subjects, while functional androgen excess, mainly PCOS, was observed in the remainder.
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