Hyperandrogenism is one of the primary symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In such cases, it presents with symptoms such as acne and seborrhea, is frequent in adolescent girls and is often associated with irregular menstrual cycles. In most instances, these symptoms are transient and reflect only the immaturity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis during the first years following menarche. Approximately three-quarters of patients with PCOS (by the diagnostic criteria of NIH/NICHD 1990) have evidence of hyperandrogenism, with free testosterone being the single most predictive marker with ~60% of patients demonstrating supranormal levels.
Hyperandrogenism can also be the result of excessive production of adrenal or gonadal androgens by adrenal adenomas, carcinomas, or hyperplasia, Leydig cell tumors in men, and arrhenoblastomas in women.:501–2
In women, signs and symptoms of hyperandrogenism frequently include acne, scalp hair loss (androgenic alopecia), excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism), atypically high libido, and others. Collectively, these symptoms are described as virilization.
In international sports and the Olympic Games, a female athlete is not eligible to participate in the female category if the amount of androgenic hormone exceeds the permissible limits, on the ground that the condition could confer an unfair advantage.
In September, 2014, Dutee Chand, a sprinter from India, who was barred by the International Association of Athletics Federations from competing against other female runners, sought to appeal the ruling and asked for reinstatement. Disqualification due to hyperandrogenism remains under review.
- Androgen-dependent condition
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