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An abnormal condition characterized by growth of hair in unusual places and in unusual amounts.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



masculine type of hairiness in women; one of the manifestations of virilism. The term “hirsutism” was introduced into medical practice in 1910 by the French physician E. Apert.

Hirsutism is most often a symptom of several diseases produced by affection of the adrenal cortex and the sex glands. A symptom resembling hirsutism is also observed with the development of a tumor in the anterior pituitary gland, which is accompanied by increased secretion of the hormone that activates function of the adrenal cortex. Hirsutism is revealed by the appearance of hair on the face (mustache and beard), abdomen, chest, arms, and legs. It may be characterized by the predominance of adiposity (“adipose” hirsutism) with excessive development of blackheads or by sharply expressed masculine traits. In the latter case, the musculature and skeleton of young women resemble those of a man (“muscular” hirsutism), and meat-red spots appear on the body (mainly on the face and legs). Hirsutism in little girls is often accompanied by premature development of the external sex organs and of secondary sexual characteristics of the male, underdeveloped internal sex organs, absence of menstruation, enlargement of the mammary glands (owing to fatty, not glandular, tissue), and roughening of the voice; there is psychological and intellectual retardation, and sexual feeling is absent. Treatment of hirsutism calls for surgery and X-ray therapy.

Hairiness is sometimes observed also in women during the climacteric, when there is a decrease in ovarian function. In the absence of the other clinical symptoms observed in pathologic hirsutism, family (genetic) hirsutism, which develops in young women, often in the period of sexual maturation, presents a special picture. This type is apparently the result of an increased sensitivity of the hair bulbs to the normal male-hormone content in the woman’s body. The treatment for this form of hirsutism consists in local attack on the hair bulbs—electrocoagulation and electrolysis.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
those with associated symptoms like hirsuitism and chronic pelvic pain should be investigated early especially using laparoscopy as the main diagnostic tool, with the aim to find out polycystic ovaries, pelvic adhesions and pelvic inflammatory disease11.
The diagnosis of PCOS was based on the following criteria (Rotterdam 2003 Consensus Workshop) [5]: (1) Oligo/or Anovulation (oligo/ amenorrhoea); (2) Clinical of hyper androgenaemia (Acne, Hirsuitism etc.) or Biochemical Signs (2nd day of menstruation) Serum LH, Serum FSH, Serum LH/FSH ratio, Serum Prolactin; (3) There was ultrasonographic evidence of ovarian stromal hypertrophy and multiple ([greater than or equal to] 12), small (2-9 mm) follicles arranged periphery [6] and exclusion of other aetiologies (congenital adrenal hyperplasia, androgen secreting tumours, Cushing's syndrome) Recent management option for PCOS like Clomiphene Citrate, Metformin and Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling has been evaluated.
Equal improvements were seen in each group for seborrhea, alopecia, and hirsuitism. There was no difference in the incidence and intensity of break-through bleeding or amenorrhea between the 2 groups.
These include: seizures, reported in about 10 percent of the cases; large weight gain, especially in women; hirsuitism (excessive hair growth) in women, especially on the face, possibly on the chest; premature aging; psychological/psychiatric problems; and loss of bowel/bladder control, sometimes on a temporary basis.
Clinical features included hirsuitism, amenorrhoea, acne and baldness.
In suspected PCOS cases and girls with obesity, oligmenorrhoea and hirsuitism additional tests like Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Leutinizing Hormone (LH), Serum Prolactin level, Free Testosterone and insulin levels were done.
hirsuitism obesity acne etc who presented with irregular heavy vaginal bleeding polycystic ovaries diagnosed on TVS and (enlarged ovaries and greater than 8 follicles in stroma) those with endometrial thickness of more than 12 mm in the follicular phase of the cycle were included in the study.
Patients who presented with primary or secondary infertility with signs and symptoms of hyperandrogenism (like acne, hirsuitism and hair loss) and/or menstrual irregularities only due to polycystic ovarian syndrome were included in the study.
Women: Amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, galactorrhea, infertility, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, hirsuitism in postmenopausal women.