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Excessive Body and Facial Hair in Women

The extra hair in adult women often begins during puberty and increases into the early twenties. The amount depends on a woman's genes and the presence of male hormones (androgens) produced in the ovaries and in the adrenal glands.

Androgens tend to produce hair growth in certain sites -- the mustache or chin area, around the nipples, in the midline of the lower abdomen and on the arms and legs. They may also produce thinning of scalp hair and, when pronounced, a scooping out or recession of hair in the temporal area. Excessive hair growth in these areas sometimes provides a clue that there is too much androgen.

Menstrual function and hair growth are very closely connected. If your menstrual periods have been regular, you very likely have what doctors call idiopathic hirsutism. This means that the exact cause is unknown.

However, if your periods are not regular, this suggests that there is increased androgen.

Are your menstrual cycles regular?

Yes, my menstrual cycles are regular.

No, my menstrual cycles are not regular.

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