Virilization (patient information)
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Virilization On the Web
Editor-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D.  Phone:617-632-7753; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Varun Kumar, M.B.B.S.
Virilization is when a female develops male sex characteristics, or a newborn boy has increased male characteristics at birth.
What causes Virilization?
- Virilization may be caused by:
- Excess testosterone production
- Use of anabolic steroids
- In newborn girls, the condition may be caused by:
- Certain medications taken by the mother during pregnancy
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia in the baby or her mother
- Other medical conditions in the mother (such as tumors of the ovaries or adrenal glands that release male hormones)
Signs of virilization in a female may include:
- Deepening of the voice
- Facial hair
- Increase in body hair
- Male-pattern baldness
- Swelling of the clitoris
Tests may include:
- Blood tests to detect excess testosterone in females
- CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound to rule out tumors of the ovaries and adrenal glands
Where to find medical care for Virilization?
Directions to Hospitals Treating Virilization