If the ovaries produce too much androgen (hormones such as testosterone) a woman may develop male characteristics. This ovarian imbalance can be caused by tumors in the ovaries or adrenal glands, or polycystic ovarian disease. Virilization may include growth of excess body and facial hair, amenorrhea (loss of menstrual period) and changes in body contour.
Reviewed last on: 6/8/2008
Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.