Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Making a diagnosis of hirsutism begins with discussing your medical history. Your doctor may ask you about your menstrual cycles, the time of onset of your symptoms, whether you're taking any medications and whether you have a family history of certain conditions.
Your doctor is likely to:
- Perform a physical exam. Your doctor may check your face, neck, chest, breasts, back, abdomen and pelvis for hair growth. He or she may also examine you for other signs of androgen excess and for conditions that can result in a hormonal imbalance.
- Order blood tests. Tests that measure the amount of certain hormones in your blood, including testosterone, may help determine whether hirsutism is caused by elevated androgen levels.
The extent of further testing you'll undergo depends on the severity of your hirsutism and any other associated symptoms. If androgen levels in your blood are elevated, you may undergo imaging tests. These may include:
- Ultrasound. This imaging test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of your body's internal structures. An ultrasound of the ovaries or adrenal glands may be performed to check for tumors or cysts.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan is a type of X-ray test that provides cross-sectional images of your internal organs. A CT scan of your body may be used to evaluate the adrenal glands.
- Evaluation and treatment of hirsutism in premenopausal women: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Chevy Chase, Md.: The Endocrine Society. http://www.endo-society.org/custom_apps/search.cfm?q=hirsutism. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.
- Chang J, et al., eds. The Hormone Foundation's patient guide to the evaluation and treatment of hirsutism in premenopausal women. The Hormone Foundation. http://www.hormone.org/Resources/Patient_Guides/upload/Hirsutism_Patient_Guide.pdf. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.
- Hirsutism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch124/ch124c.html?qt=hirsutism&alt=sh#sec10-ch124-ch124c-989. Accessed Oct. 29, 2010.