How does pregnancy cause androgen excess?

Updated: Mar 14, 2018
  • Author: Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Testosterone rises throughout the normal pregnancy, reaching values around 600-800 ng/dL by term. The increase in SHBG and the placental aromatization of androgens to estrogens protect the mother and her fetus. Placental aromatase enzyme deficiency can cause hyperandrogenemia in both mother and fetus and result in virilization. [61]


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