Clitoromegaly is a medical term that is used to describe a clitoris that is larger than what is typically considered normal. The clitoris is a female sexual organ that is similar in nature to the male penis. In fact, when this condition is present, the clitoris may strongly resemble a small penis. A medical condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the most common cause of this condition, especially if clitoromegaly is present at birth. Other potential causes include Fraser syndrome, endocrine disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or steroid usage.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the most typical cause of clitoromegaly. This is a medical condition that occurs when the affected person is born without a specific enzyme that is responsible for some of the hormone production in the body. This often leads to an enlarged clitoris in girls, although the labia may also resemble the scrotum of a male in some cases. Treatment typically involves the use of hormone therapy as well as steroids, although the potential risks of steroid therapy should be discussed with a doctor.
Fraser syndrome is another medical condition that may cause clitoromegaly. This is a very rare condition that may lead to a variety of deformities, primarily affecting the eyes. Fraser syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder, meaning that both parents must carry a copy of the defective gene in order to have a child who is born with this condition. Unfortunately, the exact gene that leads to the condition has not yet been isolated as of 2011.
Endocrine or hormonal abnormalities such as polycystic ovarian syndrome may occasionally lead to the development of clitoromegaly. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also referred to as PCOS, is a relatively common disorder in which the affected woman's hormone levels become out of balance. In addition to the possibility of clitoral enlargement, symptoms may include weight gain, abdominal pain, and menstrual irregularities. Treatment for PCOS can range from dietary changes to the use of prescription medications such as hormone replacement therapy. In some cases, surgical intervention may become necessary, especially if symptoms become severe.
The use of anabolic steroids is known to sometimes cause clitoromegaly. This primarily occurs in transsexuals who are transitioning from female to male. Unlike other causes of this condition, enlargement of the clitoris is typically a desired result of hormone therapy as part of the transgender process. As is the case with any medical condition, any questions or concerns should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.