BACKGROUND: Hyperandrogenism of ovarian origin is rare in postmenopausal women. However, there is evidence that the ovaries of postmenopausal women are active endocrine glands, secreting mainly androgens. CASE: A postmenopausal woman sought treatment for progressive hirsutism. Endocrine evaluation revealed androgen excess. Transvaginal ultrasound revealed enlarged ovaries. Hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy were recommended. However, surgery had to be withheld for 6 months while the patient recovered from an acute myocardial infarction. In the interim, the patient's hyperandrogenemia was successfully treated with monthly injections of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH), leuprolide acetate. CONCLUSION: This report illustrates the potential for postmenopausal ovaries to become active androgen-secreting endocrine organs. It also demonstrates the efficacy of pharmacologic intervention for postmenopausal ovarian hyperthecosis when the patient is a poor surgical candidate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology