The adrenogenital syndrome is caused by defects in certain enzymes of the adrenal cortex, resulting in overproduction of some adrenal steroids. These steroids produce masculinizing effects in the female and very early sexual development in the male. Specifically, the condition results from overproduction of adrenal androgenic (masculinizing) hormones. The extent of the syndrome is dependent upon the sex and age of the individual at its onset—the earlier the onset, the more severe the effects. The syndrome may be present at birth (congenital) or develop later in life.