We often mistake testosterone as the “male” hormone. While it’s true that men do produce ten times more testosterone than women, it still plays an important role in the health of women. What experts now agree on is that both sexes need an adequate level of testosterone to maintain both physical and mental health. They now believe that low testosterone, not estrogen, is what leads to weight gain, fatigue, loss of mental focus and low libido in middle-aged women.
What is Testosterone and How Does it Affect Women?
Testosterone is an androgen, or a hormone, that contributes to growth and reproduction in both men and women. Testosterone in females is produced in the ovaries and by the adrenal glands and helps promote bone growth, libido, and mood. It also helps relieve some vasomotor symptoms and vaginal atrophy and dryness. It is also the precursor to estrogen meaning without testosterone, there would be no "woman." “Normal” levels of testosterone vary from one woman to another, but experts suggest that the range of healthy testosterone levels is between 15 ng/dL – 85 ng/dL.
Low testosterone levels have been proven to have the potential to seriously impact female health and well-being.
Research has shown that a 40-year-old woman has approximately half the amount of circulating testosterone in her body as that of a 20-year-old, and this continues to decrease as she gets older. Addison's disease, hypopituitarism (a deficiency of hormones in the pituitary gland) and bilateral oophorectomy (the surgical removal of a woman's ovaries) can result in severe androgen (hormone) deficiency. Natural menopause may also lead to an androgen deficiency but natural aging is still the number one cause.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Clinical studies have shown that the main negative impact of low testosterone in women is a dangerous effect on their sexual health. The treatment for low testosterone can include sexual health supplements. Low testosterone doesn’t only affect sexual health; it also affects the general wellbeing of women. For this reason, it is important that knowledge of the symptoms of low testosterone be familiar to those who believe they may be suffering from low testosterone. Such symptoms include:
- Hot flashes
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
- Build-up of extra weight, usually around the abdominal area
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during sex
- Lack of sex drive
- Greater risk of cardiovascular disease
When women begin to experience these symptoms, they may want to look into testosterone replacement therapy. This type of therapy has been successfully administered for many decades to both men and women.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women
There are many benefits of using testosterone replacement therapy for women including:
- Increased muscle mass & strength
- Increased libido
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Increased energy, stamina and endurance
- Improved mental functioning
- Improves mood
- Improved feeling of well-being
- Protects against heart disease
- Improved focus and concentration
- Protects bone mass
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Options and Treatment
Testosterone can be combined with Estrogen and Progesterone or it can be prescribed individually. If your Estrogen and Progesterone levels are normal, you will only be prescribed Testosterone for your therapy. Hormone levels can be checked with a simple blood test that is covered by most insurances. Testosterone replacement comes usually in the form of a topical cream that is administered daily. This way the dosage can be adjusted until the perfect dose is discovered for the particular patient.
Testosterone will be effective in any woman with an androgen (hormone) deficiency. Research has shown that testosterone taken in conjunction with hormone replacement therapy (estrogen, with or without progesterone) at menopause can benefit women suffering from low libido. Other studies reveal the relief of symptoms with testosterone replacement in peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women. If testosterone replacement is appropriately used in the correct dosage there are rarely any adverse side effects. Nevertheless, testosterone replacement is not suitable for all women either for medical or personal reasons. Pregnant women, those suffering with severe acne, and those with excessive body hair growth or balding should not take testosterone.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Consultation
Call 480-839-4131 or fill out the web form located throughout the site to schedule your consultation. We look forward to meeting you and working with you in the future. All patients always work directly with one of our licensed physicians to ensure patient safety and confidentiality.