Can women have low testosterone levels?
What is low testosterone in women?
Testosterone is a hormone known as androgen. It is often considered a “male” hormone. However, women also have testosterone in their bodies. Too much or too little testosterone imbalances can affect a woman’s overall health. Some of the functions that testosterone has in a woman’s body include:
– producing new blood cells
– intensification of libido
– influencing follicle-stimulating hormones that can affect reproduction.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, testosterone production in women is often age-dependent. By the time a woman is 40, her androgen levels have dropped by half.
There are still many things that doctors are researching about lowering testosterone in women and treatments for lowering testosterone. However, new treatments are being studied that can help women affected by low testosterone levels.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone in women?
Some of the symptoms associated with low testosterone in women include:
– sexual desire affected
– affected sexual satisfaction
– muscle weakness
Often, the symptoms of low testosterone in women are underdiagnosed or wrong. Some of the conditions for which low testosterone can be confused with: stress, depression and the side effects of menopausal changes in women.
Doctors can use a blood test to test a woman’s testosterone levels, perhaps if you watch porn videos. The number that determines whether a woman’s testosterone level is high or low may vary depending on the lab performing the test. If a woman’s total plasma testosterone level is less than 25 ng / dL in women under 50, it is low. Testosterone levels below 20 ng / dL in women over the age of 50 are considered low.
Doctors may have difficulty detecting low testosterone levels in women because their hormone levels fluctuate constantly daily. If a woman is still menstruating, she should ideally do a blood testosterone test about 8 to 20 days after menstruation begins.
What causes testosterone loss in women?
Women produce testosterone in several locations in their bodies. These include:
– adrenal glands
– peripheral tissues
Because the ovaries are a major producer of testosterone, the decrease in hormones produced by the ovaries associated with menopause means that some pre- and post-menopausal women may have low testosterone levels. Traditionally, decreased libido has been attributed to postmenopausal estrogen decreases. However, researchers are increasingly identifying links between decreased testosterone production and impaired libido.
In many women, the ovaries continue to produce hormones such as testosterone. Therefore, doctors suggest that some women with low testosterone may have something in their genetic makeup that affects their ability to produce the compounds DHEA and DHEA-S, which are the precursors of testosterone. Some women may also be deficient in enzymes that process DHEA and DHEA-S into testosterone.
Other possible causes of low testosterone in women include:
– adrenal insufficiency, where the adrenal glands do not function as well as they should
– history of ophorectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries
– taking oral estrogen therapy, as estrogen can reduce testosterone production
What are the treatments for lowering testosterone in women?
Treatments for low testosterone in women have not been widely studied by medical experts. While doctors know about the effects of excess testosterone in women, the symptoms of too little testosterone are not as well known. As a result, doctors do not always have the same regimen for treatments related to low testosterone levels.
Doctors may prescribe a medicine called Estratest to postmenopausal women. This medicine contains both estrogen and testosterone. However, the form of testosterone is a synthetic one and may not be as effective in treating low testosterone levels.
Doctors can also give testosterone injections, and medical researchers are currently studying the effects of testosterone patches and pellets implanted in the skin. Some women can also get testosterone gel formulations from compound pharmacies. However, these gels are traditionally used for men who have much higher average testosterone levels than compared to women.
An over-the-counter option is to take a DHEA supplement. Because DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, the idea is that if someone takes DHEA, it could increase the amount of testosterone in their body. Talk to your doctor before starting a DHEA supplement as a treatment for low testosterone.
Having too much testosterone in your body can also cause side effects. Side effects of excess testosterone in women include:
– Facial hair
– Fluid retention
– Male physical characteristics, including male pattern baldness and deep voice
Women who are or may be pregnant should not take androgens. Breastfeeding women should also not take testosterone medications as it could transmit to the baby.
You should always talk to your doctor before starting any testosterone or related medications and supplements. They will be able to provide tests and make sure there are no interactions with other medicines you are taking.