T for Women
Testosterone has long been regarded as a male hormone, but it is abundant and important in women as well. In our 20’s, we actually have MORE testosterone than estradiol in our bodies- 10 times more! By the time we reach menopause, we have less than half the amount of Testosterone we had in our 20’s. The most common signs that we are low in T are low energy, fatigue, low libido and lack of sexual response.
Factors that Decrease Testosterone in Women: So why would a woman experience a decrease in Testosterone? The most common is age! We simply make less as we get older. Some other common reasons include:
Bilateral oophorectomy: The ovaries are responsible for over 50% of our testosterone. Removal of the ovaries results in a drastic drop
Birth control: increases our SHBG which decreases the amount of usable free T
Oral estradiol: increases our SHBG which decreases the amount of usable free T
Hyperthyroidism: increases that SHBG again
Chronic Illness: including anorexia nervosa, depression, advanced cancers and burn trauma
Benefits of Testosterone for Women: There are so many benefits for women taking testosterone ranging from increased energy to cosmetic benefits.
- Bone Health: Testosterone plays a role in maintaining bone density in women. Low levels of testosterone have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by fragile and brittle bones.
- Muscle Mass and Strength: Testosterone supports the maintenance of muscle mass and strength in both men and women. Women with higher testosterone levels may find it easier to build and sustain muscle.
- Libido: While often overlooked, testosterone contributes to a healthy sex drive in women. It promotes sexual desire and arousal, enhancing overall sexual well-being.
- Mood Regulation: Testosterone influences mood and emotional well-being. Low levels of testosterone have been associated with mood swings, fatigue, and a higher risk of developing mood disorders.
- Cognitive Function: Emerging research suggests that testosterone might play a role in cognitive functions such as spatial reasoning, memory, and problem-solving in women.
- Energy Levels: Adequate levels of testosterone are essential for maintaining energy levels and combating fatigue
- Increased collagen: resulting in increased skin thickness, decrease in wrinkles and cellulite
Who should avoid testosterone therapy?
Testosterone therapy should also be avoided in women who have or have had breast or uterine cancer, have high cholesterol or heart disease, or have liver disease.
The most common side effects are acne, hirsutism and increased libido. There are simple solutions to combat these side effects if they do crop up. As long as levels are monitored, the risk of clitoromegaly or deepened voice are not seen in women.
Overall, testosterone can be a great and natural way for women to regain energy, libido, confidence, muscle and bone mass!