Advantages And Disadvantages Of Testosterone Use In Women
Several randomized, controlled trials of exogenous testosterone therapy in postmenopausal women suggested improvements in sexual desire, sexual responsiveness, and frequency of sexual activity.11-14 With the exception of a particular testosterone-alone arm in one study that included no data on adverse events, these trials combined testosterone with either estrogen therapy or, for women with an intact uterus, estrogen-progestin therapy.11-15 However, despite findings of short-term efficacy for testosterone therapy in women, reviews of safety in long-term studies are lacking.
Possible beneficial effects of testosterone therapy, such as reduced fracture risk and improved cognitive function, require further research. It is difficult to know which route of administration is more advantageous however, transdermal application has several advantages over other forms of administration. When testosterone is taken orally, there is extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver that would be prevented with topical application. IM injections are invasive, but topical gels are painless and easy to apply. There are peaks and troughs associated with injections, whereas the topical method remains constant. With patches, there is a limited amount of exposure to the medication, but this modality is often associated with application-site reactions, and the patch is visible on the skin.16
What Are The Consequences Of Low Testosterone In Women
The effects of low testosterone in women have been greatly debated over many years. Firstly, and most importantly there is no blood level that can be used as a cut-off to diagnose low testosterone in women.
Some studies have indicated that there may be an association between low sexual desire and low testosterone, but this has not been a consistent finding in all studies.
Androgen Synthesis Production And Measurement In Women
The biologically active androgens in women are dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate , dehydroepiandrosterone , androstenedione, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone.
In women, roughly 25% of androgen production occurs in the adrenal glands, 25% occurs in the ovaries, and the rest occurs peripherally. DHEA-S, DHEA, and androstenedione are the main prohormones that are peripherally converted to the active androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. DHEA-S is almost exclusively produced in the adrenal glands, whereas DHEA, androstenedione, and testosterone are produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries and by peripheral conversion. In target tissues, circulating testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone by 5-alpha-reductase and aromatized to estradiol.
Androgen levels decline with age throughout a womans life, starting in her mid-30s. Menopause is not associated with a rapid decline in androgen production the postmenopausal ovary is hormonally active and accounts for 40% to 50% of postmenopausal testosterone production., Consequently, women who have undergone bilateral oophorectomy have a marked decrease in circulating testosterone levels, though serum concentrations of DHEA and androstenedione remain stable due to adrenal compensation. Ten years after the onset of menopause, circulating testosterone and androstenedione levels are half of perimenopausal levels.
Conditions that affect circulating levels of sex hormone-binding globulin
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Attention Women: Low Sex Drive Testosterone Wont Help
For women seeking treatment for low sex drive, the idea of a quick fix probably sounds appealing. Testosterone therapy and boosting supplements are among those widely marketed options that might seem too good to be true because for most women, they are.
Low testosterone products for women such as pills, injections, or supplements like dehydroepiandrosterone claim to boost energy, mood, and sexual desire. However, low-T as the root cause for low sex drive is rare in women, especially before menopause.
The Endocrine Society stated in 2019 that while trying testosterone therapy is generally safe for post-menopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder not wanting sex and not being OK with feeling that way they do not support low-T therapy for other female health conditions. Side effects from testosterone therapy in women can include:
- Deepening of voice
- Abnormal fetal development during pregnancy
One in three women struggle with low sexual desire, and most patients start noticing libido changes after menopause. However, low libido can occur at any age and is often caused by problems that arent directly linked with the bedroom, such as anxiety, stress, medications, or undiagnosed chronic conditions.
The first step is to pinpoint the source or sources of sexual frustration. From there we can design a personalized treatment plan that can help improve overall health along with libido.
Controversies In Hormone Treatments For Women
OTHER USES FOR TESTOSTERONE IN WOMEN
Emerging and controversial potential indications for androgen therapy in women have been or are being evaluated. These include use in women with premature ovarian failure, premenopausal androgen deficiency symptoms, postmenopausal and glucocorticosteroid-related bone loss, treatment of HIV related wasting, and management of the premenstrual syndrome. Whether or not any of these indications will have approved products in the future is unknown.
HOW TO MEASURE LOW TESTOSTERONE IN WOMEN
The term hypogonadism is used as a diagnostic term for testosterone deficiency in men. Besides HSDD as one of the potential symptoms, there is no agreement on what to call androgen deficiency in women. In clinical guidelines published in 2002 called the Princeton consensus statement :660-5) used the term “female androgen insufficiency” as defined as by a pattern of clinical symptoms in the presence of decreased bioavailable testosterone and normal estrogen status. The panel warned that currently available testosterone assays were found to be lacking in sensitivity and reliability at the lower testosterone blood level ranges present in women, and the need for an equilibrium dialysis measure was strongly emphasized as the most adequate method to test womens testosterone blood levels.
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Testosterone Insufficiency In Women: Fact Or Fiction
Excerpt from World Journal of Urology 2002. 20:106-110
Symptoms of androgen deficiencyThe symptoms of androgen deficiency in women may very closely resemble other conditions. The chief complaint of androgen-deficient women is decreased sexual desire, which is often characterized by a decrease in sexual thoughts and fantasies, as well as actions. Muscle weakness is another frequent complaint, especially in athletic patients. It appears that genital arousal and orgasmic response may also be negatively affected, and vaginal lubrication may decrease, even in women who are menstruating regularly. There is some evidence that testosterone, apart from estrogen, may have a direct function in genital arousal and orgasmic physiology .
How Much Testosterone Should A Woman Have
Even if you have a testosterone deficiency, there is such a thing as too much testosterone. To mitigate the risk of unpleasant side effects, a physician will explain how to start the dosage and how long to wait before increasing that dose. Your doctor will decide the course of action that is best for your needs.
A compounding pharmacist will make a custom formula based on your doctors prescription. Your doctor will have considered the other medications you are taking, your allergies, your age, height, weight, medical, and sexual history. Additionally, since every person has a different healthy level of testosterone, your blood work will determine the amount of mg you need to take each day.
Every womans body is different and has a different optimum level of testosterone. A physician can work with you and a compounding pharmacy to find the ingredients and dosage that best fits your unique medical needs, effectively mitigating risk of side effects while improving your low testosterone levels.
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Testosterone For Low Sex Drive In The Menopause
Testosterone is a sex hormone that both women and men produce. Many people think of it as the male sex hormone, but women also need testosterone.
In fact, women produce 3 times more testosterone than the female sex hormone oestrogen before menopause. Menopause is when a woman stops having periods and can no longer get pregnant naturally.
If you have a low sex drive during menopause, you can have testosterone as a treatment. We can give this to you as a gel or in sachets.
We usually give you testosterone at the same time as standard hormone replacement therapy . This replaces hormones that are at a lower level as you approach menopause. Testosterone works best when you are being given oestrogen as well.
Testosterone medicine can take several months to work. It’s not effective for everyone.
Younger women who had early menopause often notice benefits from using testosterone.
What Happens When Testosterone Levels Are Too Low In Women
An imbalance of testosterone can affect a womans well-being and sexual function. Symptoms of low T in women may include :
- Vaginal dryness
- Weaker bones and bone density loss
However, the relationship between testosterone levels and these symptoms is unclear. A 2014 Endocrine Society Task Force looked at the levels of testosterone in women with these symptoms. They did not find a correlation between particular testosterone levels and the presence of these symptoms. So while women need testosterone, the precise link between low testosterone levels and these potential side effects has not been proven, especially in otherwise normal, healthy women .
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The Facts About Testosterone Replacement Therapy For Women
At Testosterone Centers of Texas , we base our work on facts, the main one being that TRT is an effective treatment for many symptoms of testosterone deficiency, including anything from the classic lack of interest in sex and weight gain to anxiety and hair loss.
Signs Of Low Testosterone In Women
Low testosterone, or hypogonadism, is a serious medical condition. Many women are suffering from low testosterone, and they dont even know it. Therefore, it is essential to know the most common signs and symptoms of low testosterone in women. Here are five of the most common signs :
- Sexual dysfunction
This is just a small list. The truth is there are many other signs of low testosterone including excessive fatigue, increased risk for cardiovascular disease or diabetes and even memory loss and cognitive decline.
Low testosterone can be difficult to diagnose because there are so many possible signs associated with this condition. This is one of the many reasons it is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any new symptoms. Your doctor will be able to talk to you about the symptoms you are experiencing and help you check your testosterone levels if necessary.
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Why Do Some Women Have Testosterone Therapy
Unlike the sudden fall in oestrogen and progesterone at menopause, testosterone levels fall more gradually with increasing age such that a woman in her forties has on average only half of the testosterone circulating in her blood stream as does a woman in her twenties. This will vary between individual women. Testosterone levels do not change over the course of natural menopause, but after a woman has her ovaries removed by surgery, testosterone levels can fall suddenly by up to fifty percent.
Testosterone mainly circulates in the blood bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin . Oestrogen therapy, particularly in tablet form, increases the level of SHBG in the blood. This means that less testosterone is free or able to act. Thus oral oestrogen therapy, or even the oral contraceptive pill, may cause a lowering of testosterone. Changing to a non-oral HRT or stopping the pill if appropriate can reverse this. This wont help a woman whose body is just not producing enough testosterone.
How To Treat Low Testosterone In Females
Many of the women I have spoken to were unsure if they wanted to be treated for their hormone deficiency. However, its not advisable to go without treatment. What could happen if low T in females left untreated? Since testosterone is responsible in part for bone density, chronic androgen deficiency can result in brittle bones, called osteoporosis.
Soft, weak bones are more apt to break and cause arthritic joints. Without testosterone treatment, women can have chronic depression, loss of sexual desire, and infertility. It is not a condition to be ignored. There are options to increase testosterone in women.
Mightly every woman with low T symptoms tried natural treatments first, diet and exercise can affect testosterone production, but frequently, its not enough. In some cases, women may see elevated levels when their diets are higher in protein and less in fat and carbs with regular exercise. Many multivitamins, pills and herbal supplements are marketed to increase testosterone in women, but therere not FDA-approved and show zero effectiveness.
Testosterone therapy in the form of injections for women remains to be the most effective treatment due to date. The doctor may prescribe Cypionate, Propionate or Enanthanate injections. As with most medications, experience shows that the benefits of prescribed testosterone therapy usually outweigh possible side effects.
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J Dry Or Thinning Skin
The balance between testosterone and estrogen in both men and women helps determine their skins thickness and texture.
Womens skin is 20% thinner on average than mens. It holds less moisture and less collagen, making it significantly more fragile and more susceptible to thinning or losing its youthful quality as a result of low testosterone levels.
Premature aging due to changes in the skins quality can negatively affect womens self-image and appearance, but its a symptom that could see significant improvement through treatment.
Talk to a TRT expert and get back to feeling the way you’re supposed to.Now serving patients in all Texas cities.
How Should Testosterone Gel/cream Be Used
The testosterone gel/cream should be to applied to clean dry skin and allowed to dry before dressing. Skin contact with partners or children should be avoided until dry and hands should be washed immediately after application. The area of application should not be washed for 2-3 hours after application.
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B Mood Swings Depression And Low Mood
In addition to controlling energy levels, testosterone and other hormones play important roles in mood regulation, and imbalances can leave a woman feeling out of sorts on any given day, as this study demonstrates.
Do you identify with any of these key signs of low testosterone in women?
- Unexplained low moods
- Bouts with the blues
- Mild to moderate depressive periods
Even if you are not experiencing severe depression, you may still be having unpredictable mood swings, or even just a general low feeling that we often refer to as low mood as a result of low testosterone.
Theres good news, too. One study found women suffering from depression had a marked increase in mood after being put on testosterone replacement therapy and that women who took testosterone had higher levels of overall well being.
Women often consider taking prescription medication to combat these very difficult times of low mood, believing there are no other options available.
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of low testosterone. It might be possible to treat the source of the overall problem , rather than simply improving a single symptom through medication .
Talk to a TRT expert and get back to feeling the way you’re supposed to.Now serving patients in all Texas cities.
Diagnosing Low Testosterone Levels
It is more common for women to experience low levels of testosterone than an elevated state. Oftentimes, women manifest with depression, stress, symptoms of menopause, or a feeling of sensing that there’s something wrong, but not being able to figure out why.Whenever you don’t feel like yourself for any reason, it is best to investigate more thoroughly. A hormone specialist will be able to detect the hormonal imbalance that may be causing your symptoms.A blood test will verify if your testosterone levels are low. Once the physician confirms your low testosterone levels, a customized therapy will help you correct the imbalance.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
In contrast to the abrupt onset of hot flushes and night sweats which occur in some women at the menopause when oestrogen levels fall, the symptoms related to testosterone deficiency develop more gradually and may go undetected. Testosterone appears to have direct independent effects in different parts of the body, and some women experience a variety of physical symptoms when their testosterone levels fall.
There is no level of testosterone below which a woman can be said to be deficient, and a Testosterone deficiency syndrome has never been defined. However, research studies indicate that many women reporting low sexual function benefit with testosterone therapy.
All women should have a blood test to measure their testosterone and SHBG levels before starting any testosterone therapy. This is not in order to diagnose deficiency, but rather to ensure women with normal to high levels of testosterone are not inappropriately treated.
CautionTestosterone therapy will not be the answer for someone who has a poor partner relationship, depression or poor wellbeing due to other causes.
Symptoms Of High Testosterone In Women
Signs of high testosterone levels in women can include:
- Abnormal hair growth throughout your body
- Male pattern baldness
- An enlarged clitoris and smaller breast size
- Menstrual irregularities are another sign of high levels of testosterone
- And if you put on pounds super easily, you might want to get your testosterone levels checked: elevated testosterone contributes to weight gain
High female testosterone levels are also linked with an increased risk of obesity and infertility. Post-menopausal women with elevated testosterone may be more likely to experience insulin resistance, which can make diabetes more likely. If you have high levels of testosterone, speak with your healthcare provider to learn about hormone imbalance treatment options. In some cases, hormone therapy or medication can help get levels back to a balanced state.
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The Causes Of Low Testosterone In Women
Your testosterone levels naturally change throughout your life, during your menstrual cycle, and even throughout a normal day. But there are instances when your testosterone levels can significantly drop below normal and stay there. Here are a few things that can cause low-t in women.
- Long-term use of oral birth control pills and contraceptive patches.
- Ovarian failure can lead to low testosterone levels.
- Chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and eating disorders.
- Using certain medications like anti-hypertensives and opiates.
- Tumors on various glands in the body.
- Adrenal insufficiency.
Yes, menopause! Not only does menopause mess with your estrogen and progesterone levels, but it can also throw your testosterone levels off balance. You may be surprised to find out that medications that combat the side effects of menopause, like oral estrogen, can lower testosterone levels. Dealing with hormones can feel like a vicious circle at times!