Did You Know That Women suffering from low testosterone can also benefit from Testosterone Therapy?
When you hear the words “testosterone,” or “testosterone therapy,” what comes to mind? Men’s health most likely. But, did you know that women’s bodies also produce and need testosterone, and sometimes, they can also benefit from testosterone therapy?
Jane Fonda is a controversial figure to some, but at 78, no one can deny that she looks tremendous! Jane, like similar hormone therapy advocate, Suzanne Somers, also says that she still enjoys an active love life, but she found that “lately she needed a little help in that department.”
Ms. Fonda openly and proudly admits that she has been receiving testosterone therapy for the past few years, and in a very candid interview she said, “If you want to remain sexually active and your libido has dropped, taking a small dose of the libido-boosting hormone, testosterone, makes a huge difference.”
Jane is absolutely right. For many years the medical community thought that the “bedroom troubles” that women encounter as they get older, were primarily due to decreasing levels of the “female” hormones, progesterone and estrogen.
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However, more recent research indicates that it is actually low levels of testosterone and not estrogen that are largely responsible for the loss of libido and lack of sensitivity that women develop as they approach and enter menopause. Current research also seems to suggest that declining testosterone levels in women as they age plays a role in weight gain, cognitive difficulties and loss of bone density and muscle tone.
This is why in my practice we often combine testosterone with estrogen when prescribing hormone therapy for women.
Women and Testosterone Therapy
Though considered a “male sex hormone,” or androgen, testosterone is produced by women’s bodies in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. Testosterone is important to a woman’s reproductive health, and actually has over 200 different functions in women.
Contrary to what was once believed, there is little evidence that testosterone increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer. In fact, there is mounting evidence that it may even decrease a woman’s risk.
Clinical studies published in respected peer-reviewed medical journals have concluded that a small increase in the testosterone levels in menopausal and post-menopausal women can boost libido, improve the ability to become aroused, and increase the frequency and intensity of orgasms.
It has also been found that low levels of testosterone play a significant role in sexual wellness complaints in women of all ages. Studies have found that giving even a low dose of testosterone to such women increases desire, has them “thinking about sex more often,” and boosts mood, while providing an improved sense of overall well-being.
Beyond the bedroom, other studies have found that low-dose testosterone therapy increases mental acuity and cognition in women.
Hormone Therapy for Women
There remain many misconceptions about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for women. Many women fear that HRT increases the risk of breast cancer. These reports, from a survey over 10 years ago, have been largely discredited.
When properly administered, by certified professionals, hormone replacement therapy for women is far less risky then was once believed.
Unfortunately, many women still believe hormone replacement is not safe due to confusion and misinformation. The truth is, HRT, including testosterone therapy, is the single most effective treatment we have available for helping women deal with the sexual issues and other challenges brought on by menopause.
In my practice, when I see a woman complaining of low libido, or lack of interest in sex, after lab work, I often find them to have low testosterone levels.
In these women, I have found that testosterone therapy improves sexual responsiveness and increases their desire for sexual activity.