When you hear “testosterone” and sexual health issues, I am sure you immediately think of men. While it is true that testosterone is considered the “male sex hormone,” women too, produce testosterone, and a low level of testosterone in women can be related to sexual problems.
In fact, during child bearing years, women produce about ten times as much testosterone as any other time in their lives. We now believe that this significant loss of testosterone upon menopause is responsible for some of the symptoms that were formally attributed to estrogen loss, most notably, weight gain, bone and muscle mass loss, and decreased sexual desire.
Women and Testosterone
Women’s bodies do need testosterone, and the fact is, by the time menopause is reached, any woman’s blood level of testosterone will be low. Now, not all women will experience symptoms due to that low level. However, in many women, low testosterone can contribute to low libido or loss of interest in sex, hot flashes, decreased energy, and mental fogginess.
For women experiencing these and other symptoms, bio-identical hormone therapy is a safe and proven effective option. In women, some testosterone is converted into estrogen. That could be part of the reason why testosterone replacement therapy is effective in not only the problems associated with low testosterone, but in relieving other menopausal symptoms.
Testosterone Therapy for Women
So now that you understand that women facing sexual health issues, can maybe benefit from testosterone replacement, the question is, what is the best delivery system for the hormone?
The two most common methods of taking supplemental testosterone for women come in the form of topical creams or gels, or as testosterone “pellets.”
Testosterone Pallets for Women
Hormone replacement pellets are inserted in the fat layer under the skin near your hip.
They release hormones, in this case testosterone, slowly over time, more like your body does. The pellets release their dose of testosterone over about a three month period, but also speed up a slow down the release of the hormone in response to strenuous activity – again closely mimicking your body’s own response.
In addition to delivering hormones in a more balanced and natural way, many women prefer the pellets to the awkward and messy application of creams and gels.
Particularly in women suffering the worst symptoms of menopause, testosterone pellets are often used in combination with estrogen and other female hormones. Women who use such combination release pellets report a significant reduction of hot flashes and night sweats. They return to normal sleep patterns after a few weeks, and claim, to have regained an overall sense of “well-being.”
This is the other advantage of pellets, as unlike gels, creams or even a patch, they can be used to deliver more than one hormone.
The pellets are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice. Insertion is quick and painless using a local anesthetic and a very tiny incision.
I have had women in my practice who have been given both estradiol and testosterone pellets, who tell me they have a renewed interest in sex. They tell me they have been able to enjoy sex again, and some have had an orgasm for the first time in years!
As one of the earliest adopters and proponents of Hormone Replacement Therapy for women, I have not found a more effective way of bringing hormones back to balanced blood levels than with testosterone pellets.
Other Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Pellets
In addition to the relief of menopausal symptoms and the increases in sexual satisfaction, testosterone replacement therapy for women has been shown to:
- Improve cognition and reduce “mental fogginess.”
- Improve bone density
- Decrease body fat, build lean muscle
- Improve mood, reduce anxiety, relieve depression
Testosterone replacement therapy for women is still only slowly being accepted by more mainstream medicine. Even those who see the benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy, (HRT) for women, believe only in the use of female hormones.
But, the number of women who are receiving and benefiting from testosterone replacement continues to grow, and I suspect that one day soon, it will be approved for the treatment of many more conditions in men, as well as women.
- What do you think of women taking “male” hormones?
- Have you tried Hormone Replacement? What were your results?
Start the conversation below.