When you think of testosterone, you probably think of men. And yes, testosterone is an “androgen” or male hormone, but did you know that it also play a vital role in women? Of course women do not have testes. In women, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands.
As in men, testosterone in women is vital for bone health and building lean muscle. Also, as in men, testosterone in women plays a role in sexual desire or libido. Specifically when it comes to sexual wellness in women, testosterone is responsible for arousal and sensitivity in areas of sexual stimulation including the clitoris and nipples.
Testosterone and Aging Women
As with the female hormones, a woman’s level of testosterone also declines as she gets close to, and enters the menopausal years. This can lead to a number of less than desirable effects. A lack of energy, brittle hair, loss of bone density and muscle strength, and decreased libido, are just some of the symptoms related to low testosterone levels in women.
Interestingly enough, in women, as in men, stress leads to decreased production of testosterone. Pre-menopause, and menopause can be a very stressful time for women, and thus, this further reduces the production of testosterone as a women exits her child-bearing years.
Testosterone Replacement for Women
We, as anti-aging practitioners, have long seen the benefits of bio-identical testosterone replacement therapies for men. More recently, we have seen how adding testosterone replacement, along with other hormone replacement therapies, (HRT) normally given to women, can help them deal with menopausal symptoms.
Published studies have shown that testosterone replacement in women leads to increased sexual drive, improved arousal, and greater frequency of sexual fantasies in aging women.
In addition, testosterone optimization in women has been shown to:
- Increase libido
- Restore bone health
- Reduce fat/build muscle
- Improve Mood
- Create an enhanced feeling of general well-being
- Lead to less mental fogginess
In addition to helping women maintain lean muscle mass and enjoy a healthy and active sex life well into her 40s, 50s, and beyond, there is some exciting new evidence of additional positive benefits of maintaining optimal testosterone levels in a woman as she ages.
There have been studies that indicate low testosterone in women can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and increased risk of breast cancer.
Testosterone therapy in women is delivered in a number of ways. There are trans-dermal skin patches, creams and gels, oral supplements, and testosterone pellets.
In my practice, I have found the testosterone pellets to be one of the most effective ways to administer testosterone replacement for women. These small rice-like pellets are painlessly inserted below the skin, in the area of the hip. Over time they slowly release testosterone, in much the same way the body normally does.
It is important to note that there is really not a specific level of testosterone that is considered “low.” What is “low” for you, maybe “normal” for somebody else.
The only way to determine if your testosterone levels are low, and effecting your love-life or other aspects of your health, is to see your doctor, and have a proper blood test. Once your levels are determined, HRT that could include testosterone replacement, will be custom tailored to you unique optimal levels.
Do you believe women can benefit from testosterone?
Have you, or anyone you know tried testosterone replacement, or other HRT treatments? What were the results?
Start the conversation below.