Testosterone Therapy for Women: What You Need to Know
Testosterone is a hormone vital to a woman’s health. It helps to maintain strong muscles and bones, sharp brain functions, hair growth, fertility, and sex drive. As with males, testosterone levels decline with age. However, for women who reach menopause, testosterone production in the ovaries ceases altogether. Only a small percentage of testosterone produced by the adrenal glands remains, offsetting the balance of testosterone to estrogen in the body. When that happens, testosterone therapy for women is the answer.
Low testosterone is often associated with health conditions that include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
These and other health concerns multiply in risk as testosterone levels decline with age. Although prescribed as an off-label treatment in the US, millions of females have already successfully received testosterone replacement for women.
For younger females contemplating pregnancy, testosterone plays a critical role in fertility, ensuring follicular sensitivity to circulating follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. At any age, testosterone is essential to the female body.
Testosterone therapy for women helps offset the decline that happens as women age.
Why Do Women Need Testosterone?
Testosterone is not a male-only hormone. The body, specifically the enzyme aromatase produced in fat cells, converts testosterone into estradiol – the primary form of estrogen. When testosterone levels decline, it can lead to an estrogen deficiency, or it can be caused by too much estrogen increasing fat retention and aromatase production. When that occurs, a condition called estrogen dominance results from an abnormal estrogen to testosterone ratio. Women in this situation have an increased risk of obesity, breast cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
What does testosterone do for women?
Testosterone binds with androgen receptors in the muscles to support muscle tone and strength. In the bones, testosterone promotes proper bone turnover (remodeling) and new bone cell growth. Testosterone also stimulates the activities of androgen receptors in the brain that regulate critical neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine, for balanced mood and emotions. Without enough testosterone, a woman may feel foggy-headed, unfocused, and forgetful.
Testosterone therapy for women works on all the body’s androgen receptors. By doing so, it strengthens brain functions, muscles, and bones, balances emotions, improves metabolism and hair growth, and stimulates sexual desire and fantasies.
The use of testosterone for women’s health helps to normalize blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, and glucose levels. Testosterone is crucial for the heart, reducing the risk of mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular disease.
What Does Testosterone Therapy Do for Women?
The use of testosterone therapy for women is still a subject of significant research. We know that increasing low testosterone levels provides the following benefits:
- Supporting healthy sexual functions by working on androgen receptors in the brain that stimulate sexual fantasies, thoughts, dreams, and desires. Using testosterone for women’s libido also improves genital arousal and vaginal secretions for more pleasurable sex, heightening a woman’s orgasm intensity.
- Follicular development in the ovaries relies on testosterone, which also makes the follicles more sensitive to signals from FSH to promote oocyte (egg) maturation. Testosterone also reduces apoptosis (cellular death) of the follicles.
- Red blood cell production requires testosterone to promote erythropoiesis in the bone marrow cells. Increased red blood cells improve circulation and heart health.
- Testosterone therapy also supports sharp mental focus, memory, and cognitive processing, giving women drive and motivation for better productivity.
- One benefit of testosterone is the lowering of cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which improves sleep and provides more energy.
- Testosterone plays a critical role in muscle protein anabolism to support muscular tone and strength. At the same time, testosterone improves metabolism to aid in fat burning and weight loss for a better physique.
- Testosterone replacement therapy helps rebuild weak bones to reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
While testosterone accomplishes all the benefits listed above, it helps to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. Most women who receive supplemental testosterone report happier emotions and a better quality of life. For those dealing with menopausal symptoms, a decrease in the frequency of hot flashes, and night sweats is likely.
Can I Benefit from Testosterone Therapy?
If you are a younger woman having trouble with fertility, or an older woman experiencing symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, brain fog, weight gain, mood swings, night sweats), you may benefit from treatment for low testosterone in women.
Another way to determine if testosterone therapy for women is right for you is if you have received a diagnosis of any of the following health conditions from your doctor:
- High cholesterol
- Insulin resistance
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic heart failure
- Dementia (any type0
If any of these issues are present in your life, or if you have symptoms of low testosterone (fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, forgetfulness, thinning hair, joint pains, muscle loss), it is time to reach out to a hormone specialist for comprehensive testing.
Is Testosterone Therapy Safe for Women?
Although not as widely researched as with men, numerous studies have already shown the safety of testosterone therapy for females. Even women who cannot receive traditional estrogen and progestin treatments can often take supplemental testosterone with an aromatase blocker. The use of anastrozole inhibits the body’s ability to convert testosterone into estrogen, helping to keep estrogen levels low to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other issues.
Only a doctor with extensive hormone balancing experience should prescribe testosterone therapy for women. We do not recommend getting this medication from anyone else, as it is crucial to consider how testosterone will influence many other hormone levels before starting treatment.
How Do I Know How Much Testosterone Therapy I Need?
Calculating the right testosterone dosage for women is a critical part of receiving hormone replacement therapy. The doctor must use great care to ensure that the right amount of testosterone enters the body to avoid side effects associated with high levels of the hormone.
Testosterone injections for women are only recommended for use by oncologists for specific types of metastasized breast cancer. Injectable testosterone is too strong for regular hormone balancing needs by females.
Our doctors here at Greenberg Health recommend testosterone cream for women. They carefully calculate, based on a woman’s level of deficiency, age, health, and body composition, how much testosterone her body requires. Then, they send the prescription to a compounding pharmacy for preparation to those exact parameters. That is how to get the right, personalized testosterone therapy for women.
How Do I Find Out If I Need Testosterone Therapy?
The determination of the need for testosterone for women begins with medical consultation with a hormone specialist. Upon assessing a woman’s health status and whether reported symptoms align with those of testosterone deficiency, the next step is blood analysis. A physical examination and completion of a health history questionnaire round out the diagnostic process.
Here at Greenberg Health, we offer free consultations by phone with our knowledgeable and caring medical advisors. If you have questions about testosterone therapy for women, would like more information, or want to schedule your low-cost blood test at a lab near you, please contact us today.