Similar to men, women also produce the androgen hormone known as testosterone, albeit in smaller quantities, primarily in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone plays a crucial role in maintaining mood, energy levels, sex drive, and overall bodily functions in women.
The Influence of Testosterone on Women's Health:
Normal testosterone levels have several essential functions in women's health:
- Bone Health: Adequate testosterone levels support bone growth and strength, which is vital for overall bone health. Both testosterone and estrogen play significant roles in bone formation.
- Cognitive Health: According to guidelines from the Endocrine Society, testosterone has a neuroprotective effect in women. Studies have shown that post-menopausal women with Alzheimer's disease had lower testosterone and estrogen levels, and higher testosterone levels in premenopausal women have been linked to better cognitive performance.
- Sex Drive: Testosterone is often associated with male sexual health, but women also have this hormone in their system. It contributes to desire, fantasy, and thoughts about sex and provides energy for sexual activity.
Low Testosterone Levels in Women:
Although testosterone levels decrease gradually between the ages of 20 and 40 in women, there is no significant reduction akin to the abrupt decline in estrogen during menopause. However, some post-menopausal women may experience lower testosterone levels, which can lead to a decrease in sex drive. In such cases, testosterone patches have been found to improve libido. Low testosterone levels can also result in fatigue and increase the risk of bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures.
High Testosterone Levels in Women:
Elevated levels of free testosterone, a type of androgen, can be associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a condition that disrupts monthly periods and ovulation. PCOS affects approximately 10 percent of women of childbearing age and can lead to missed or irregular periods, infertility, excess hair growth, ovarian cysts, skin problems, and an increased risk of miscarriage. High testosterone levels, whether due to PCOS or other causes, can be linked to serious health issues such as insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
When to Consider Testosterone Replacement Therapy
There are some false conceptions that hormone therapy is only for men who have declining testosterone values. This could not be further from the truth. Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can be an excellent treatment for women. In total, hormone therapy may be able to assist with the following symptoms:
- Hair thinning
- Sleep troubles
- Lack of sex drive
- Loss of motivation and vitality
- Reduced assertiveness
- Loss of muscle mass
- Inability to lose weight
- Joint discomfort
- Declining cognitive abilities
Above all else, anyone feeling the effects of aging may be a great candidate for Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy that rejuvenates your overall sense of wellness. At Holtorf Medical Group, our experts can help you decide if this treatment is right for you as well as provide you with additional therapy options to ensure you feel optimized.