Is Testosterone Therapy for Women Worth Trying?
By Dr. Khanh Perrin
woman in work out clothes

Testosterone and its impact on the body have long been reserved for the male gender.

Naturally so, as men largely rely on this hormone to function as healthy human beings.

Nonetheless, researchers are now beginning to turn an inquisitive eye towards the effects testosterone has on females. In particular, how testosterone therapy for women affects those experiencing perimenopause.

Could it be a treatment worth trying?

Age and Changing Hormones

Our bodies produce different levels of hormones as we age. The two hormones with the greatest impact on females are estrogen and progesterone. Directly before menopause, during a phase known as perimenopause, women experience a significant decrease in both these hormones.

Perimenopause is characterized by some of the same symptoms as menopause. Though, unlike menopause, women have irregular periods during perimenopause and are therefore still ovulating.

Due to the decline in hormones, women frequently experience weakened muscles, decreased libido, weight gain, etc. In short, the general well-being of women can drop drastically during perimenopause.

Hence, testosterone therapy for women is gaining new ground in terms of finding a solution for women dealing with perimenopausal symptoms.

Low Testosterone in Women

Although testosterone levels are usually monitored closely in men, doctors are now calling attention to women’s testosterone levels as well.

Unsurprisingly, women produce about one-tenth the amount of testosterone that men do. But the hormone still plays a unique role for females. An adequate testosterone level in women supports healthy sexual function, appropriate weight, and the ability to stay physically fit.

Conversely, when testosterone levels decline, women often find it difficult to maintain a healthy body composition and even to stay fit. It’s also not uncommon for sexual function to take an incredible nose dive.

Testosterone and Sexual Function

Low testosterone levels in women contribute to low libido. In fact, many women find it difficult to participate in sexual activity altogether. For instance, some women suffer from vaginal dryness which often leads to painful intercourse.

Naturally, maintaining a sexually active lifestyle can become a challenge while dealing with these symptoms. Not only can sexual difficulties harm a woman’s sense of well-being, but it can negatively impact her romantic relationship as well.

Testosterone therapy for women is now considered a viable option to manage sexual problems caused by a hormone imbalance. By supplementing testosterone, women usually see a significant improvement in sexual functions like arousal, fantasies, and drive.

Testosterone and Body Composition

Physical fitness can be difficult for women to maintain during perimenopause. In fact, most women begin to gain weight up to 10 years before menopause even occurs. And further still, women who are taking some form of birth control often gain weight because of the influence the substitute hormones have on their system.

Previously overlooked, testosterone therapy for women is now becoming more popular to support women’s muscle mass. A sufficient level of testosterone can help women achieve a healthy body composition. More lean muscle mass and less body fat is the ultimate goal.

Testosterone therapy for women is pointing to a positive effect on the skeleton as well. In addition to helping women stay fit and trim, bone density increases with an adequate testosterone level.

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer

Symptoms of both perimenopause and menopause can cause a rapid decline in the well-being of women. With the hot flashes, sexual problems, weight gain, and mood swings, women are undoubtedly looking for a reprieve.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) typically only focuses on the “female” hormones—estrogen and progesterone. Although they can ease some of the most common symptoms, they can also increase the risk of breast cancer.

Studies on testosterone therapy for women suggests that using the “male” hormone for HRT doesn’t carry the same risks. Though, it’s not clear yet if testosterone therapy for women can actually decrease the risk of breast cancer.

If you’re ready to discuss testosterone therapy for women, please contact me. Together we can discover the best option for your personal and health needs.