Women also need testosterone
We know that testosterone is an important male hormone, vital to sexuality, and the development of manly features. However, not many people know that testosterone is also needed by women (albeit not in the same quantities as men) to maintain a good quality of life.
As one grows older, levels of hormones begin to drop, and this includes estrogen, as well as testosterone. The symptoms of Low T are similar to those of the premenopausal stage, or the beginning of actual menopause. A blood test to determine hormone levels will determine estrogen as well as testosterone levels. Bear in mind that low T can be an issue for women of any age, not only those that are approaching menopause.
What happens when a woman has low testosterone?
Studies have revealed that a woman’s testosterone levels naturally change throughout her life, her menstrual cycle, and sometimes even as often as different times of the day. A woman with low T does not have enough testosterone to help produce new blood cells, maintain her sex drive, or boost levels of other reproductive hormones. Some symptoms which can occur:
- Fertility problems.
- Low libido and a lack of sex drive.
- Reduces red blood cell production.
- Negatively affects muscle mass and the even distribution of fat in the body.
- Weight gain and mood changes, as a result of not having enough testosterone to balance estrogen levels.
- Painful intercourse, and irregular menstrual cycles.
- Fatigue and tiredness which happen suddenly.
Men have, and need, more testosterone than women. However, female adrenal glands and ovaries produce small amounts of this hormone, which is enough to keep the testosterone levels constant. If this production is hampered or reduced, the result is usually symptoms of low testosterone.
Causes and diagnosis
Studies have shown that there are 2 main reasons for low T in women. One is reducing-levels of the hormone due to aging or menopause, while the other cause is a problem with the ovaries or adrenal glands. If, after a physical examination, the doctor suspects low T issues, a blood test will establish the testosterone levels.
Treatment for low T
Many doctors advise against taking the manufactured testosterone for low T issues. Research has shown that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve very few testosterone-based treatments for the women.
A major reason for the reluctance to treat low T in women with testosterone-based meds, is due to the fact that T levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. There is therefore a potential risk of either an overdose, or an under-dosage of testosterone. Other considerations are the possible side effects which exist with T-based treatment, which include hair loss, acne, excess facial hair, and a deepening voice. The exception to the treatment protocols is if a woman is suffering from a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder. A testosterone-based treatment would then be appropriate. There is agreement that foods such as ginger, fatty fish, zinc, and red meat, may be able to help raise T-levels of people with low testosterone levels.
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