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Do Women Have Testosterone?

Updated on November 11, 2021
Written by
Kelly Jamrozy
3 sources cited
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Testosterone is a hormone mostly associated with males. However, testosterone in women is normal. They need it for their bodies to function properly.

It plays a role in the female body and affects:

  • Ovarian function
  • Libido
  • Bone strength
  • Mood
  • Cognitive function

Testosterone and estrogen are vital for reproductive health. Estrogen is a vital female hormone.

Like men, some women have more testosterone than others. And like men, some choose to supplement testosterone if they don’t have enough. Women balance their hormones if their bodies have too much testosterone.

What should you know about testosterone in women’s bodies?

Role of Testosterone

Testosterone gets a bad rap in many cases. People think it’s related to aggression or rage, but this isn’t true. It is linked with masculinity.

Aggressive behavior is related to high testosterone levels. This happens with abuse of testosterone supplements.

Healthy levels of testosterone play a role in:

  • Development of male sex organs
  • Bone and muscle strength
  • Sex drive
  • Appearance of facial hair and other male characteristics

However, testosterone levels tend to fluctuate throughout a person’s life.

Men with low testosterone lack many of the standard male characteristics. Women with too much testosterone develop male characteristics.

Does Everyone Have Testosterone?

Everyone has testosterone. The hormone plays an important role in development during puberty.

Testosterone is responsible for body changes during puberty. Both boys and girls experience a surge of testosterone during adolescence. This lasts into young adulthood.

It supports secondary female sex characteristics development. These include breast development and vocal changes.

Female bodies do not respond to testosterone the same way male bodies do. In most cases, their testosterone is converted to estrogen. If it isn't converted, females might develop male characteristics. A great example is developing facial hair.

Male and female bodies continue to produce testosterone as they age. In both cases, the production decreases as they age.

How are Testosterone Levels Different in Men and Women?

Male and female bodies produce different amounts of testosterone. Women’s bodies make about 1/10th-1/20th of the testosterone found in male bodies.

Women have higher levels of estrogen. Men, on one hand, have higher levels of testosterone.

There is also a difference in where testosterone is produced. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes. In women, it's in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and skin and fat cells.

Does Testosterone Affect Women’s Bodies Differently than It Does Men’s?

Testosterone provides a variety of benefits for men and women. In both sexes, hormonal balance is an indication of good health.

When testosterone levels are too high in men, it’s rarely a problem. In women, too high testosterone levels can wreak havoc.

Women with elevated testosterone levels develop are at risk of:

  • Acne
  • Developing facial hair
  • Having traditionally male characteristics

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have high testosterone levels.

Benefits of Testosterone for Women (and the Side Effects)

Testosterone is important in women’s bodies because it supports:

  • Breast health
  • Bone health
  • Sex drive
  • Fertility
  • Vaginal health
  • Menstrual health

Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women

What Happens if a Woman’s Body Doesn’t Produce Enough Testosterone?

Unbalanced hormones harm health. However, testosterone replacement therapy can help. It could be as effective for women as it is for men. It can help maintain healthy testosterone levels.

Do Women Have Testosterone? 1

EverlyWell - Women's Health Test

EverlyWell’s Test for Women's Health will tell you if your hormone levels are abnormal. It will then give you some steps you can take to get them back into balance.

What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?

TRT has several benefits. These include:

Improved Heart Health

Testosterone plays a role in heart health. Low testosterone increases the risk of heart health issues.

Studies show that TRT boost healthy red blood cell production. It also reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease.

However, these benefits mostly apply to men. Further studies are needed to prove that these also apply to women.

Reduced Risk of Obesity

Testosterone is linked to increased muscle mass in both women and men. Having more lean muscle mass makes controlling your weight easier.

Furthermore, it increases energy levels. Testosterone replacement therapy ensures a strong and healthy body.

Improved Bone Strength

Low testosterone levels increase a person’s risk of osteoporosis. Testosterone replacement therapy improves bone mineral density. This is evident in the spine and hips.

Those transitioning from female to male show improved bone density with TRT.

Cognitive Improvement

Men with healthy testosterone levels have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Testosterone is also linked to:

  • Spatial memory
  • Verbal memory
  • Processing speed

So far, this benefit applies to men. Researchers speculate it likely affects women in the same way.

Boosted Libido

It promotes sexual arousal and activity. This is one of the greatest benefits of TRT.

It boosts female libido. It does the same for men, too.

Improved Mood

Women and men with insufficient testosterone experience:

  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

Supplementing testosterone:

  • Improves mood
  • Boosts energy
  • Promotes feelings of well-being

If you’re feeling off, it might be due to low testosterone levels. Creating balance can impact your quality of life.

Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy is a medical treatment. Like all medical treatments, it poses risks. It’s important to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Consider how supplementing testosterone will affect you.

In some cases, this is a treatment that might not be an option for you. This is true if you have issues with blood clotting.

Other general risks linked with testosterone replacement therapy include:

  • Increased urine output
  • Increased acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Mood swings
  • Increase in aggression

Speak to your doctor if:

  • You’re concerned about your testosterone levels
  • You want to learn more about boosting testosterone for better health

Resources

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  1. Harvard Health Publishing. “Testosterone — What It Does and Doesn’t Do - Harvard Health.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health, 29 Aug. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/drugs-and-medications/testosterone--what-it-does-and-doesnt-do.
  2. “Study Identifies Effective Testosterone Dose for Women.” Harvard Health, 16 Oct. 2014, www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/study-identifies-effective-testosterone-dose-for-women.
  3. “Testosterone Therapy in Women: Does It Boost Sex Drive?” Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/expert-answers/testosterone-therapy/faq-20057935.
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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