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I Am a Woman with Low Testosterone Levels

Updated on October 23, 2021
Written by
Joel
2 sources cited
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Testosterone is a hormone usually linked with men. However, it’s also present in women. When testosterone levels are out of balance, it affects overall health.

What does testosterone do for women?

  • Helps with the production of new blood cells
  • Influences follicle-stimulating hormones that affect fertility
  • Enhances libido and sex drive
  • Maintains bone strength and growth
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Decreases body fat (post-menopausal women)
  • Decreases vaginal atrophy
  • Might support cardiovascular health

Testosterone imbalances tend to occur as women get older. But testosterone issues can happen any time in life.

What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women?

Understanding the value of balanced testosterone is important. It’s also important to know the signs of low testosterone in women.

Unbalanced testosterone levels may cause:

  • Low libido
  • Thinning hair
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Poor memory
  • Low bone density
  • Heart disease
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of strength
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sluggishness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Irregular menstrual cycles

Having these symptoms doesn't always mean low testosterone. It’s important to have a doctor complete an exam. You can then learn the various conditions that can lead to these issues.

Other conditions that mimic low testosterone levels include:

  • Depression
  • Thyroid disease
  • Chronic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Menopause

In some cases, these conditions are also linked to low testosterone levels. You might need treatment for more than one issue.

Causes of Low Testosterone in Women

There are two primary reasons women develop low testosterone levels. They include:.

  • Problems with the ovaries or adrenal glands or pituitary gland
  • Menopause and aging

Women’s testosterone levels naturally decrease over time. This is because the ovaries produce fewer hormones. Medicines used to treat menopause symptoms can cause testosterone reduction.

Some women can experience low testosterone long before menopause sets in. Other conditions that alter testosterone levels are:

  • Adrenal gland problems
  • Ovarian disease

Treatment for Low Testosterone

There are several ways to treat low testosterone in women. A combination of several treatments is usually recommended. Treatment includes:

  • Improving the quality of sleep
  • Drug therapy
  • Testosterone supplements

Sadly, testosterone treatment may trigger unwanted side effects. Some of the most common side effects of testosterone treatment include:

  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Deepening voice
  • Excess facial hair
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Fluid retention

Some doctors don't recommend testosterone supplements due to the side effects. In extreme cases, treatment might be necessary. An example is when it causes hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

To reduce testosterone levels, use less aggressive forms of treatment. These include:

Managing stress
Sex therapy
Dietary improvements
Increasing quantity and quality of sleep
OTC DHEA supplements

DHEA is a steroid hormone naturally produced in the adrenal glands. However, DHEA and testosterone supplements have the same side effects.

There is insufficient data about low testosterone treatment in women. Health experts agree supplemental testosterone is necessary for some. However, the side effects make it a last resort in many cases.

A common treatment option for low-T in women is a drug called Estratest. It’s a combination of synthetic testosterone and estrogen. It is typically given to menopausal women.

Some have had success using the drug. Others have found it did little to improve their low testosterone symptoms.

Another common treatment is testosterone injections. It also comes in patch, pellet, or gel forms. These are the same treatments given to men with low testosterone levels.

Many of these products contain high levels of testosterone. They raise a woman’s testosterone level too much. While the treatment might improve symptoms, it can lead to a new set of symptoms.

How Do You Know You Have Low Testosterone?

Undergoing medical testing will help determine your testosterone levels. However, tests administered by a doctor can be expensive. They might not be covered by medical insurance. There are at-home hormone tests available that are more reasonably priced.

I Am a Woman with Low Testosterone Levels 2

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.

Testosterone testing is recommended if:

  • You are experiencing any symptoms related to low testosterone
  • You are close to entering menopausal stage
  • You are undergoing menopause

Everlywell Testosterone Test is an at-home testing option. It is known to be one of the most effective tests available. It provides accurate and reliable information. You can discuss your results with your healthcare provider.

An at-home testosterone test is right for people who:

  • Are not yet ready for a full medical evaluation
  • Wants to know what's causing their symptoms

Resources

SHOW
HIDE

“Testosterone Therapy in Women: Does It Boost Sex Drive?” Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/expert-answers/testosterone-therapy/faq-20057935.

 Harvard Health Publishing. “Treating Low Testosterone Levels - Harvard Health.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health, 9 Aug. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/treating-low-testosterone-levels.

Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
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