Is it possible for women to have low testosterone?
The answer is yes! Testosterone is just as important in women as it is in men. There are two hormones in the body that are really important for our well being: Estrogen and Testosterone and everyone needs both regardless if you are male or female.
However, the amount of estrogen and testosterone needed in men and women are different.Estrogen regulates in both men and women: development of changes that occur in your body after puberty, and the regulation of the reproductive system. In women, estrogen regulates your menstrual cycle, bone density, cognitive function, and libido. Men also need small amounts of estrogen.
Testosterone regulates the development or maintenance of changes that occur in your body after puberty, increases in libido, muscle strength, fat-free muscle mass, bone density, cognitive function and red blood cell production. Women also need small amounts of testosterone.
Why do women need testosterone?
Testosterone is just as important as estrogen for women, just in smaller amounts. While a women may need total levels of up to a 100, men may need levels closer to 1000. And, yes this is more common than you think. Because testosterone levels start to decrease in your 20s and 30s, many women may start to develop symptoms of testosterone deficiency. These may include but are not limited to decreased energy levels, decreased libido, loss in muscle mass, weight gain, depression and anxiety.
What are some signs that I may have low testosterone?
Symptoms of low testosterone include chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing, decreased libido, weight gain and sleeping issues to name a few. These symptoms are very similar to depression and therefore some women may be treated with antidepressants only to discover their symptoms have not improved. Often, women with low testosterone as the cause for these symptoms are told “nothing is wrong”, or that they might have depression that is not responding to treatment. If you think you may have low testosterone or that a hormone imbalance may be causing some of your symptoms mentioned, then your doctor can perform a simple blood test and determine your levels.
What treatments are available for women with low testosterone?
There are a few different ways to increase testosterone levels including exercise and certain supplements. The most effective and safe way is to use hormone pellets. Pellets are not only convenient but deliver the hormones in a more stable, steady way.
We can also monitor these levels with simple blood tests and adjust as needed. The pellets are inserted by a trained physician and re-inserted every 3-6 months. You don’t have to worry about taking a pill or injecting yourself daily. Some creams are available but risks include passing onto loved ones when applied on skin. Injections are available but can be hard to monitor due to variable levels and are not as safe.