Although people may generally think about the hormone testosterone as being associated with purely men, in fact it plays an essential role in the life and health of women as well. Along with estrogen and progesterone, testosterone is one of the sex hormones that women need to produce in the right quantity, and at the right time. It’s needed to maintain their reproductive health in earlier years, and later on when they have passed into menopause, the declines in these hormones can significantly affect general health..
Although not produced in the same quantity as for men, females also produce testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. The hormone keeps sex drive, mood, energy levels and general bodily functions running properly. Together with estrogen, it is essential to maintain bone density and support bone growth and strength.
The same as for men, testosterone maintains a healthy sex drive. It is part of what drives sexual desire, and even helps to provide the metabolism for sex in women.
What happens when your testosterone levels start to drop?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that falls in sex hormone levels are inevitable as we age. Both for men and women, the primary sex hormones reach a peak in the thirties, and then usually start to fall off at a steady rate. For women, the most dramatic falls are in progesterone and estrogen, which typically drop by 90% and 50% respectively in just a few years, as a woman passes through into menopause.
If you are looking for a quick guide to whether you are suffering from some hormone imbalance, visit our page here, where in just two minutes you can perform our free Progesterone Deficiency Assessment Test.
What are the most common side effects of lower testosterone levels?
Testosterone has a neuroprotective effect for women, and testosterone deficiency in menopausal women is probably of the main causes for the markedly higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease in females compared to males.
Some post-menopausal women experience a decrease in sex drive, and testosterone patches have been found to improve libido. Lower levels of testosterone can also result in other health issues, such fatigue, and increased risk for fractures due to osteoporosis.
Are there side effects from higher than normal levels of testosterone?
According to the Office on Women’s Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), high levels of a type of testosterone known as free testosterone can be associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS interferes with monthly ovulation and disrupts periods. Roughly 10 percent of women of childbearing age are affected with this health problem. It can cause the following symptoms:
- An irregular menstrual cycle
- Infertility, owing to failure to ovulate leading to difficulties in falling pregnant
- Excessive hair growth on the face, back, chest and stomach, fingers and toes.
- Ovarian cysts where immature follicles fuse together, forming large and painful growths
- Skin problems like acne, oily skin, dark patches of skin
- Hair problems like scalp eczema and dandruff.
In extreme cases, women who are pregnant and develop high levels of testosterone can miscarry and also develop serious health conditions, such as diabetes due to insulin resistance, and high cholesterol or high blood pressure leading to heart disease.
Are there testosterone therapies, and should you consider them?
In April 2022, the International Menopause Society published a paper that endorsed the use of compounded bioidentical hormone therapy (cBHT) to address the specific problems of falling testosterone levels in peri- and post-menopausal women. ProFeme® progesterone cream for women is the only bioidentical, pharmaceutical-grade hormone cream on the market! It is designed to restore your body’s natural progesterone balance and address symptoms of progesterone deficiency or estrogen dominance. You can purchase Pro-Femme over-the-counter from us and receive your delivery in just a few days.