What are the treatments for low testosterone in women?
What is low testosterone in women?
Testosterone is a hormone known as an androgen. It’s often thought of as a “male” hormone. However, women also have testosterone in their bodies.
Imbalances of either too much or too little testosterone can affect a woman’s overall health. Some of the functions testosterone serves in a woman’s body include:
producing new blood cells
influencing follicle-stimulating hormones that can affect reproduction.
According to the Department of Health & Human Services in Victoria, Australia; testosterone production in women is often age-dependent. By the time a woman is 40 years old, her levels of androgens have decreased by half.
There’s still a lot that doctors are researching about low testosterone in women and treatments for low testosterone. However, new treatments are being studied that may provide help to women affected by low testosterone levels.
Treatments for low testosterone in women haven’t been largely studied by medical experts. While doctors know about the effects of excess testosterone in women, the symptoms of too-little testosterone aren’t as well known. As a result, doctors don’t always have the same regimen for treatments related to low testosterone levels.
Doctors may prescribe a medication called Estratest in post-menopausal women. This medicine has both estrogen as well as testosterone in it. However, the testosterone form is a synthetic one and may not be as effective in treating low testosterone.
Doctors can also administer injections of testosterone and medical researchers are currently studying the effects of testosterone patches and pellets implanted in the skin. Some women may also obtain testosterone gel formulations from compounding pharmacies. However, these gels are traditionally used for men that have much higher average testosterone levels than when compared with women.
An over-the-counter option is taking a DHEA supplement. Because DHEA is a precursor to testosterone, the idea is that if someone takes DHEA, they could increase the amount of testosterone in their body. Speak with your doctor before starting a DHEA supplement as treatment for low testosterone.
Having too much testosterone in your body can also cause side effects. Side effects of excess testosterone use in women include:
*Masculine physical characteristics, including male-pattern balding and deepened voice
Women who are or may be pregnant shouldn’t take androgens. Women who are breastfeeding also shouldn’t take testosterone medications as it could pass on to the child.
You should always talk to your doctor before starting any testosterone or related medications and supplements. They’ll be able to provide tests and make sure that there are no interactions with other medications you take.