Think Testosterone is “Just for Men”? Think Again
We all agree that testosterone is the ‘manliest’ hormone responsible for several metabolic and sexual functions in males. For example, based on several studies and clinical data, it can be safely assumed that adequate testosterone levels are responsible for puberty-related changes in adolescent males in addition to primary and secondary sexual maturation. Likewise, low testosterone levels in the male population are associated with several hazardous effects (physical, emotional, metabolic as well as vasomotor).
But are you aware that testosterone deficiency in females can also produce a wide array of disturbing complications?
Testosterone in women? What’s that about?
As crazy as it may sound, many people are unaware that measurable quantities of testosterone are produced by the adrenal glands and ovaries in females. This is because estrogen (or Estradiol) is produced as a result of testosterone conversion due to action of the key enzyme ‘aromatase’. However, the secretion of all major sex hormones (including testosterone) decreases after a person’s late twenties.
Benefits of Testosterone in Females:
- Prevention of Breast cancer: Some of the latest studies have shown that testosterone helps in minimizing the risk of developing breast cancer in females. According to the results of a new study, minimal changes in the growth of a breast tumor were observed when the patient was exposed to testosterone. Estrogen, on the other hand, is known to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells (2).
- Women’s sexuality: Clinical data indicates that controlled doses of testosterone (especially if consumed in the bioidentical formulations) can have a huge impact on the quality of sex life (3).
- Strength and Fitness: Besides optimizing sexual health and stamina, testosterone also helps improve overall fitness and strength. It has been observed that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be adequately utilized to control the weight gain caused by long term use of birth control pills or menopause. Various research studies suggests that testosterone replacement alone can work wonders at alleviating the abdominal obesity and excessive adipose tissue stores in the body.In order to explore the metabolic effects of testosterone replacement therapy, investigators conducted a study on obese menopausal women. As part of the study, the participants were divided in two groups; one group was advised calorie restricted diet and exercise with testosterone while the control group received similar diet regimen and exercise with a placebo. After the completion of the study at 9 months, investigators observed that the sub-group that received testosterone lost twice as much weight as compared to control group. In addition, the test group also gained lean muscles (approx. 6 pounds); confirming the anabolic effects of testosterone (4).
- Prevents against heart diseases:
Other than many benefits of testosterones discussed above, it also helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases and its deficiency can cause heart disease in aging women who have experienced hysterectomies. Postmenopausal women are at much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (due to loss of protective influence of estrogen). Obviously, viable options like bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy can definitely help a great deal in improving the quality of life.
In addition, testosterone replacement therapies can also exert other positive functions such as:
- Improvement in the mood
- Improved mental and physical health
What are the complications of low testosterone levels in females?
Significantly low levels of testosterone can cause sexual dysfunction and impaired libido in females. According to recent research, improvement in the serum levels of testosterone is often sufficient to restore normal sex drive in females.
Normal testosterone levels in the serum can be restored via several strategies; such as:
- Natural remedies to improve the endogenous production of testosterone
- Intake of testosterone in the bio-identical formulations; according to custom needs and requirements.
In conclusion, the serum levels decline naturally as part of the aging process in females. The declining testosterone may produce negative changes in mood, libido, metabolism as well as weight management. It is highly recommended to speak to a professional to see if bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.
- Guerrieri, G. M., Martinez, P. E., Klug, S. P., Haq, N. A., Vanderhoof, V. H., Koziol, D. E., … & Nelson, L. M. (2014). Effects of physiologic testosterone therapy on quality of life, self-esteem, and mood in women with primary ovarian insufficiency. Menopause, 21(9), 952-961.
- Glaser, R. L. (2015). Testosterone and breast cancer prevention. Maturitas, 81(1), 104.
- Goldstat, R., Briganti, E., Tran, J., Wolfe, R., & Davis, S. R. (2003). Transdermal testosterone therapy improves well-being, mood, and sexual function in premenopausal women. Menopause, 10(5), 390-398.
- Campbell, K. L., Foster-Schubert, K. E., Alfano, C. M., Wang, C. C., Wang, C. Y., Duggan, C. R., … & McTiernan, A. (2012). Reduced-calorie dietary weight loss, exercise, and sex hormones in postmenopausal women: randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, JCO-2011.