Testosterone levels in women

Testosterone is an androgen. It is a steroid hormone that is associated with male sexuality and development. This hormone is responsible for the development of male characteristics like male sex organs, deep voice, facial hair, etc. However this hormone is present in women, too. Testosterone is present in the testes of men and the ovaries of women. A woman’s testosterone levels are very low when compared to that of a man. However, this hormone does play an important role in both men and women. It is essential for proper functioning of the brains, bone and muscle mass, fat distribution, energy production and sexual functioning.

Low testosterone levels in women can cause several problems. This hormone is essential for maintaining bone mass, density and strength. Reduction in testosterone levels can put women at risk of developing osteoporosis. Low testosterone levels in women can also affect libido or sex drive. This hormone is essential for maintaining good sexual function and sex drive. Testosterone in women is also responsible for maintaining muscle strength and mass. In general, sufficient testosterone levels are essential for overall health and well being.

Excess of women’s testosterone levels can also cause several health problems. Since testosterone is a male hormone, women who have to much of this hormone tend to show certain male characteristics like male pattern hair growth, hirsutism, increased muscle mass or a deepening voice. In general, testosterone levels in women tend to increase around puberty and then decline. As a woman approaches menopause, her testosterone levels may reduce drastically.

High testosterone levels are associated with health problems like Cushing syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, adrenal hyperplasia and insulin resistance. High testosterone levels can greatly reduce fertility in women. So, if you are of child bearing age and finding it hard to conceive, it is essential to make sure that your testosterone levels are normal. Some studies have shown that high testosterone levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well.

Women’s testosterone levels stand at around 40 to 50 g/dl around age 15 and increases to 70 ng/dl around the 20s. Post-menopausal women have anywhere between 7 to 40 ng/dl of testosterone

There are several ways to determine a woman’s testosterone level. Blood and saliva samples are commonly used to determine the levels of testosterone. Blood tests involve analyzing serum for total testosterone. Results of these tests include the testosterone that is bound to proteins and cannot be used by the body. Saliva tests are more practical and accurate. It measures the amount of free testosterone that is actually available for use by the body.

If a woman is found to have low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy may be recommended. This involves using testosterone in the form of creams, gels, capsules, patches or even injections. Oral testosterone supplements are easy to use. They contain synthetic bioidentical testosterone. Testosterone creams can be used to deal with vaginal dryness and weakness of vaginal muscles. There are testosterone patches which release testosterone though the skin in small doses. Intramuscular injection of testosterone is another method used to deal with testosterone deficiency. Injections of 50 to 100 mcg testosterone monthly may be recommended.

In women with high testosterone levels, treatment is aimed at combating the symptoms. For instance, laser therapy can be used to remove excess hair on the face and chest. Lifestyle modifications, weight reduction, healthy diet, exercise and stress management techniques can help manage high testosterone levels to a good extent.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and think you may have issues with testosterone levels, it would be a good idea to see your doctor. He or she can do the necessary testing to determine if that is causing the problem and be able to provide effective treatment. As with anything, the earlier a problem is identified, the better the prognosis so see your doctor if you suspect abnormal testosterone levels.

Last updated on Dec 29th, 2010 and filed under Women's Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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