Benefits of Testosterone for Women: The Case for Testosterone Replacement in Aging Women
Television, the internet, and magazine ads all target men with products that address the drop in testosterone that occurs with age, but despite being classified as a male hormone, testosterone is also produced by women. While it’s true that men produce far more testosterone than women do, during the early reproductive years, women have 10 times more testosterone than estrogen within the body, leading experts to believe that it’s really testosterone loss that results in many of the symptoms women go through in midlife, such as low libido, fatigue, low muscle tone, weight gain, and loss of mental focus.1
Testosterone for women has become a hot button issue as women begin to realize that they too are at risk for deficiencies since testosterone levels drop with age in women as well. Around the world, testosterone therapy is being used to treat the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in both pre- and post-menopausal women as research continues to show that healthy testosterone levels are essential for the physical and mental health of both men and women.
Which Women are at Risk for Testosterone Deficiency
Since the ovaries are responsible for producing both estrogen and testosterone, as the ovaries age, they produce less estrogen and testosterone.2 As women enter pre-menopause, testosterone production is reduced, and once women reach menopause, it’s common for them to produce less than half the testosterone they did previously. Every woman becomes at risk for testosterone deficiency as she ages, and women who go through a hysterectomy or oophorectomy have an even higher risk of dealing with low testosterone levels.
Dangers of Testosterone Deficiencies in Women
Women who begin experiencing a testosterone deficiency often notice many of the same symptoms men deal with as they deal with low T levels. Low levels of testosterone in women often lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis, since low T levels can leach away strength from the skeleton.3 Low levels can also lead to an increased risk of gaining weight since testosterone levels have been linked with fat mass in women in studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.4
A report published in the Journal of Women’s Health even showed that testosterone deficiencies could be a risk factor for the development of heart disease in women.5 Since cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of postmenopausal women, this is an interesting hypothesis that underscores the importance of balanced hormones in women, including testosterone.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy for Women
Both women and men may experience a wide variety of symptoms with low testosterone, such as fatigue, weight gain, low libido, and mental fogginess. Testosterone therapy has the potential to relieve these symptoms. Low libido is one of the most common complaints among aging women, and studies show that treating women with testosterone can significantly improve their sex drive.6
For women going through menopause, testosterone therapy often provides symptom relief. Studies show that testosterone therapy in menopausal women can relieve the symptoms of menopause, including urinary urgency, incontinence, vaginal dryness, and hot flashes.7 Testosterone therapy may also help protect against cardiovascular events, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, as well as offering a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes by lowering insulin resistance.8
While some buy into the myth that testosterone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer, studies show that instead of increasing a woman’s risk for the disease, taking testosterone may actually help prevent breast cancer.9 Other benefits of testosterone women may experience include improve focus and mental clarity, reduced fatigue, reduced anxiety, improved bone density, and increases in lean muscle mass.
Why Choose Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Women suffering from testosterone deficiency can benefit from choosing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Since bio-identical hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones a woman’s body naturally produces, hormones can be properly used and naturally metabolized and excreted by the body.
When compared to traditional hormone replacement therapy, BHRT offers a much lower risk of side effects. BHRT is tailor made to meet each woman’s specific needs, ensuring that hormone levels are increased safely to prevent negative side effects.
Women who are aging or who have undergone a hysterectomy or oophorectomy are at risk for declining testosterone levels. Aging women who experience low libido, poor concentration, symptoms of menopause, or other symptoms related to low levels of testosterone can benefit from testosterone therapy.10 Choosing bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can benefit women by reducing the symptoms of menopause, preventing osteoporosis, protecting the heart, increasing lean muscle mass, and improving overall quality of life.11
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