Can Women Experience Low Testosterone Levels?


Testosterone is widely known as the male sex hormone. So as a female, you might be surprised to learn that your body makes some testosterone, too. Your body does not make as much as a man's body — you have much more estrogen than testosterone flowing around. However, you do need some testosterone for good health, and if you no longer produce enough of this hormone, that could be a problem. Here's a closer look at testosterone deficiency and replacement in women.

What does testosterone do for your body?

Produced in your adrenal glands, testosterone plays a number of roles in the female body. It helps keep your sex drive high and aids in fertility. It also stimulates your body to produce red blood cells. When you work out, testosterone encourages your body to put on muscle — just like it does in a man's body. However, since you have less testosterone than a man, you won't typically put on quite as much muscle.

What happens if you don't make enough testosterone?

Low testosterone in women often goes undiagnosed simply because women don't realize this is a problem that can happen to them. Low testosterone may also be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome or a metabolic problem. However, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility that your testosterone levels are low:

  • Low fertility or trouble becoming pregnant
  • Low libido
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Feelings of lethargy throughout the day
  • Changes in the regularity of your menstrual cycle

Your doctor can test for testosterone deficiency via a simple blood test. They will probably run a full blood panel when they do so since low testosterone levels can be related to thyroid problems and nutrient deficiencies, too.

How is low testosterone treated in women?

If your doctor does find that you're not producing enough testosterone, they will recommend that you take testosterone replacement medications. Sometimes these may be provided in pill form, but other times you may be given a patch to wear or a gel to apply topically. The dose won't be huge, but it will be big enough to help ease the symptoms you're experiencing. You should notice that you feel better within a matter of days. Women sometimes worry about the side effects of testosterone replacement. However, since the dose is low, you should not face problems like acne and a deeper voice. These would only occur if you took too large a dose.

Women do produce testosterone, and a lack of testosterone can be detrimental to your health. Talk to your doctor to learn more.


12 September 2019

mapping out health care during travels

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