Most women think that testosterone is only for the dudes. Wrong. Believe it or not, every woman living on earth has their own set of T hormones planted in their body, including you. It may not be as many as men, of course, which is why your voice is not too deep or chest hair is something you don’t have.
Still, the hormone under the name testosterone will always be part of your body. In fact, you will need it in case you want to tone your bodies or even boost your sex drive. Many doctors even prescribe testosterone therapy on women to help them address some issues associated with aging.
On the other hand, the Endocrine Society states that not all women, particularly those who belong in the menopause group, should take testosterone therapy.
Few studies cover this topic, but the bottom line is testosterone is not for everyone. Nonetheless, here are some things you should know about T hormones and find out if you are a candidate of testosterone therapy.
1. Weight Lifting Can Increase Testosterone Levels
Most women, including you perhaps, are afraid to build muscles. Well, you don’t want to have arms like Hulk Hogan or Arnold the Terminator. If you want to build muscles, you want to keep it toned and pleasing to the eye as much as possible.
If you want build muscle mass without bulking up, do three to five repetitions, with four to five sets of each exercise. This can boost your T levels, which helps you build muscle mass and maintain bone strength, by the way. This can also trigger exercise-induced growth hormones, which is also important in building muscles.
In other words, don’t be too scared when building muscles. Look at Ronda Roussey. For sure, she is lifting weights since she needs to maintain her strength, yet her body looks amazing. She doesn’t look too bulky but you know there are muscles in there somewhere. The key is doing weights the right way.
2. Testosterone Can Boost One’s Sex Drive
Okay, who wouldn’t want an on the go and readily available sex drive? Admit it ladies, you dream about and fantasize sex too, even if it means taking everything in your own hands, literally speaking.
However, the sad part is that even if you dream of sex, certain factors can take away those fantasies and throw it in the bin.
There are natural methods to go about this sex drive has gone MIA situation. You can opt for herbal supplements or lifestyle changes.
However, there is one popular solution that is making raves in the medical world: testosterone replacement.
The truth is experts are unsure on this one. Some experts require further studies and should not be given freely on women, particularly those in the menopausal stage. On the other hand, some rely on the limited studies about testosterone and its effect on women.
Based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who used testosterone skin patch recorded an improvement in their overall sexual life. This makes sense since one of the major roles of testosterone is to boost one’s sexual arousal and desire. When you increase the levels of T in your body, your libido follows.
3. Testosterone Levels Drop Slowly
This is one of the major differences between testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen levels drop suddenly as you approach menopausal stage. This explains why you experience hot flushes or fluctuation in hormones by the time you hit 40.
On the other hand, testosterone drops gradually. It slows down in your 20’s and by the time you reach menopause, the production of this hormone is reduced to half compared to its production during your puberty years.
What’s even more surprising is that even after menopause, your body still produces testosterone, especially when no damage is done on the ovaries. This means that despite the chaos you went through prior to the menopause itself, you can still feel the urge to do it and be sexy.
However, there are still a number of women, whose body stopped producing T after menopause stage. These women had damaged ovaries or have lost their pituitary gland functions and went through either surgical or early menopause.
Still, the experts cannot pinpoint the exact cause why you lose the desire for sex as you age. Regardless, the good news is there are ways to help you become aroused again and make you ready for sex.
4. Testosterone Therapy Comes With Side Effects, Too
Always remember this: there are always two sides of the coin. This means that despite the many good things and benefits a particular thing can do, surely, there are bad sides to it too. Same goes with testosterone therapy.
It is already established that testosterone improves one’s bone density and muscle mass. Yes, it can boost your sex drive, too, although the experts are torn on this one. Still, you can’t deny the fact that there are benefits too.
Just like the coin, testosterone therapy also comes with risks and side effects. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism noted that testosterone therapy in women could be linked to cholesterol changes, acne and excessive hair growth in “manly” areas, such as the face, chest and back. Worse and especially when not administered properly, this can lead to breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases, although this one requires further study.
Of course, the benefits outweigh the risks. Still, it is important to explore all the possible options first before you go through this type of hormone replacement therapy. Better be safe than sorry, ladies.
5. How Low Are Low Testosterone Levels?
Just because you are in the menopause stage, it doesn’t follow that you have to go through testosterone therapy. Keep in mind that low testosterone is not a serious and immediate health risk. Yes, there is an effect but it’s not as serious as a cardiovascular disease.
What can you do?
If you are under estrogen hormone replacement therapy, this means estrogen, with or without progesterone, can suppress the remaining testosterone in your body.
This is because the hormone signals from the pituitary glands partially reduce the signals that signal the ovaries to produce testosterone. At the same time, the ovaries sense that there is enough estrogen already, so there is no need to produce more T.
6. Testosterone Therapy Is Okay, But Not Everyone Is A Good Candidate
When you reach the perimenopause and menopause stage, most people will recommend you to try hormone replacement therapy or testosterone therapy. That’s fine. Your sex drive is missing and even if you’re having sex, you realize that orgasms are not that intense anymore. You need to do something to keep your sex life in check.
The good news is there are studies that show that boosting T levels in women through various means can improve one’s sex life. However, it’s not going to be as easy as it seems. In fact, the Endocrine Society said that healthy women should not be advised to undergo testosterone therapy.
Why Is That So?
If you experienced low libido, testosterone therapy is not just the solution to your problem. Yes, it can improve women’s overall sexual function.
However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions that would justify testosterone therapy in healthy women. In this case, it is better not to prescribe then take the risks, right?
Does this mean testosterone therapy is not recommended for women? Not necessarily.
The only time women can avail of this treatment is when they are diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD. This is a type of condition where women and sex drive are not working well together, which can cause distress.
If you have HSDD, you are required to go through three to six months of testosterone therapy to check if it can improve your sex life. However, you have to start with low doses first and requires close monitoring because too much T is bad for you too.
In other words, no HSDD means no testosterone therapy. It’s as simple as that.
7. There Is No FDA-Approved Testosterone Treatment For Women
And you think that equality is prevalent in the society. Unfortunately for women, there is still no FDA-approved treatment for sexual disorders in women.
This means you have to rely on herbs and natural means, while praying that these methods will work.
Still, there are readily available testosterone pills, patches, gels or creams that you can use in case you need a boost inside the bedroom.
Just like testosterone therapy, you can’t just munch on this anytime you want. Close monitoring is advised and you have to take it in small to moderate amounts only, depending on your doctor’s recommendation.
What’s the point of all this? There will always be an ongoing debate whether increasing T levels in women is effective, especially for those who are in the menopause stage. The point is when menopausal symptoms is bothering you, including the lack of sex drive, then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor for proper treatment.