In our last blog, we covered the benefits of estrogen replacement in women, but when and where does testosterone replacement fit in for women? In our clinic, we use bioidentical hormone therapy for declining estrogen and testosterone levels in women, so find out how testosterone can help and what signs to look for.
Testosterone’s role in women
Similar to estrogen, testosterone is a steroid hormone related in the androgen group. It is sometimes referred to, or understood as, the male sex hormone. Testosterone is a vital hormone in both men and women, it’s just less abundant in women.
Testosterone in women is produced in the adrenal glands and the ovaries, and testosterone is still produced after menopause in women. An absence of testosterone can cause health issues in women, as it is important to bone density, the improvement of lean muscle mass, energy production, and libido. While women appreciate the benefits that testosterone provides internally, they often look to it for sexual health support because it is responsible for sexual sensitivity in the nipples and clitoris associated with sexual pleasure, and it increases the libido as well.
The sharp decline of testosterone throughout menopause is 50 percent. It should be noted that testosterone levels can further decline as a result of stress levels. The precursors to make testosterone are redirected to produce cortisol, as a result of increased stress.
Signs you may have low testosterone
There are many signs you may have low testosterone, and in this article we’re speaking to menopausal and postmenopausal women. The symptoms of low testosterone can cross hormone lines — either low estrogen or low testosterone — so it is imperative to have your hormone levels checked to be certain which hormone you need.
Fatigue – Fatigue can be a difficult symptom to pinpoint because it can be related to so many facets of our lives, but women with low testosterone will usually experienced an abrupt drop in their energy. You may experience an energy drain throughout the whole day, or even mustering up the energy to get out of bed. Activities that you usually do without fatigue may be exhausting, and struggling to just get through your work day leaves you completely wiped out.
Unhealthy sleep pattern – Do you wake up frequently throughout the night? It may be a result of low testosterone. If your sleep is interrupted and you’re experiencing bouts of insomnia, this could be a sign.
Science is unclear how exactly low testosterone affects sleep patterns, but they think it may be correlated to other unbalanced hormones — as a result of low testosterone — that helps support restful sleep.
Decreased sex drive – The misnomer of aging is that we become less sexually active as we age — but it doesn’t have to be that way! A decreased libido may be a result of other things, but it could be a flaw in your hormones! Low testosterone causes sudden and severe sexual changes including vaginal dryness that makes intercourse painful, a disinterest in sexual activity, and a general decrease in your sex drive.
Mood imbalances – Low testosterone can bring a host of emotional symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression. The emotional effects result from low testosterone because testosterone helps stabilize mood and support mental focus and clarity. When low testosterone is involved in anxiety, it can cause panic attacks in extreme cases.
Mood imbalances can often be misdiagnosed because mental health professionals are not necessarily testing for low testosterone levels, however, many women have found reprieve from these symptoms through testosterone replacement therapy.
Weight gain – Weight gain usually follows a decrease of muscle mass in menopausal and postmenopausal women. The increased fat mass is common in the abdominal area in women, and researchers have found that one of the single most reasons women put on weight later in life is an outcome of low testosterone.
Hair loss – Low testosterone can cause hair-loss in patchy places on the scalp and even baldness, but it can be a subtle as hair loss on your legs, armpits, or eyebrows, so keep a close eye out if you present with other symptoms.
Anorgasmia – This is a symptom where women are unable to orgasm as a result of plunging testosterone levels. This goes hand-in-hand with an overall decline in sexual desire, and it’s not always guaranteed that balancing testosterone levels will bring back this physiological function, as some believe it’s more of a psychological issue.
What you can do
If you suspect you may have low testosterone levels, schedule an appointment with us here at YM. We have medical professionals to analyze all of your lab results to get you back on track and balanced. Go over all of our hormone options including bioidentical hormone therapy, hormone pellets, and peptide therapy.
Low testosterone can affect so many facets of your life, so why suffer in silence. Be brave and be bold — schedule a consultation today!