Lower Testosterone in Women
Testosterone, an androgen, plays a vital role in the human body. We often hear that testosterone is a “male hormone“. Considering the important role it plays in the development and maintenance of the male body, it’s not wrong to associate Testosterone with masculinity.
But the little we know is Testosterone also plays an important role in the female body. Yes, ovaries do produce a small amount of testosterone in a woman’s body just like testes produce estrogen in men. Lower testosterone in women can affect their health adversely. Excessive hair fall, decreased libido, and even a decrease in fertility can be a sign of low testosterone in females.
Normally 15-70 nanogram per deciliter of testosterone in blood (15-70 ng/dL) is considered normal. More research is needed to understand what amount of testosterone in the female body should be considered as ” low testosterone level”.
Throughout the life of a female, the testosterone level keeps fluctuating. During menstruation or at different stages of life, the testosterone level keeps changing in the body of a woman. During menopause, women’s bodies experience a rapid decrease in Testosterone levels.
Today in this article we will discuss what are the symptoms of lower testosterone in women, what can be the possible causes, the diagnosis procedure, and most importantly how to treat them.
Symptoms: Lower Testosterone in Women
Low testosterone levels can be the reason for a lot of health issues in women. But there’s no exact test to identify whether a woman has a low testosterone level or not. Here are the possible symptoms that a female body can experience due to lower testosterone.
Fatigue: Women who have low testosterone levels, often feel tired without doing much. They experience chronic fatigue from time to time and no strong urge to get their work done.
Muscle Weakness: Low testosterone levels can cause problems in the proper distribution of fat and muscle mass. So women with low testosterone levels feel physically weak as their strength declines.
Decrease in Libido: Women with low testosterone levels can face a rapid decrease in libido or sexual drive along with sexual satisfaction.
Insomnia: Low testosterone level often causes sleep disturbances or insomnia. Prolonged sleep deprivation can change the biological clock of the human body and can be an underlying issue of cardiovascular diseases.
Weight Gain: Due to irregular fat distribution and changes in body composition, women with low testosterone levels can gain body fat quite quickly.
Fertility Issues: Low testosterone levels can also affect the egg quality which can cause fertility issues in women.
Cognitive Issues: Women with low testosterone levels may find it hard to concentrate or remember something. They can face difficulties with their memory. Also, irritability and extra emotional sensitivity can be symptoms of low testosterone levels too.
These possible symptoms can be available for other health issues too. So it’s quite hard to understand if it’s happening for low testosterone levels. Only a professional doctor can diagnose and treat correctly considering other health issues of the patient.
Causes Of Lower Testosterone in Women:
So the question is, what exactly causes lower testosterone in women? There’s no exact answer so far. However, after studying the symptoms in women with low testosterone for years, we can identify the two most common causes.
1. When women hit menopause there’s a rapid decrease in the testosterone level.
2. When the pituitary glands or ovaries don’t work properly for aging or any other underlying health issues.
Due to medical conditions, and biological factors including age, and lifestyle choices, women’s bodies experience low testosterone levels. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety can often affect the level of testosterone in your body. Testosterone levels are bound to decline rapidly when women hit the menopause.
Women going through polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Obesity, Thyroid disease, Diabetes, and other chronic conditions also experience symptoms of lower testosterone levels.
Oral tablets with a combination of estrogen, progesterone, or only estrogen are often used to treat medical conditions like PCOS. Estrogen can potentially reduce the secretion of testosterone from ovaries. On the other hand, obesity actively increases the aromatase activity in the body. This aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen. So testosterone levels in the body decline even more.
Diagnosis Of Lower Testosterone in Women:
As we have already discussed, not much research has been done on low testosterone levels in women. There are no specific symptoms of low testosterone levels in women’s bodies. So if a woman has any or more than one of those symptoms, the doctor will probably check for the other common health issues.
If the doctor suspects that the woman has a low testosterone level, they will ask for a blood test report to be sure before treating the patient. If the woman is yet to hit menopause, the doctor will suggest a specific time of month when the testosterone level will be most prominent. At different ages or even during the whole month of the menstrual cycle the testosterone level in women keeps changing.
Treatment For Lower Testosterone in Women:
Because of the lack of study, there isn’t any proper treatment for low testosterone in women. Also, doctors are prohibited from giving medication to treat low testosterone levels in women as it may have various side effects.
High testosterone levels in women is a much more serious concern as they can cause excessive amounts of facial hair, change in voice, acne or pimples, vaginal dryness, change in genital organ size, and difficulties in fertility rate.
However, some special medical conditions like hypoactive sexual disorder receive medication from doctors. The doctors do prescribe medicine like clomiphene citrate to treat infertility issues of women with lower testosterone levels.
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the common treatments used by doctors in some cases to balance hormone levels. HRT helps in improving mood, libido (sexual drive), and overall well-being in women with low testosterone.
The most convenient way to treat low testosterone levels is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, adequate sleep, and a healthy diet including Vitamin D and zinc can improve testosterone levels naturally.
The research is still going on to understand how low testosterone can affect a woman’s body and how it can be treated properly. You should contact doctors first if you notice any abnormal changes in your body.
Professional physicians or doctors are the right people to recognise your underlying health issues and treat them properly. Never take any hormone (Testosterone) replacement therapy without taking suggestions from the doctor. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve the overall quality of your life.
Also Read: Moringa Tea Health Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions About Lower Testosterone in Women
What are the symptoms of lower testosterone in women?
Fatigue, muscle weakness, rapid weight gain, decrease in libido, cognitive issues, and insomnia are a few of the most common symptoms of lower testosterone in women.
What are the most common causes of low testosterone levels in women?
Menopause, PCOS, thyroid disease, unhealthy lifestyle and obesity are some common causes of low testosterone levels in women.
How can low testosterone levels in women be treated?
A healthy diet chart including zinc and Vitamin D, Adequate sleep, and an overall healthy lifestyle can improve testosterone levels in women. But if someone is already facing issues, they should definitely consult a doctor.