Testosterone is a hormone that is typically thought of as being found in men. However women also require testosterone but in quantities that are much lower than what is found in men.
Normal levels of testosterone in women:
- improves mood and assertiveness
- reduces anxiety and depression
- improves bone density, muscle mass and strength
- enhances sex drive, sexual sensitivity and orgasm
- maintains the female genital system
- recent evidence indicates a protective effect on heart disease.
Low testosterone levels in women leads to reduced or absent libido. Lack of clitoral and vaginal sensitivity and poor or absent orgasms.
Muscle mass, strength endurance and energy levels all decline.
Stress can become difficult to cope with and mood can become more anxious or depressed.
Signs of aging become more pronounced in the face and body.
Low testosterone can be diagnosed using simple medical tests, and if present, treatment can be initiated using topically applied testosterone cream.
Injections of testosterone are available but are more likely to cause side effects.
Possible side effects are excessive libido, acne, greasy hair and skin, unwanted hair growth. These problems are generally minor and disappear with a reduction in dose.
Research has shown that even severe virilization caused by high doses of injectible steroids, including testosterone will reverse within about six months.
Most women using testosterone replacement therapy feel much happier as a result of having more energy and a normal sex life.
Ref: The Hormone Handbook, Thierry Hertoghe Testosterone therapy in women: Myths and misconceptions. Rebecca Glasser, Constantine Dimitrakakis, Elsevier Maturitas