When we think of testosterone, it’s common to think of men since it is the primary male sex hormone. With that said, this association can leave some women quite confused when it comes to the topic of testosterone levels in women and whether or not ‘low T’ is something that can impact the female body.

If truth be told, testosterone plays some crucial roles in women and when levels drop below what may be considered a ‘normal’ level, they can be left experiencing a range of signs and symptoms. Some of these signs and symptoms of low testosterone in women include:

  • Low libido
  • Weight gain
  • Low mood

See also: Estrogen Dominance: Signs and Symptoms


What does low testosterone do to a woman?


It’s completely normal for levels of testosterone to gradually decrease in women as they get older and experience menopause [1]. While some women may not even notice this slight drop in testosterone, others may begin to experience some of the common signs and symptoms associated with low testosterone in women, these include:


Low libido


As our hormone levels play an important role in our sex drive when levels begin to change, it is possible for women to experience hypoactive sexual desire disorder - also referred to as low libido. According to Mayo Clinic, as our hormone levels begin to shift during the transition to menopause, so can our interest in sex [2].


Weight gain


It’s common for hormonal changes in women to cause some form of weight gain, particularly around the abdomen [3]. It’s important to remember that this fluctuation in weight can also be a result of genetic factors, lifestyle habits, or age.


Low mood


Hormones in women (and men) play an important role in maintaining our mood. When levels begin to fluctuate, it can influence emotions, behaviour and overall humour. If you’re experiencing low mood, it’s important to speak with your doctor about what next steps can be taken to improve how you’re feeling.

See also: Can I get Pregnant With Low Progesterone Levels?


What does testosterone do to a woman’s body?


Although testosterone is a primary male sex hormone, it is also made in women - just in much smaller amounts. Testosterone is used to create a form of estrogen in women called estradiol which plays a number of important roles in the female body, including:

  • Maintain the reproductive system
  • Development of secondary sexual characteristics
  • Support bone health
  • Regulation of reproductive cycle

Can a woman increase testosterone levels?


When hormone levels fluctuate, your doctor may suggest making some healthy lifestyle changes, these include:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet

In saying that, testosterone replacement therapy may be considered for women who have gone into surgically-induced menopause [4].

It’s important to note that testosterone replacement therapy in women is not currently approved by The United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and research on the safety and effect is limited. Make sure to reach out to your doctor to speak about treatment options if you’re experiencing low testosterone levels.

See also: What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?


What happens when a woman takes testosterone?


According to Harvard Health, taking testosterone can have negative effects on women, particularly when it’s taken in higher doses [5]. Some of the potential side effects for women who take testosterone include:

  • Acne
  • Deepening of voice
  • Hair growth on the face or chest
  • Lower LDL cholesterol levels

See also: How can you Promote Hormone Balance?


One of the most reliable ways to know more about your hormone levels is through a test. This can be done by taking a trip to your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s range of at-home hormone tests can measure the amount of hormones present in your blood and identify potential hormone imbalances. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.



References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Low testosterone in women: Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minute. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2017
  2. Mayo Clinic. Low testosterone in women: Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minute. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2017
  3. Mayo Clinic. Menopause and Weight Gain. Online: Mayoclinic.org
  4. Harvard Health. Testosterone therapy: Is it for women? Online: Harvard.health.edu, 2013
  5. Harvard Health. Testosterone therapy: Is it for women? Online: Harvard.health.edu, 2013