Few women know that their bodies produce testosterone naturally, and therefore they have no idea that low testosterone levels might be the underlying cause of their lowered mood, fatigue, or low libido.
Like men, women have testosterone in their bodies, but in a smaller amount than what is considered normal for men. Female bodies need it to stay healthy and function properly because it regulates several systems. So, when their bodies fail to produce enough testosterone, they deal with low testosterone.
Do women have testosterone?
Low testosterone in women is a real health issue that can cause debilitating symptoms as in men. Sadly, it’s rarely publicised, so most women don’t know what to expect. The main focus with women’s health is on the two female hormones: progesterone and oestrogen; testosterone is often overlooked or ignored.
Why do women need testosterone?
As previously stated, testosterone is essential to women’s wellness and health, but the key is balance – so high or low levels can trigger health issues.
The female body requires some level of testosterone for the next functions:
- Energy and mood levels
- Sex drive
- Maintaining bone density and muscle mass
The androgen levels in women decline as they get older and tend to stabilize during menopause. But when they experience medical issues that affect their adrenal glands or ovaries, their testosterone levels may drop earlier, causing a series of issues.
Symptoms of low testosterone in women
Even if low testosterone isn’t a broadly publicized health condition, its symptoms are easily identifiable. However, you need to see a specialist for extensive evaluation and a comprehensive blood test for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the symptoms are disguised as signs of aging. Here are the most common ones.
- Hair loss. This is a common and quite conspicuous symptom of low testosterone as it affects all body parts. You’ll notice that you have less body hair, thinning hair, and bald spots on your scalp.
- Mental health issues like depression or mood swings. Low testosterone can trigger sudden mood changes because testosterone is essential to your body’s ability to regulate emotions and moods. Before taking treatment to deal with your mental health issues, check your hormone levels to ensure no imbalances trigger your depression.
- Anxiety. Some sudden bouts of anxiety and a sense of impending boom that causes panic attacks can result from low testosterone because, as stated earlier, it’s crucial in regulating your moods.
- Fatigue or tiredness. Low testosterone levels can also trigger exhaustion or tiredness.
- Difficulty to lose weight or unintentional weight gain. The inability to control weight is often passed off as a sign of aging, but it can also result from a hormonal imbalance.
- Inability to concentrate and focus. Your inability to concentrate and focus on tasks can be a symptom of low testosterone. Sudden brain fog is often an indication of hormone imbalance.
What factors trigger low testosterone in women?
The short answer is that a series of factors can cause low testosterone in women. There’s little research on what triggers low testosterone in women compared to testosterone imbalance in men, but researchers still identified some causes, such as the following.
- Pituitary gland issues (hyperprolactinemia, hypopituitarism)
- Adrenal gland problems (adrenal insufficiency)
- Oophorectomy (ovary removal often causes a decrease in testosterone levels)
- Hypothalamic amenorrhoea
- Getting older
- Ovarian failure as a result of drugs or chemotherapy treatment
- Oestrogen therapy
- Early menopause
Some studies also suggest a genetic abnormality that prevents the natural production of DHEA and DHEA-S are crucial in producing testosterone in female bodies.
Testosterone replacement therapy and its benefits
Your ovaries, adrenal glands, and other tissues and cells naturally produce androgens like testosterone throughout your body. If your doctor diagnoses you with low testosterone, they may recommend testosterone replacement therapy. Its goal is to restore testosterone levels to normal to alleviate your symptoms and improve your health. This method involves the use of testosterone injections. The treatment is similar to that the men dealing with low testosterone levels follow. According to your particular health condition, your doctor will decide if you should get a testosterone boost through injections or gels. Specialists state that injections are a better solution as they provide stable hormone levels and accurate doses.
Besides injections, your doctor can also prescribe DHEA supplements to enhance testosterone production if you need a minor boost.
Other ways to increase testosterone levels naturally in women
When your health condition doesn’t require hormone replacement therapy, your doctor may recommend some natural methods to increase your testosterone levels. Here are the most common natural ways to increase testosterone levels in women.
- Commit to a healthy diet as the foods you eat can improve and maintain your healthy hormones and good general health. Stay away from carbs, avoid binge eating, and cut smoking and alcohol use. It’s crucial to eat three meals and two snacks a day and include in your diet healthy and nutritious meals to maintain your hormones at a proper level.
- Alleviate stress and try to eliminate or minimize the stressors you’re dealing with daily. Identify your energy drainers; they can vary from a demanding work schedule to stressful people and bad lifestyle habits that interfere with your emotional and mental health and drain your energy daily. Make a habit of having fun and laughing daily. Spend more time with your friends and family and stay away from those who don’t show you respect.
- Engage in regular exercise and discuss with your doctor the forms of exercise you should commit to according to your health needs. Resistance training, weight lifting, or high-intensity interval training can improve and maintain testosterone levels.
- Take natural supplements and vitamins to boost your immune system and maintain T levels.
- Sleep at least 7 or 8 hours daily. If you sleep poorly, discuss with your healthcare specialist to improve sleep quality.
As you get older, testosterone levels in your body may decrease, but supplementing and engaging in hormone replacement therapy can give you a generally better quality of life.