While testosterone is best known as the male sex hormone, it is also an important hormone for women. Women produce much smaller quantities of testosterone than men, as ovaries produce far less of it than men’s testes. The adrenal gland also produces testosterone, and any complication that negatively influences the ovaries or adrenal gland may lower your ability to produce testosterone.
How important is testosterone in women?
Testosterone’s most widely-known role is its responsibility for developing sexual characteristics in men, but it is actually needed for many other functions in both men and women. Testosterone is needed to build and maintain muscle and bone mass, which can help to prevent bone damage and osteoporosis. Testosterone also directly influences your ability to produce human growth hormone, the hormone that influences your body’s metabolism to burn fat instead of muscle to provide energy. Additionally, testosterone is needed for healthy skin, and prevents your body from breaking down already existing muscle.
Testosterone also has an influence over your mental functions and mood. Having adequate levels of testosterone can help to improve your mood, reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and help you to feel energetic. Some sexual characteristics in women are also affected by your testosterone levels, with sex drive and the sensitivity of the clitoris and nipples being influenced by testosterone levels. This can result in a stronger drive for sex, and a better experience during sex.
When to check for low testosterone?
Testosterone production is much lower in women than in men, but women also do not need as much as men for their bodies to function normally. However, this does not mean that women are immune to testosterone deficiency, and some events may increase the risk of having low testosterone. Menopause causes a sharp drop in how much your body makes, and having your ovaries removed will also greatly reduce how much testosterone your body naturally creates. Conditions that affect the pituitary and adrenal glands may also lower your testosterone production.
Symptoms that might be caused by low testosterone include:
- Depression or lack of energy
- Diminished sex drive
- Lack of motivation
- Greater sensitivity to pain
How to address low testosterone?
If you suspect that you have low testosterone, the first step is to see a medical professional and have your hormone levels measured. If there is an imbalance present, your doctor should be able to provide hormone replacement therapy to help readjust your hormone levels.
Hormone replacement therapy can provide you with precise treatments to improve your testosterone levels without raising them too high. Always see a medical professional when undergoing hormone replacement therapy to ensure that your hormone levels can be consistently measured and your treatment amounts adjusted to the exact amounts you need.