Is Testosterone For Women Too?
Is Testosterone for women too? Studies show that higher testosterone levels in men have powerful anti-aging effects. Men with low testosterone levels tend to have higher levels of body fat (aka “beer belly”) and less muscle mass. Low testosterone levels are also linked to heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and depression.
While doctors recognize the benefits of testosterone therapy for men, many studies about testosterone and women have been ignored. Studies show that raising testosterone levels in older women can restore sexual desire, arousal, and frequency of sexual fantasies. Lower testosterone levels in women decrease libido and can cause sexual dysfunction. Returning women’s testosterone levels to what they were in their 30’s can relieve depression, anxiety, and has many other benefits.
Expensive synthetic testosterone patches are available for women by prescription. However, safe, inexpensive and natural BioTE therapy can increase testosterone levels in women without many of the dangerous side effects.
Testosterone in Men and Women
Increasing testosterone levels in boys helps bring about puberty. It is not as well known that women also produce testosterone. Just like men, women’s testosterone levels peak in their twenties and slowly decline with age. Women also experience a decline in testosterone as they age, speeding up after menopause.
While doctors know that women produce testosterone, many don’t think that testosterone is important for women. They believe that only “female” hormones (progesterone and estrogen) have any bearing on a woman’s health and well being. Over the last decade, more and more evidence has been discovered that shows that testosterone is extremely important for women. Testosterone in women is especially important for staying healthy, fit, and sexually active.
A widely known study showing testosterone’s importance for woman was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers examined the effects of testosterone on women that had had hysterectomies and also had both ovaries removed.
This randomized study compared the effects of women using a testosterone patch with another group that was not. The results showed that the women that wore the testosterone patch (versuses those that were given a placebo) showed significant improvement in sexual function, mood, and general well being.
Effects on Strength and Fitness
Beside mental and sexual benefits, testosterone also plays an important role in helping maintain healthy body composition. Most women begin experiencing weight gain (specifically an increase in body fat) approximately 10 years before they experience menopause. This is often a side effect of taking birth control pills. Doctors frequently overlook the role that testosterone can play in helping to prevent this weight gain. This is most likely due to many physicians being uninformed about the use of testosterone replacement therapy in women.
Scientific studies show that obese women given low doses of testosterone lost more body fat and gained more muscle mass than women given a placebo. The study participants followed a low-calorie diet but didn’t change their exercise habits. After nine months, the women taking testosterone had lost twice as much body fat and gained six pounds more muscle than the women taking the placebo.
Benefits for Women’s Sexuality
Most doctors now understand that women who have had hysterectomies and/or their ovaries removed will benefit from testosterone replacement. However, many resist the idea that testosterone replacement will help women who still have their uterus and ovaries intact. It is common for women to experience changes in their sex drive as they get closer to menopause. Studies have shown that optimizing women’s testosterone levels helps to increase their libido and levels of sexual arousal.
Can Testosterone Prevent Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and in spite of the billions of dollars spent on research and treatment since the 1970s, cases have been steadily increasing.
Many researchers believe that elevated estrogen levels are a major risk factor for developing breast cancer. Multiple studies now show that testosterone may help guard women against breast cancer. A study in 2000 looked at the effects of testosterone and tamoxifen (a widely used chemotherapeutic agent for breast cancer) on breast cell stimulation. The study showed that breast cells exposed to estrogen showed cancer-like rapid growth. However, those exposed to testosterone showed significantly less growth.
Testosterone Deficiencies and Heart Disease
Besides helping women maintain increased lean muscle mass and an enjoyable sex life well into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, evidence points to other positive effects of Testosterone optimization for women.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women over 40. Women who have had hysterectomies are 3 times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those that haven’t had one. After a hysterectomy, women typically receive estrogen replacement therapy but not testosterone. Some studies suggest this is why these women experience heart disease more often than is so much higher in these women.
Interested in learning more about Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy? Call the providers at Integrative Health and Rehabilitation at (303) 424-7171 and schedule a free consultation.