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Testosterone is popularly known as the male hormone, but it is present in both men and women, it is also an important female hormone.
Although it helps male sexuality and appearance , this hormone also serves to protect the brain, muscles, heart, and bones . Therefore, it is so necessary in both sexes.
Unlike estrogen and progesterone (two of the female hormones), testosterone levels in women's bodies are ten times lower than in men's. It is produced mainly in the ovaries and adrenal glands .
1. What are the benefits of testosterone in women?
Some medical and scientific studies have shown that the production of testosterone in women helps to improve functions in the body.
- Helps in the production of estrogens .
- Increases muscular resistance .
- Improves sexual relations .
- Helps reduce the symptoms of menopause .
- Improve cardiovascular health , by increasing blood flow and dilating blood vessels.
- Helps reduce stress and improve cognitive health .
- It has also been proven that an increase, in normal amounts, in testosterone levels can favorably influence overweight and obesity .
- Influences the prevention of type 2 diabetes .
- It protects the organism against the appearance of breast cancer , and reduces the risk of osteoporosis .
Studies also show the different effects that the hormone testosterone can have on the health of women and men. Based on the results, the need for specific genetic analyzes for each sex is highlighted in future clinical investigations for its use as a supplement, since high doses could have contraindications in women.
2. What if a woman has high testosterone?
There are several symptoms that are associated with increased testosterone in women:
- Oily skin.
- Abundant acne.
- Decreased breast size.
- Absence of menstruation and alterations in ovulation that can sometimes trigger infertility.
- Increase in the size of the clitoris.
- Hair loss in large proportions (alopecia).
- Increased body hair (in extreme cases, on the face and chest) called hirsutism.
- Voice noticeably deeper.
In the female body , the increase in testosterone is more frequent in two specific phases of life: during puberty , a time of great physical changes and hormonal alterations, and during menopause , a time when estrogens also drop drastically. .
Beyond puberty, menopause, and other hormonal changes, abnormally high testosterone production can also be caused by PCOS or other conditions. It should be taken into account that high testosterone can be a symptom of PCOS or a cause of it. A professional assessment is advisable.
3. What causes a lack of testosterone in women and how does it affect it?
Curiously, the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in women are the same as in men:
- Loss of sexual desire
- Decreased cognitive faculties
- loss of muscle mass
- fat gain
- Difficulty becoming aroused or reaching orgasm
- General discomfort
Keep in mind that in women, testosterone is produced primarily in the ovaries and adrenal glands, so removal of these organs often results in a deficiency where the aforementioned symptoms can be experienced.
Recurrent medication such as the use of oral contraceptives, the lack of moderate to intense physical exercise and a poor diet are factors related to a lack of testosterone production in women. Recognizing the symptoms can help to know the main reason for this deficit. The healthcare professional is in charge of prescribing the solutions through medication.
How to know what testosterone levels you have?
If you suspect irregularities with your testosterone level you can do a medical test through blood tests to observe hormone levels. The testosterone levels test does not require any special preparation and the risks are almost zero.
In general, the normal testosterone level in women should be between 14 – 76 ng/dl and any oscillation that is outside this range is considered abnormal.
Most of the testosterone in the blood is bound to protein . Testosterone that is not bound to a protein is called free testosterone. There are two types of testosterone tests:
- Total Testosterone : Measures bound and free testosterone.
- Free Testosterone : Measures only free testosterone. Free testosterone can give more information about certain medical conditions.
As always, a good lifestyle that includes moderate-high intensity exercise, an adequate diet that is sufficient in calories and micronutrients abundant in whole vegetables, rest, exposure to the sun and minimal consumption of drugs, as well as going to medical check-ups. pertinent, minimize the risk of suffering hormonal alterations.