Testosterone (in both sexes) fires libido, well being, confidence, and zest for life.
Contrary to many medical texts, it has been shown that the main source of young women’s testosterone is from skin, muscles, body fat, and brain. These areas manufacture more than the ovaries and adrenals combined.
Part of natural aging is a steady decline in all hormones. However when the testosterone level in females is considered, only a small amount is present pre-menopausally (0.5-2.6nmol/L being the normal range), and thus when levels drop they do not have to fall far before deficiency signs are there. Testosterone levels normally start to fall in the decade before menopause but drop dramatically when surgical menopause (hysterectomy) is performed.
The periods of depression, associated with both of these, is often directly related to the low testosterone levels, as this hormone is a natural anti-depressant, especially in females as only a low level is present optimally. When small amounts of testosterone are reintroduced this black cloud of depression is often lifted dramatically.
It is of interest to consider that the loss of libido associated with low levels of testosterone are often put down to advancing age as the common belief that women do not need testosterone is still held, as there are no menopausal regimes available commercially that contain testosterone. Thus, the loss of libido manifests itself as depression as part of the zest for life and associated confidence and well being is no longer apparent. Current medical treatment is often by way of differing tranquilising drugs to treat effect rather than cause. Statistics show that menopausal women on these classes of drugs are much higher than their younger sisters. Wouldn’t one think that in older years worries and stress should be reduced?
Apart from physically feeling better testosterone plays an important part in the maintenance of bone mineralisation and in protection against heart disease andatherosclerosis. Some evidence suggests that testosterone replacement can reduce the risk of serious heart disease. It has also been shown that testosterone actively decreases cholesterol levels and improves circulation.
Aging is primarily due to tissue breakdown, which is a catabolic process, and as testosterone is an anabolic hormone it helps to, if not reverse it, at least slows down this process. It promotes the building up of body tissues like muscle and bone, and a lot of research has been done in the role of testosterone in osteoporosis. It has not yet been established if testosterone acts directly on bone, via receptors, or as precursors for oestrogen biosynthesis, but either way it is known that its presence is essential.
In my experience treating menopause and pre menopause over the last 10yrs I have to say that clinically around 70% of women experience an improvement in libido and energy levels when prescribed a low dose of Testosterone. Around 30% of women seem to have no change in their libido.
Most common side effects relating to Testosterone therapy are increase in facial hair and sometimes acneiform rash in the face and scalp. These side effects occur in approximately 30% of women and are reversible in stopping the Testosterone.