Low testosterone in women causes and symptoms

By Dr. Sachin Singh | 23rd Aug 2022

Low testosterone in women causes and symptoms

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a type of sex hormone that is responsible for the development of male characteristics. It is in both men and women, but men have more of it, which is why it’s sometimes called a “male hormone”. Low testosterone in women decreases blood cell production and boosts reproductive hormones.

In men, the testicles make most of the testosterone, and the adrenal glands make a small amount. Hypothalamus and pituitary gland operate like a thermostat to keep testosterone levels normal.

Testosterone causes puberty changes like deepening voice, hair growth, and growth spurts. In adult people, it plays a big part in controlling such as:

  • Sex drive (libido)
  • Growing muscles
  • Bone mass
  • Production of RBCs
  • Energy and mood

Low testosterone level in women

The level of testosterone in women changes throughout time and during periods.  A woman’s blood testosterone should be 50-70 nanograms/deciliter. Female testosterone production is also age-dependent At 50, a woman’s testosterone is half what it was at 25.

Testosterone level low in women is connected with surgery, pituitary dysfunction, and adrenal gland tiredness.

Causes of low levels of female testosterone 

Women make testosterone in different parts of their bodies. Among these are:

  • Ovaries
  • Adrenal glands
  • Peripheral tissues

Low testosterone levels in women can be caused by several things, such as

1. Aging:

As a woman gets older, her testosterone levels keep dropping until she reaches menopause. When a woman has gone through menopause, her ovaries still make testosterone but not estrogen.

2. Both ovaries are removed:

When both ovaries are taken out by surgery. Since the ovaries still make the androgenic hormone, women who have had this surgery have even less testosterone than women who have already gone through postmenopausal.

3. Primary adrenal failure:

If your adrenal glands don’t work right, you may well not make sufficient testosterone.

4. Pituitary disorder:

In a normal testosterone production cycle, your pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone (LH), which signals your ovaries to produce testosterone. If your pituitary gland doesn’t function correctly, your ovaries might never get the message to make testosterone.

5. Medications:

When a woman takes oral contraceptives, which usually contain estrogen and progesterone, the ovaries stop making as much androgenic hormone as they would normally. Glucocorticoid steroids also lower testosterone levels by reducing the function of the adrenal glands.

6. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV):

Women with HIV may have lower levels of testosterone.

Symptoms of low testosterone in women

A low level of testosterone in women can cause the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Decreased sexual satisfaction
  • Weight gain
  • Fertility issues
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Loss of bone density
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Thinning and dry skin
  • Hair loss 
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of bone density

Since these symptoms are often induced by low testosterone levels in women, the doctor may check several other things to make a correct treatment such as:

  • Chronic stress
  • Depression
  • Thyroid disease
  • Anxiety
  • Transition to menopause

Iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, and depression are some other conditions that can make women feel like they have low androgenic hormones.

Other hormones, such as progesterone and oestrogen, can also cause an imbalance, which can make the symptoms worse.

Treatment for low testosterone women

Several oestrogen replacement drugs contain testosterone. However, the quantity of testosterone in these drugs may not be enough to raise levels or our bodies may not be able to absorb them completely.

The doctor may also administer testosterone injection for the treatment to have the same effect on men and women i.e. to raise energy, decrease fatigue, and increase sex drive.

Many doctors advise women not to take testosterone therapy because of the following side effects-

  • Excess facial hairs
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Deepening of voice
  • Enlargement of clitoris

The doctors recommend some alternative therapy and lifestyle changes to treat the symptoms of low testosterone in women, which may include:

  • Reduction of stress
  • Maintaining a proper sleeping pattern
  • Over-counter dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements.
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Sex therapy

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland and is used widely to treat low testosterone in women. DHEA is a precursor of testosterone hence it is an ideal supplement to increase the amount of testosterone in the body.

Doctors may also prescribe a medication like estratest in post-menopausal women. This medicine is a combination of both, testosterone and oestrogen.

Diagnosis for testosterone level

Monitoring an androgenic hormone level is a common way to figure out if she has low testosterone. As there is a link between symptoms and androgenic hormone levels if a woman has any of the symptoms. The doctor will probably check for other common symptoms.  Depression, stress, and the side effects of menopause can also be signs that a woman’s testosterone levels are low.

Doctors might use a blood test to check for androgenic hormones in women. If a woman’s plasma testosterone level is less than 25 ng/dL and she is younger than 50, this means that her testosterone level is low. Androgenic hormone levels below 20 ng/dL in women older than 50 are also considered low.

Low testosterone in women is difficult to detect because their hormone levels change frequently.  Low androgenic hormone levels may affect women and how to treat the deficiency.

As a woman gets closer to menopause, her androgenic hormone levels keep changing, which makes it difficult to determine if she has low testosterone. But blood tests are accurate ways to find out how much testosterone is in the plasma.

Hence, after consulting with your doctor, your doctor may prescribe you medicine according to your health condition. So, you can buy medicine at your nearest medical store or if you are looking for online medicine and also for free online doctor consultation. You can refer to our Truemeds physician which provides free online consultations. We also provide you with  PAN India home medicine delivery, with a discount offer, and monthly savings on your medical bill. 

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