Testosterone in women is part of hormonal balance - we don’t need much but we do need some! Testosterone strengthens bone and muscle, decreases excess body fat, prevents skin from sagging, increases energy and libido and enhances our overall sense of well-being. Low levels can lead to fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, loss of muscle mass, loss of skin elasticity and decreased libido.
Testosterone levels in women drop in menopause since it is not involved in reproductive health. Unfortunately testosterone can also be affected by stress, meaning young women can experience low levels too. Birth control pills are another negative influence on testosterone levels.
If testosterone levels are elevated in a young woman, she should be evaluated for polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, lack of ovulation, infertility and miscarriages. Symptoms include acne, excess dark hair (hirsutism) and weight gain (high insulin and insulin resistance).
Testosterone replacement should always be bioidentical and transdermal, rotating sites where you apply the cream. Synthetic testosterone has been associated with an increase in liver cancer. If estrogen levels are not optimized, testosterone cannot attach to brain receptors so it is important to balance all hormones.