Low Testosterone in Women

Low Testosterone in Women

Testosterone is an androgen steroid hormone, produced in the testicles of males. Men predominantly produce it, while women do produce a minor amount. Low Testosterone levels are a common issue for men, but women do get affected by low testosterone levels. Insufficient level of testosterone in women has a significant impact on their physical and mental well-being. It affects muscular mass, fat distribution, red blood cell formation, and fertility. It can affect women of all ages but it is common as women age, especially during and after menopause. Low testosterone in women can hamper ovulation, menstrual cycle, and fertility.

Types - There are two types of low testosterone, Primary Hypogonadism, and Secondary Hypogonadism. Primary Hypogonadism is the condition when the ovaries do not produce enough testosterone due to medical conditions. Secondary Hypogonadism occurs when the pituitary gland does not function properly.

Causes - The main factors that contribute to low testosterone in women are aging, menopause, and problems with the ovaries or adrenal glands. When age starts decreasing the testosterone levels start to decrease. When menopause begins, the ovaries produce lower testosterone levels. The other cause would be when the ovaries have been removed in females or when the adrenal glands do not work properly. Another medication such as oral estrogen which is used to treat the side effects of menopause can also cause low testosterone.

The other factors contributing to low testosterone in women are chemotherapy, decreased ovarian androgen production, radiation, decreased adrenal androgen production, malnutrition anorexia hypopituitarism, oophorectomy, and hypothalamic-pituitary axis. The usage of medications such as oral estrogen treatment, corticosteroids, opioids, hormonal contraceptives, and antiandrogenic medicines can also cause decreased testosterone levels.

Symptoms - The symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue and low energy, decreased libido, mood swings (anxiety, depression), decreased muscle mass and strength, increased body fat and weight gain, memory problems and concentration problems, thinning hair and dry skin, loss of bone density, and more.

Diagnosis - The diagnosis of testosterone in women is done by examining the symptoms and if any symptoms are found then the blood test is done to detect the testosterone levels.

Treatment - Low testosterone in women can be treated by using hormone replacement therapy where the testosterone is injected into the body through injections. Also, lifestyle changes such as doing regular exercises, stress management, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep will be very impactful in overcoming low testosterone levels. Treating medical conditions such as PCOS, and diabetics can also improve testosterone levels. However taking the injections to increase testosterone levels can have major side effects such as a larger clitoris, a deeper voice, acne, and excessive facial hair.

Low testosterone level in women is a major issue that must be addressed. The physical examination, assessments, diagnosis, and treatment will all aid in treating this condition.