What is Testosterone? Do Women Have It?
Testosterone in humans is known as the main hormone in the male body that helps develop the reproductive system. Furthermore, testosterone is responsible for many of the characteristics that we as a society associate with the male sex, such as increased bone and muscle mass. However, testosterone is not only found in men.
A much smaller quantity of testosterone is also found in the female body. Women produce testosterone in their adrenal glands and ovaries. When testosterone works in conjunction with the female equivalent of the hormone, estrogen, it aids in the growth of reproductive tissue and an increase in bone mass.
While it is true that testosterone and estrogen are the “male” and “female” hormones, they play a role in both sexes. The difference is that men usually have much more testosterone than estrogen and women have the opposite.
What Happens If Women Have Too Much Testosterone?
It is true that women need testosterone in their bodies, however, they only need the hormone in very small doses. When the female body receives too much of the hormone, rather undesired consequences usually take place. The symptoms of high testosterone in the female body vary but do include irregular or missed periods, increased body hair, hirsutism, an increase of acne, enlarged genitalia, a receding hairline, a boom in muscle mass, a decrease in breast size, and deepening of the tone of voice.
If All of These Undesired Symptoms Happen, Why Even Have Testosterone in the First Place?
Women require testosterone in their bodies, similar to how men need estrogen. Without it, the female body would quickly have issues reproductively. When working together with estrogen, testosterone is mainly involved with repair and maintenance of reproductive tissue in the female body. Furthermore, testosterone is connected to the bone mass in a woman’s body, without it, the structure of your bones wouldn’t be as sound.
What Happens When a Woman Has Low Testosterone?
Symptoms of Low Female Testosterone
When it comes to having high testosterone, the side effects are not usually threatening to your health. While extra body hair is extremely unwanted, it doesn’t cause risk to your body or health. In fact, the decrease in monthly periods might even seem like a bonus to some women. However, should your body become impacted by having too little testosterone, the impacts can risk your physical and mental health significantly.
Low testosterone in females shows itself through dry skin, painful intercourse, intense fatigue, an inability to build muscle mass, low endurance while exercising, an inability to concentrate or focus, abdominal weight gain, osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety, low libido. Read more: How to Increase Female Libido quickly . Unlike having too much testosterone, having too little can take a major toll on the body and severely impact your overall health.
What is a ‘Normal Level of Testosterone’ in Women?
Women create an incredibly low amount of testosterone in their body. It is considered “normal” for a woman to have an amount varying between eight and sixty NG/DL (nanograms per deciliter.) In comparison, men create much more, making anywhere from three hundred to one thousand NG/DL. It is important to note that the level of hormones produced in the body varies from each day. Furthermore, it can vary even down to the exact time of the day. If you suspect you have high or low testosterone, it is best to leave it up to your doctor to test you.
How to Lower High Testosterone For a Woman?
There are various ways to lower your testosterone; it merely depends on if you want to try to do so at home or go to your physician. To lower your testosterone levels, you can try natural remedies, supplements, or you can take a path your physician prescribes you. The best way to go about choosing a method is to choose a way that is most accessible to you and trying that first.
Natural Methods to Lower Testosterone
Naturally lowering your testosterone levels revolves around altering your diet. Eating more soy and flaxseed can help reduce the levels in your body. Soy is a phytoestrogen, meaning it has plant-based estrogen. When consumed, it can mimic the effects of estrogen in your body.
Flax seeds also mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, as they are made up of compounds called lignans. They have three times more plant-based estrogen that soybeans do. However, the whole flax seed must be ground up into a fine powder to utilize the plant estrogen.
What Are Good Anti Testosterone Supplements?
If you don’t like soy or find this route too time-consuming, you can try supplements. Supplements are an excellent way to get the same plant-based estrogen benefits without needing to change your diet around. Some of the best supplements to get for hirsutism (excess body hair caused by high testosterone) are ones that are made up of ingredients that have a high amount of plant-estrogen or high anti-androgen compounds.
- Zinc is said to improve the function of a woman’s reproductive system and decrease androgens in the body, while increasing progesterone, a natural androgen blocker.
- Reishi mushroom has an enzyme that converts testosterone to the DHT hormone.
- Peony promotes an enzyme called aromatase, which also converts testosterone into estrogen. When Peony is taken with licorice, they work together to synergize and normalize your hormones.
What Methods My Physician May Prescribe?
Doctors may prescribe various methods depending on your unique situation. Everything from your weight to your body-type could change their mind about you, individually. However, there are many common ways that are often tried first.
Birth control is an excellent way to regulate hormones in the female body. It can regulate periods, it can reduce acne, and it can reduce the symptoms of hirsutism in women. Doctors can test for conditions that impact your insulin and blood sugar levels, as they can impact high testosterone levels as well. Doctors may also recommend a change in diet and weight loss, as obesity can cause an excess in testosterone to be created.
How Can Women Increase Low Testosterone Levels?
There are several ways for women to increase the testosterone levels in their body naturally. Additionally, supplements are also an option that can help increase your levels. However, one of the most common ways is through weight training.
Building muscle and exercising is not only great for your overall health, but it can boost your testosterone levels. Women who do regular weight training have a slightly higher level of hormone in their body compared to women who do not. This can especially helpful for women who have hit menopause, a time when their testosterone levels naturally decrease because their reproductive system is no longer producing it as efficiently.
Furthermore, your diet and taking supplements can have an impact on the testosterone in your body. Changing your diet to equal parts protein, carbs, and fat can help increase testosterone levels. Vitamin D supplements can also give a helpful boost to the hormone as well.
Testosterone Can Help With Weight Loss…Is This True?
Taking testosterone-boosting supplements cannot help you lose weight by itself. You must have a testosterone deficiency for this method to be effective. Additionally, it is important to understand that it is not as simple as merely taking the supplement and losing weight. The reality is that it is necessary to also exercise.
To understand how this works, you must understand the role the hormone plays in your body. Testosterone can help encourage muscle growth. Having higher muscle density allows your body to burn more calories than fat tissue does. Furthermore, testosterone is responsible for repressing fat-cell development. Now, while testosterone causes the growth of muscle, and therefore helps battle weight-gain, it is important to note that it has only ever shown results in people who already have a testosterone deficiency.
What Are Testosterone Supplements?
Testosterone supplements can refer to three different things: hormone replacement therapy, natural testosterone boosters, and illicit anabolic steroids. However, it is essential to note that anabolic steroids are illegal in many places when it comes to sports competitions. Not to mention, they can have undesirable long-term effects on the body, such as liver problems and heart disease.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a legally prescribed alternative to steroids that are often used to treat low testosterone levels. It must be prescribed by your physician and is done under doctor supervision. Testosterone replacement therapy can be used in extreme cases of hirsutism.
Natural testosterone boosters are supplements that are usually made out of plants. They contain ingredients that give natural boosts to testosterone, such as fenugreek seed extract.
What is Testosterone Gel?
Testosterone gel is a topical form of the hormone and is normally used to treat medical conditions in men that cause abnormally low testosterone. Sometimes, testosterone gel is recommended to women who are suffering from low libido. However, testosterone is highly unpreferred when compared to its supplement counterparts. It has a variety of side effects, including headaches, acne, hot flashes, anxiety, depression, dry skin, insomnia, muscle pain, breast pain, and jaundice. Because of these unwanted side effects, and that testosterone gels are not usually marketed to women in the first place, many women seek out supplements instead.
What is a Testosterone Patch?
The testosterone patch is another treatment for low sex-drive when used by women, which is absorbed through the skin. Like gels, one of the main concerns with the patch is that it is unclear just how much testosterone your body can absorb this way. It is unclear how effective topical applications are. However, testosterone patches are something that many women are using to combat the side effects of menopause, which causes testosterone levels to drop. Additionally, testosterone patches do not cause the same side effects that gel does, which can make it a preferable alternative.
Many women have been told that testosterone is the male-centric hormone and that it is not as important when it comes to their own bodies. However, like estrogen, testosterone plays a role in both sexes. Women do need testosterone to keep their body healthy and a deficiency can lead to health problems. However, too much testosterone can have adverse effects as well. Like all things in life, balance is the key.