Monday, December 1, 2008
When we think of testosterone, we think of masculine traits like hair growth and a deep voice, but women produce testosterone throughout their lives. Levels of testosterone peak for women in their early twenties. The decrease in sex drive through the twenties, thirties and forties is often multiplied by oral contraceptives which suppress all sex hormone production (testosterone, estrogens and progesterone). By the time a woman has reached natural menopause, she may have only half of the level of testosterone she once had.
Testosterone gives us motivation, assertiveness, a sense of power, feeling of well being and enhanced sex drive. When we have an adequate level of testosterone we are able to take risks and live our lives with zest.
Low testosterone levels have been associated with heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and depression. If you are freezing cold all the time and your thyroid levels are adequate, you are probably low on testosterone. For women, a little bit of testosterone can go a long way in improving looks, figure, energy level, outlook on life, enjoyment of living, sex appeal and sexual fulfillment.
Since the results of the Women’s Health Initiative Study, women have been fearful of supplementing falling hormone levels. If a woman chooses hormone therapy, she finds that the replacement of estrogen alone does not correct an absent sex drive, loss of muscle tone or general lack of mental clarity. The good news is that recent studies have documented the benefits of testosterone replacement
From The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2006, comes a study that concludes that hormone-deficient women who tried a testosterone patch for a year grew stronger bones, bigger muscles, and a more robust libido. In the double-blind investigation, 51 premenopausal women were divided. Half received the testosterone patch while the other half received a placebo. The women were evaluated at intervals during 12 months. After one year, x-rays showed significantly improved bone density in the testosterone group. Hip density improved by an average of 1% compared to a 1% loss in the placebo group. Muscle mass grew by 7% in the testosterone group compared to a 1.5% loss in the placebo group. Women in the treatment group reported significantly better overall mood and sexual functioning including increased arousal and overall better sexual experiences. A dose of testosterone was just 6% of a standard male dose.
If you are considering hormone replacement therapy, talk to you doctor about the possibility of adding a bit of testosterone into your hormone replacement therapy to see if it makes a difference in the quality of your life.