Testosterone is a hormone that belongs to the androgen category. The steroid hormone is secreted in the ovaries of females and the testes of males, and in the adrenal glands of both genders. This sex hormone plays a key role in the sensitivity to sex, in case of women. From a behavioural perspective, unlike the anatomical or biological aspects observed in men, women are more affected by a decrease in testosterone levels.
The white crystalline hormone primarily defines the development and maintenance of female sex characteristics. The levels of testosterone vary in women according to their age. After the onset of puberty the level of testosterone is 70 ng/dL which comes down to 40ng/dL after menopause. However, the normal level of testosterone increases four times during pregnancy. Although it can be produced synthetically, any reduction in the natural secretion affects sexual health adversely.
Low Testosterone Symptoms in Women
Research reveals that a woman's sexual health is greatly affected by low testosterone levels. The hormone is directly linked to libido, making it imperative to address immediate replenishment of testosterone. Testosterone is not only important to a woman's sexual health, but also her overall well-being. Low testosterone is clinically measured by a blood test, prior to adopting a treatment protocol. Doctor's interpret the blood test results parallel to physical manifestations. Other than a low sex drive, other symptoms that are associated with low testosterone levels in women include:
Definite loss of muscle strength and mass
Accumulation of fat, especially around the abdomen
Increased risk of osteoporosis and related bone deterioration
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Lack of interest in sexual activity
Painful sexual intercourse
Sudden absence of menstruation
Anogasmia or the inability to have ogasms
Causes of Low Testosterone Levels
Testosterone levels in a woman are known to decrease during menopause or post-surgery, involving hysterectomy or the removal of ovaries. The levels of this steroid hormone are also known to drop in the following circumstances.
During the natural ageing process, alongside the natural decline in oestrogen and progesterone levels
Over-prescribed use of oral contraceptives, inducing the presence of SHBG (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin), a binding substance that prevents its normal circulation within the blood stream
Diagnosed ovarian cancer and subsequent exposure to chemotherapy
Disease or damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
High blood pressure
Infections such as mumps, meningitis or syphilis
Low Testosterone Treatment
The medical treatment for low testosterone levels in women is a fairly new development. The medical tests designed to determine the 'normal' testosterone levels in a woman centre around anecdotal evidence and adherence to rudimentary 'set' levels. The range of readings continues to differ from one practitioner to another, but in general there is an agreement on the total testosterone level, biologically generated testosterone levels and the free testosterone levels. There is a speciality laboratory test that not only measures the level of the hormone, but also the exact percent and level of increase or decrease. It is important to understand that testosterone production usually declines with age. If ignored, insufficient testosterone production can result in abnormal bone and muscle development. It also adversely affects the energy level and mood. Hence, in order to maintain proper levels you need to undergo diagnoses as well as testosterone therapy if required.
Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the most common ways to recover from low testosterone effects. It can be given in the form of injections. Though the replacement therapy is effective, sometimes due to the supply of synthetic testosterone, the body may completely shut down the production of this hormone. Hence to avoid this, the therapy is periodically cycled off to avoid accidents. Many people use alternate therapies like topical creams which help in the natural production of the hormone. Regular exercise and indulging in regular sex may also help in stimulating the production of testosterone.
After the age of 40, it is advisable to get testosterone levels determined via clinical analysis. This not only helps a woman to rest at ease with regards to apprehensions surrounding the symptoms of low testosterone hormone levels, but also boosts a sense of confidence that springs from a conformation to good health.