Most people typically think of low testosterone as a primarily male condition. While testosterone is the main male sex hormone, it is also important to female development and functioning. Specifically, testosterone plays a role in bone strength, muscle mass, fat distribution, and brain functioning.
Perhaps most importantly, it plays a crucial role in sex drive and libido. In women, testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and ovaries. When chemical levels fall out of balance, it can lead to a number of undesirable side effects, ranging from mild to severe. This begins to happen naturally as an adult around the early 30s, but can be quite extreme in some women. Keeping hormones at optimal levels is critical for maintaining vitality and an overall sense of well-being.
Symptoms and Causes
Low testosterone can lead to many uncomfortable side effects. These include reduced memory, decreased sex drive, deteriorating muscle tissue, depression and anxiety, osteoporosis, obesity, painful intercourse, and even heart issues. In order to determine if you are experiencing low levels, be on the lookout for the following signs and symptoms:
- thinning and/or dry skin
- poor memory
- loss of muscle tone, particularly in the arms and legs
- loss of libido
- low motivation
- difficulty concentrating
- depression and/or anxiety
- fat gain and difficulty losing weight
- difficulty building muscle
- loss of bone density
- decreased sex drive and/or vaginal dryness
Although hormonal levels begin to dwindle naturally with age, there are also medical conditions that can act as a trigger for the process, such as early onset menopause. Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the gland fail to function at an optimal level. When this happens, hormonal levels are compromised. Hypopituitarism also plays a role. Since the ovaries are one of the body parts responsible for producing the hormone, when they age or malfunction, the process is disrupted. This is particularly true when they need to be removed due to illness. Additionally, other hormones can reduce its production. Those who undergo an oral estrogen therapy routine, for example, can actually inhibit the production of testosterone.
Treatment at a Replacement Therapy Clinic
Low levels needn’t mean the end of your life as you know it. There are many treatment methods available, from prescription medications to topical gels and patches. One of the most effective forms, though, is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) via injections. After assessment at a clinic, your doctor will develop a treatment plan for you to follow rigorously. This may mean receiving injections in the buttocks weekly, but it will greatly improve your chances for success. Doctors may also recommend certain dietary, lifestyle, and medication changes in order to facilitate and improve the process.
All women want to feel good about themselves, and major hormonal changes can make that very challenging, on top of all of the other environmental factors in life. Take control of the things you can change and make positive steps toward living the life that you want to live. If hormonal changes are impeding your lifestyle and happiness, don’t wait. Contact a doctor to get answers and find solutions today.