Testosterone Therapy for Women

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1 Testosterone Therapy for Women The Facts You Need

2 Contents 2 INTRODUCTION: The Facts You Need CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women CONCLUSION: The Bottom Line

3 INTRODUCTION: The Facts You Need

4 INTRODUCTION: The Facts You Need 4 While testosterone is most commonly thought of as a male sex hormone, it is also produced by the female body, where it plays essential roles in physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. Over recent years, the role of testosterone in women s health has gradually become better understood, resulting in an increasing interest in, and demand for, testosterone replacement therapy. However, since testosterone therapy for women is a fairly new development in the U.S., misconceptions about its benefits and risks are common. Here, we hope to clear the air about those benefits and risks, and help women make solid, fact-based decisions about testosterone therapy.

5 CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women

6 CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women 6 Testosterone, for many years, has been inaccurately referred to as the male hormone, even in medical literature. As a result, some people are rather surprised to hear that women s bodies produce testosterone too. Others are aware that women s bodies produce and use the hormone, but are under the impression that its only functions are in sex drive and libido. The truth of the matter is that while women have much lower levels than men, testosterone is the most abundant biologically active hormone in the female body. It is equally essential to the health and well-being of both men and women. Visit the Learning Center For Additional Information

7 CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women 7 Produced by both the adrenal glands and ovaries, testosterone affects the female body in numerous ways. Androgen receptors which interact with testosterone are present throughout a woman s body, found in organs and tissues that include: The heart Blood vessels Lungs Brain Spinal cord Gastrointestinal tract Skin Bone and bone marrow Peripheral nerves Bladder Uterus Ovaries Breasts Vagina Muscles Endocrine glands

8 CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women 8 As that abundance of androgen receptors indicate, testosterone s physiological effects on the female body are much more extensive than its well-known benefit to sex drive and libido. It plays essential roles in supporting the health and function of the muscles, skin, cardiovascular system and liver, as well as aiding in the maintenance of emotional health, efficient metabolism, cognitive function and energy levels, among many other functions.

9 CHAPTER 1: Testosterone and Women 9 As women approach menopause, production of sex hormones including testosterone gradually declines. Low testosterone in women can cause symptoms similar to those experienced by men with testosterone deficiencies. Among the most common are emotional symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, depression and mood swings. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, insomnia, bone loss, muscle loss, hot flashes, joint pain, breast pain, urinary problems, low sex drive and sexual dysfunction. Cognitive changes are often an issue with low T as well, including memory loss, difficulty concentrating and a feeling of mental slowness, often referred to as brain fog.?

10 CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women

11 CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women 11 Hormone replacement for women has traditionally been focused on normalizing levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. However, in recent years, the importance of testosterone levels and the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in females have become more widely recognized. As a result, women are being treated with testosterone therapy in increasing numbers, restoring the balance they need for optimal health and well-being. Unfortunately, many women and their doctors are still reluctant to use testosterone therapy. This is largely due to misinformation and myths about its potential effects.

12 CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women 12 Among the most widely held misconceptions about testosterone replacement in women are: Testosterone damages the heart: There is no medical evidence that testosterone has any adverse effect on the heart. There is, however, a substantial body of evidence showing that testosterone is cardiac protective when present in the body at adequate levels. Testosterone damages the liver: Although high doses of oral synthetic androgens can adversely affect the liver, testosterone supplementation, administered in biologically correct doses via topical preparations or subcutaneous implants, pose no danger to the liver.

13 CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women 13 Testosterone causes breast cancer: Testosterone does not increase breast cancer risk. On the contrary, medical evidence shows that it is breast protective. Testosterone masculinizes women: While higher levels of testosterone in men do support male traits, lower levels in women do not. The effects of testosterone are dose-dependent, a fact that has been clear to medical science for more than 65 years. Low-dose testosterone therapy merely restores a woman s testosterone to biologically correct levels which will not reduce a woman s femininity. Testosterone replacement causes hair loss: There is no evidence of a connection between hair loss and testosterone therapy. However, there is some evidence that testosterone therapy may increase scalp hair growth in women. Testosterone causes aggression: There is no association between increased aggression and testosterone therapy. In fact, it has been shown to decrease aggression, anxiety and irritability in women.

14 CHAPTER 2: Testosterone Therapy for Women 14 Now that we ve discounted those popular myths, we ll go over the actual, proven benefits and risks of testosterone therapy. Correcting testosterone deficiency in women can improve energy levels, sex drive, mood and general sense of well-being. Testosterone therapy also aids in protecting bone health, supporting cognitive function and improving body composition increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat. Side-effects aren t common, but can include increased facial hair, acne, fluid retention and clitoral enlargement. In most cases, side-effects stem from abnormally high testosterone levels and can be alleviated by adjusting dosages of testosterone supplements.

15 CONCLUSION: The Bottom Line

16 CONCLUSION: The Bottom Line 16 Don t let myths and misconceptions about testosterone therapy prevent you from seeking the treatment you need to relieve hormonal symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life. Of course, whether testosterone therapy is the best treatment in your case is a decision that must be made after a careful evaluation of your symptoms, hormone levels, general health and treatment goals. The bottom line is this: Testosterone deficiency and its troublesome symptoms can be safely and effectively treated with the help of a well-informed and experienced healthcare provider.

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