Testosterone Therapy for Women: Debunking the Myths
Testosterone therapy is increasingly used to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in pre and postmenopausal women. Testosterone is essential for physical and mental health in women as well as men. Although frequently thought of to increase libido, testosterone’s role in sexual function is only a small part of its physiologic effect in women. Receptors for testosterone are located in almost all tissues including the breast, heart, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, lung, brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, bladder, uterus, ovaries, endocrine glands, vaginal tissue, skin, bone, bone marrow, muscle and adipose (fat) tissue.
Testosterone declines gradually with age in both sexes. Pre and post-menopausal women, and aging men, may experience symptoms of androgen deficiency including anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of well being, physical fatigue, bone loss, muscle loss, changes in cognition, memory loss, insomnia, hot flashes, rheumatoid complaints, pain, breast pain, urinary complaints, incontinence as well as sexual dysfunction.
According to an article by Rebecca Glaser, MD and Constantine Dimitrakakis, MD, PhD published in Maturitus in February 2013: testosterone is not masculinizing and does not increase aggression or cause hoarseness; testosterone does increase scalp hair growth, is mood stabilizing, and is cardiac and breast protective. A source of confusion concerning the safety of testosterone therapy in both men and women is the extrapolation of adverse events from high doses of oral and injectable synthetic anabolic steroids to therapy using the bio-identical form of testosterone in doses that simply restore normal physiologic levels (bio-identical testosterone is the same substance that is naturally produced by the human body). In England and Australia, testosterone is licensed and has been used in women for over 60 years.
Ask our compounding pharmacist for more information about testosterone and other bio-identical hormones.