Benefits of Testosterone for Women
Updated: Jan 17, 2022
Testosterone is Vitally Important for Women. For most women, worrying about testosterone levels is probably not at the forefront of your mind. But it should be, as testosterone plays a major role in the optimal health of both men and women!
Even though testosterone is commonly referred to as a “male” hormone, it is actually the most abundant biologically active hormone in the female body! And it should NOT be ignored.
Testosterone (T) is one of the main sex hormones for women and is crucial for many bodily functions. In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and abundantly (i.e., over 50%) at the cellular level from androgen precursors. This hormone helps the body with a number of different functions:
Testosterone supports strong, healthy bones. Actually, both estrogen and testosterone are essential for proper bone formation in women.
Testosterone facilitates healthy cognitive function. For women, testosterone has a neuroprotective effect, meaning that it protects again neurodegeneration. One study found that postmenopausal women with Alzheimer’s had lower levels of testosterone. Another study found that women with higher testosterone levels perform better in mathematical and spatial-relations tests.
Testosterone helps to maintain sex drive. This is a more obvious role of testosterone. But for women, testosterone is part of what drives desire, fantasy, and sexual energy, according to one professor.
Healthy testosterone levels are vital for mental health. Testosterone influences the neurotransmitter dopamine, which increases drive, motivation, and energy. Studies have found that healthy testosterone levels are correlated with decreased fatigue and symptoms of depression.
Testosterone plays a major role in supporting the immune system. This was demonstrated in a 2021 study that found that testosterone deficiency was a risk factor for severe COVID-19 infections.
Testosterone also helps the female body to burn fat and build muscle. One study found that women with healthy testosterone levels lost 2 times more body fat and gained more muscle mass.
Studies suggest that testosterone is breast protective. This means that healthy testosterone can lower the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Further, adequate levels of T are critical for overall mental and physical health, immune function, glycemic control, and reducing inflammation, all of which may impact cancer occurrence.
Obviously, maintaining healthy testosterone levels is vital for optimal health. But unfortunately, testosterone levels decline as women age. Even as early as age 40, testosterone levels have dropped by 50% from that of a 20-year-woman. For women who have had their ovaries removed or are under significant stress, testosterone levels will begin to decline at an even earlier age. Further, certain medications can also lower testosterone levels, this includes birth control pills, antidepressants, steroid inhalers for asthma, antihistamines, opioids, statins, and others.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels:
Unsurprisingly, most traditional medical professionals ignore declining testosterone rates in women. This means that often when women are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, they are misdiagnosed. Because of its crucial role in a woman’s everyday life, women may want to know whether or not they have lower testosterone, and if so, explore possible treatment options.
Common symptoms of low testosterone:
● Difficulty concentrating
● Lack of motivation
● Low libido
● Trouble sleeping
● Increased body fat and reduced lean muscle
● Low bone density
● Hot flashes
Naturally increasing your testosterone levels:
Luckily, like all of your other hormones, there are several ways to naturally balance and increase your testosterone levels. Here are a few key methods to try and increase testosterone naturally:
A healthy diet low in refined carbohydrates, processed foods can promote healthy hormone production. For example, following the Paleo, Low-carbohydrate, or Mediterranean diet is a great way to get started!
Work on your stress and minimize or eliminate stressors. Stress is not just psychosocial stress but also poor nutrition, lack of sleep, circadian cycle disruption, any source of inflammation, and decreased nutrients.
Regular exercise and some specific forms of exercise like weight lifting or resistance training HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can help increase testosterone levels. For example, try a workout like this, with high-intensity intervals and a resistance band!
Testosterone production needs zinc and Vitamin D. Supplementing with both nutrients will help to increase your testosterone levels!
Certain herbs like ashwagandha can help to decrease cortisol, one of your stress hormones, which will help to increase testosterone. Click here to learn more about how to naturally hack your stress response!
Avoid exposure to endocrine disruptors like BPA, parabens, and phthalates. These toxins increase your estrogen levels which can also decrease testosterone.
What about testosterone supplementation?
For many women, testosterone replacement is needed. Luckily, testosterone supplementation is prescribed as an easy to apply daily cream. Studies have shown that testosterone replacement reduces fatigue and depression symptoms and increases sex drive and motivation. Studies have also demonstrated that women who use testosterone replacement have stronger bones, more muscle mass, and more fat-free mass.
Other benefits of supplementing with testosterone include:
Increased heart health
Boosted bone density
Decreased risk of obesity
Also, it’s important to mention that for many women, fear of unwanted side effects, such as deepened voice or unwanted body hair, has caused hesitation towards testosterone supplementation. But, actually, all of these myths have been debunked- testosterone will NOT change your voice or cause more body hair to grow. Testosterone will not “masculinize” a woman, rather, testosterone will help to ‘stimulate femininity’, according to one study. Adding some testosterone to your daily supplement routine will only aid you on your journey to optimal health.
For more information on testosterone supplementation at The Johnson Center, click here to contact us. Or, email our office at email@example.com or call 276-235-3205, to set up your complimentary 15-minute discovery call with Dr. Johnson!
The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!