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Low Testosterone in Women, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Remedies

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Testosterone is basically a male hormone in the androgen category. However, this hormone is also found in women and plays vital roles in women, especially their sexual health. As such, a low level of testosterone in women usually has notable effects on women’s sexual health and life. But what really causes low testosterone in women and what are the signs and symptoms of this condition? This post also explores the causes and effects of low testosterone in women and how it can be tested and diagnosed.  It also outlines effective treatments and natural remedies for low testosterone in women, including supplements and Injections.

What is Low Testosterone in Women

The main role played by testosterone in women includes maintaining the normal sexual drive, physical and mental energy, and physical strength, in women testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. Usually, the levels of testosterone in women increase during puberty stage and during pregnancy. However, it also decreases naturally as a woman grows older and especially at the beginning of menopause.

Nevertheless, an unusual and sudden decrease of testosterone below the normal levels for women is abnormal. When this happens, it may affect their normal health in a way that may call for medical attention. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, normal measurements of testosterone in women range from 15 to 70 ng/dL.

Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women

1.  Constant Fatigue

Low levels of testosterone in men may lead to low energy levels. In case you experience severe and unusual fatigue even when you have not engaged yourself I a physically demanding activity, it could be an indication that you have a low level of testosterone.

A woman who regularly naps during the day, especially in the afternoons, could be having low levels of testosterone. However, there are many other causes of constant fatigue in women. Therefore, if you experience this symptom, you need to have a diagnosis to identify the cause.

2.  Weight Gain

Women with low testosterone experience progressive weight gain despite losing their bone and muscle mass. Weight gain is considered to be normal in women at their middle age and is assumed to be normal.

However, if a woman experiences uncontrollable weight gain, it might be a symptom of low testosterone, especially when this is accompanied by the other signs and symptoms of low testosterone discussed in this post.

Another issue related to weight gain in women with low testosterone is the inability to lose weight. So, if you realize that you are unable to lose weight even when you are on a diet and exercise that reduce weight, you might be having low testosterone.

3.  Low libido

Low libido is a common symptom of low testosterone in women. It is characterized by a lack of normal interest in sex that a healthy woman normally has. Nevertheless, a woman who experiences low libido usually still experiences deep love for her partner or husband despite not having the natural desire to have sex.

Even if such a woman has sex, it does not become as enjoyable as when she has normal testosterone levels in her body. Lack of sex drive in women may lead to family problems and even broken marriages because she might not satisfy her husband’s sexual desires.

4.  Disrupted Sleep

Low testosterone in women can also lead to difficulties in having healthy sleep. Usually, such women suffer from insomnia and sleep apnea. In other cases, the women find themselves waking up several times as they sleep because of the interruptions occasioned by having low testosterone.

Medical researchers do not find a direct connection between low testosterone levels and sleeping difficulties in women. But the theoretical explanation is that low testosterone in women leads to imbalances in other hormones that regulate healthy sleep.

Nevertheless, it is not only low testosterone that leads to disrupt sleep. There are so many other causes of disrupted in sleep in women. Therefore, always go for diagnosis if you experience disrupted sleep in order to get the appropriate medication

5.  Mood Swings

Testosterone plays a vital role in controlling various body processes, including mood regulation. Mood swings may be the usual minor daily mood changes. However, they may be serious mood changes that are normally associated with other health issues like depression and bipolar disorder.

Low testosterone in women is also a possible cause of mood swings. In case you experience constant and rapid unexplained mood changes, it could be a sign that you have low testosterone. However, you need to have a diagnosis to identify the cause of the mood swings as there are many other causes of mood swings in women.

6.  Depression

Depression is a mental condition that is characterized by severe feelings of sadness disappointment and hopelessness that lasts for a long period of about two weeks or more. Depression is usually accompanied by physiological changes and hence can affect the proper function of your body

Depression in women may be a symptom of low testosterone
Depression in women may be a symptom of low testosterone

Studies show that one of the causes of depression in women is low testosterone. If not timely and properly managed, depression may lead to other serious health problems and unusual behaviors like having suicidal thoughts.

7.  Anxiety

Anxiety refers to a state in which one becomes constantly worried and nervous about a possible future bad occurrence. Studies show that women who have low testosterone tend to be much more anxious than those with normal levels of this hormone.

As such, low testosterone in women is associated with increased anxiety, even over perceived rather than real issues. However, note that anxiety in women has many causes and low testosterone is just one of them.

8.  Difficult in Concentrating

Women who have low testosterone often experience trouble in controlling their overall consciousness. Medically, this abnormality is referred to as clouding of consciousness, brain fog or mental fog. If you easily get lost in the mental activities that you are participating in, it means that you have trouble concentrating.

9.  Decreased Muscle Mass

In women, testosterone also helps in the building and strengthening muscles. Hence, having normal levels of testosterone ensures that you have healthy and properly developed muscles.

When there is a constant drop in testosterone in your body, your muscles will deteriorate substantially. However, low testosterone in women does not always affect the strength or functioning of muscles, despite decreasing their mass.

10. Low bone mass (Osteoporosis)

Low bone mass in women is typically associated with low estrogen. However, according to Harvard Health, studies have shown that low testosterone in women can also lead to low bone mass.

Much as low estrogen is a primary cause of low bone mass in women, treating this condition is a case where low testosterone is indeed the cause may not resolve the issue. Therefore, women who suffer from low bone mass should also be tested for low testosterone.

There are different categories of low bone mass. Osteopenia refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. On the other hand, osteoporosis describes a more serious low bone mass that is characterized brittle and fragile bones that are prone to frequent fractures

11.  Hair Loss

Testosterone plays an important role in women health other that the sex-related wellbeing. One of the functions of testosterone in women is to produce and maintain healthy hair. Therefore, low testosterone in women is likely to lead to the development of weak and unhealthy hair.

Weak hair is characterized by pieces of the hair easily breaking and falling off, especially when combed or lightly pulled. Also, weak hair tends to break off readily during cosmetic hair treatments such as straightening or plaiting. As a result, some women with low testosterone develop patchy or while other have an even hair loss.

Hair loss in a woman may be an indication of low testosterone
Hair loss in a woman may be an indication of low testosterone

However, low testosterone is not the only cause of hair loss in women. Therefore, a woman who notices that she is losing her hair should have her testosterone level checked, as well as other possible causes of hair loss in women. Treatment of the underlying causes of hair loss will usually restore normal development of strong and healthy hair in women

12.  Irregular or Missed Periods

Low testosterone in women is one of the causes of irregular periods or missed periods. Usually, a drop in testosterone level in women affects the physiological processes that control the menstrual cycle. As a result, such women begin to experience early or delayed periods.

In addition, women with low testosterone may have other experiences like spotting before periods and spotting after periods. In addition, the period may be lighter than normal periods.

13.  Inability to Have Orgasm (Anorgasmia)

Inability to have organism is medically referred to as anorgasmia. Inability of a woman to have regular natural orgasms during sex could be an indication that she suffers from low testosterone.

Failure to have orgasm negatively affects women sex life. Naturally, women who do not experience orgasm might make be unwilling to have sex regularly since it lacks satisfaction. This, in turn, might lead to family problems like divorce.

14.  Deepened Voice

A deep voice is a normal characteristic of men and not women. Therefore, a deep voice in a woman may lead to low self-esteem and reduced social engagement. If you are a woman and develop a deep voice, it could be due to low testosterone, although there are other causes of a deep voice in women.

Causes of Low Testosterone in Women

What are the causes of low testosterone in women? In case you have been diagnosed with low testosterone, or you have noticed the signs and symptoms of low testosterone in women, you are definitely keen to know why you have low testosterone. According to medical studies, there are many possible causes of low testosterone in women. But the common causes of low testosterone in women include:

  • Oral Contraceptive: Some contraceptives may interfere with the normal physiological processes that that are associated with the production of testosterone and other substances in women
  • Old Age: Naturally, testosterone levels in women decrease as they get older, beginning at teenage.
  • Low Progesterone Levels: Progesterone converts into androstenedione from which testosterone is produced hence low levels of progesterone will certainly affect the levels of testosterone in women.
  • Early menopause: Women who reaching menopause before the age of 40 may also experience low testosterone. Studies show that menopause, ovaries stop producing testosterone and the adrenal glands also stop producing hormones that convert to testosterone.
  • Ovary removal: Medically known as oophorectomy, ovary removal can reduce testosterone levels in women since some of the testosterone is produced in the ovaries.
  • Ovary Failure: Ovary may fail due to drugs such as chemotherapy drugs and this will cause your testosterone levels to drop since ovaries also produce some of the testosterone in women.
  • Oestrogen therapy: Oestrogen may suppress the hormone that stimulates the production of testosterone in women
  • Pituitary gland issues, such as hypopituitarism or hyperprolactinemia are also the possible cause of low testosterone in women
  • Adrenal gland issues: Adrenal issues or adrenal insufficiency may also lead to testosterone in women

Test and Diagnosis of Low Testosterone in Women

If you have the signs and symptoms of low testosterone, your doctor has to carry out a testosterone level test determine your condition. “A testosterone level test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood and is reported as nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL)” [Healthline].This test is also referred to as a serum testosterone test.

A testosterone level test is a procedure that involves taking a blood sample from your upper arm, which is then sent to the medical laboratory for tests and analysis. The clinical laboratory technician will carry out the analyses and tests. He will then write a laboratory report about the findings and send it to the doctor.

Treatment of Low Testosterone in Women

There are various treatments for low testosterone in women. The choice of treatment mainly depends on the causes and severity of the condition in the women affected. For example, when the cause is as result of other underlying conditions, they are treated to fix the low testosterone. Similarly, when there is severe low testosterone, more rapid methods are adopted in order to solve the problem effectively and faster.

Some of the common treatments used to cure low testosterone in women include:

1. Treatment of Underlying Health Issues

In case the low testosterone levels in a woman is caused by underlying health diseases, it is boosted to normal levels by treating these underlying issues. In the case of chronic conditions or disorders, the level of testosterone can be increased to normal levels by proper management of the conditions and disorders.

2. Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy is also known as testosterone therapy. This treatment involves carrying out procedures that are aimed at to restoring testosterone in the affected woman to normal levels. Testosterone therapy can be administered using various methods. Some of the common methods used include:

  • Testosterone Pellets: This method of administering testosterone entails inserting the testosterone pellets under the skin of the buttocks. They are then left to stay and release testosterone to the body for about three or four months or until the prescribed period comes to an end. This is a rather newer and more convenient way of administering testosterone therapy since it does not require action from time to time.
  • Testosterone Patches or gels: This is a common way of boosting low testosterone in women. In this method, patches or gels that contain testosterone are applied on the skin, where the testosterone s absorbed into the body. Usually, this procedure is carried out on a daily basis or according to the schedule provided by your healthcare personnel.
  • Buccal Testosterone: This is a system that comes with a tablet-shaped patch that that contains testosterone. The system is inserted into on upper inner gum and where it held against the upper inner lip. The system stays in this position for about 12 hours after which it is changed twice per day. For convenience purposes, apply buccal testosterone systems after in the morning having your breakfast and brushing your teeth, and in the evening after evening dinner. This procedure is repeated daily or according to the instructions of your healthcare until the prescribed dosage is finished
  • Testosterone Injections: Use of testosterone injections is a common way of administering testosterone replacement therapy in women. The treatment usually involves injecting various medications that boost your testosterone level into the gluteal muscles of the buttocks. For good results, the injections are usually given periodically, usually after every few weeks until the prescribed dosage is completed. The injections can be administered either in a clinic by a medical professional or by self-injection in case the patient can do it comfortably. To get more information about this treatment, click here.

Side Effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy is normally a safe way of treating low testosterone in women. Nevertheless, it is may lead to some side effects in some women after or during the treatment. The side effects reported, some of which are very rare are as follows:

  • Eruption of acne
  • Developing an oily skin
  • Mild fluid retention
  • It may worsen sleep apnea
  • In some patients, it may cause increased aggression and mood swings
  • It may lead to increased risk of having blood clots
  • It might increase the risk of heart attack and stroke

When Not to Use Testosterone Replacement Therapy

  • If you are or could become pregnant. In case you use testosterone while pregnant, a female fetus might develop male traits.
  • If you have or have had breast cancer or uterine cancer.
  • If you have high cholesterol levels in your body
  • If you have a heart disease.
  • If you have a liver disease.

Low Testosterone Remedies and Supplements.

Generally, testosterone supplements and some herbal remedies can only solve the problems associated with low testosterone when the deficiency is mild.  For example, according to Healthline, the supplements and herbal remedies may not be very effective in treating severely low testosterone in women. Therefore, if you have severe low testosterone, you need rapid and strong treatments like testosterone therapy in order to get positive results.

Sometimes, the use of testosterone supplements and herbal remedies might result in more problems instead of treating the condition. Some of the health issues that are associated with the use of supplements and herbal remedies to treat low testosterone include undesirable side effects or negative integration with other medications you might be using.

Nevertheless, testosterone supplements and herbal remedies may be used to treat low testosterone in women. But you need to ask your doctor to carry out tests on you to find out whether it will work well for you before using it. This especially because, some of the supplements and herbal remedies may not work at all for some individuals, besides the possible side effects that may accompany their use.

The tests carried on you may also be used to determine if a certain supplement will be effective and not have adverse side-effects if used by you. If found to be effective and safe, you can them use the supplements or herbal remedies. In addition, your healthcare provider will give you appropriate advice to you depending on the findings from these tests.

There are various supplements, herbal remedies, vitamins, and nutrients obtained from certain foods that can be used to treat low testosterone in women. The common ones include:

  • Pine bark (Pinus pinaster): The extract of this pine bark has many medicinal properties. It has natural compounds that can help increase the level of testosterone in men and women. The extract is commonly sold under the brand name Pycnogenol. It can also lower cholesterol, improve blood circulation and enhance cardiovascular health.
Extracts from pine bark can be used to treat low testosterone in women
Extracts from pine bark can be used to treat low testosterone in women
  • Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris): This is a tropical herb that has been used for quite some time as a traditional remedy for a number of skin problems. Unconfirmed research has shown that it can boost testosterone levels in men and women. However, it is an effective remedy for impotence in men
  • Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris): This is a tropical herb that has been used for quite some time as a traditional remedy for a number of skin problems. Unconfirmed research has shown that it can boost testosterone levels in men and women. However, it is an effective remedy for impotence in men
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somniferous): This is a traditional Indian medicinal plant. Its roots and berries are used to make teas, extracts, and capsules. This plant can be used to increase testosterone in both men and women. In men, it can be used to treat erectile dysfunction since it improves sperm concentration and motility.
  • Arginine (L-arginine): This is an amino acid that is produced by your body naturally. However, there are cases where the body produces insufficient quantities of this amino acid. In such cases, you can boost its production by eating foods such as red meat, dairy products, poultry, and fish. This amino acid does not boost testosterone directly. Rather, it helps improve blood circulation and treat the symptoms of low testosterone in both women and men.
  • Zinc supplements: A deficiency in zinc is often associated with low testosterone in both men and women. These supplements can help boost your testosterone only when you have a zinc deficiency. Besides, Zinc is an essential nutrient in the body that fights bacteria and viruses. It also produces DNA and genetic material, and help repair the gastrointestinal tract. Instead of using zinc supplements to increase zink in your body, you can consume enough of red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, dairy products and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is also called cholecalciferol. It can help boost your testosterone levels. Besides, it also helps destroy bacteria and viruses. Additionally, it helps your body absorb calcium into your bones and hence protect the bones from conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • Basella alba: Also called Indian spinach, basella alba is often used with hibiscus macranthus in treating fertility issues. Usually,  fresh and dry alcohol extracts of its leaves can help increase testosterone levels in both men and women. However, no studies on human have been confirmed.
Basella alba can be used as a remedy for low testosterone in women
Basella alba can be used as a remedy for low testosterone in women
  • Chrysin (Passiflora incarnate): Chrysin is naturally found in passion flowers, Oroxylum indicum and chamomile. It is usually available in form of either tea or supplements. Studies show that chrysin can increase sperm motility, sperm concentration in men, and testosterone levels in both men and women. However, this substance is usually not adequately absorbed by human body and this substantially affects its effectiveness.
  • Garlic (Allium sativum): Is a common food additive that has many medicinal properties. It is used to treat heart disease, hardened arteries, and high blood pressure. Also, it is a natural remedy for strengthening a weak immune system, boosting testosterone and prevention of cancer. Normally, garlic supplements are made from fresh, dried, or freeze-dried garlic. However, it is also available in form of garlic oil and aged garlic extracts.
  • Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris): This is a tropical plant that was used in traditional folk medicine. can be used to treat low testosterone. Some studies also that show that it can cure other sexual problems and infertility in men. However, research results are not clear whether it has the ability to increase testosterone levels in women and men.
  1. 10 Signs of Low Testosterone in Women: http://www.activebeat.com/your-health/women/10-signs-of-low-testosterone-in-women/
  2. Normal Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Women: http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women#1
  3. 7 Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women: https://tctmed.com/7-symptoms-of-low-testosterone-in-women/
  4. Low Testosterone in Women – Signs, Symptoms: https://www.restartmed.com/low-testosterone-women/
  5. What Are the Causes of Very Low Testosterone in Women? http://www.livestrong.com/article/215579-what-are-the-causes-of-very-low-testosterone-in-women/
  6. 8 Different Causes of Low Testosterone in Women: https://tctmed.com/8-different-causes-of-low-testosterone-in-women/
  7. 5 Surprising Signs You Have Low Testosterone: http://www.prevention.com/health/women-low-testosterone
  8. Testosterone for Women: http://www.webmd.com/women/testosterone-for-women
  9. Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements for Testosterone: http://www.healthline.com/health/herbs-vitamins-supplements-testosterone-levels-balance#yohimbe6
  10. Does Fenugreek Increase Testosterone Levels? http://www.livestrong.com/article/469985-does-fenugreek-increase-testosterone-levels/

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