Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women — Testosterone for Hormone Balance
When we mention the term hormone replacement therapy, women think “estrogen.”
That’s not surprising because, when it comes to hormone replacement therapy for women, almost all the publicity surrounding symptoms and treatment of female hormone imbalance is focused there.
A lot is written about the female sex hormones — estrogen and progesterone — because their fluctuations (or declines) can cause uncomfortable symptoms during menopause, a stage of change every woman must go through.
Female low testosterone is overlooked almost entirely. In fact, most women don’t even know such a condition exists.
Hormone Replacement Therapy — Women Have Testosterone, Too
Yes, women need testosterone. When it comes to hormone replacement therapy, women focus on estrogen, but they should consider testosterone. There’s only a tiny amount in women’s bodies compared to the levels produced and needed in men’s, but it plays a significant part in maintaining women’s hormone balance.
Much like men, women experience an age-related decline in testosterone production — levels usually reach their lowest point by the mid- to late-40s.
Simultaneously, menopause is decreasing the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries, causing additional symptoms. In fact, around the age menopause becomes most severe, women’s bodies may only be producing half the testosterone they once did.
How are women supposed to know what’s going on with their bodies with all of this drastic fluctuation and change? Most of the time, they just know that they don’t feel well.
“I’m probably experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance,” is about as specific as anyone could get without a formal panel of blood tests to determine the actual levels of the various hormones present in the blood.
The Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Why begin hormone replacement therapy? For women, a hormone imbalance results in a number of unpleasant symptoms that affect how you look, how you feel, and your perception of your quality of life. Here are some common symptoms you may be experiencing:
- Mood changes
- Mild depression
- Poor sleep quality
- Hair loss and hair thinning
- Ovarian cysts
- Weaker bones
- Low libido (loss of the desire for sex)
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Changes in appetite or digestive issues
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
One of the primary roles testosterone plays is the maintenance of sexual desire in menopausal women — loss of libido (or sex drive) can be quite distressing.
However, in the case of hormone replacement therapy, women receiving estrogen replacement therapy alone often don’t experience much restoration of their “normal” sex drive, which indicates there’s more going on in their bodies than estrogen loss due to menopause — low testosterone, perhaps?
The Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy in Women
Although it’s possible that low estrogen alone is the cause of a woman’s symptoms (we treat that, too — read more here), let’s assume for a moment that low testosterone is the source of the symptoms.
Studies (like this one) show that healthy testosterone levels, either maintained naturally or restored through testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), help women develop stronger bones, more lean muscle, improved cognitive function, and increased sexual desire.
Women also find their emotional symptoms improve with restoration of their hormone levels — they feel less anxiety, less depression, and a greater sense of well being.
Here’s the bottom line: Hormone imbalance, including low testosterone, often leaves you feeling down and out of sorts — restoration of your sense of well being can have a profound impact on your quality of life.
When it comes to women’s health, hormone replacement therapy can do a lot to help, but it’s important at first to identify the cause so we can determine the best course of treatment.
You’ll need to get with your medical provider — blood testing is required to find out what your current hormone levels are. To treat your symptoms, we need to get all your hormones working together in proper balance.
Reaching that overall balance is the goal of women’s hormone replacement therapy.
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone in Women
At Testosterone Centers of Texas, we almost exclusively recommend injections for use in testosterone replacement therapy, but topicals may be viable options in some situations.
What matters most is getting an exact dose prescribed specifically for you based on your body’s hormone levels and your unique symptoms.
Injections provide the most precise dose possible — other methods are imprecise and often designed to deliver higher doses appropriate for men’s body weight and higher natural levels.
Experiencing Low Sexual Desire? — Learn More
As we mentioned above, one of the most distressing symptoms of low testosterone for women is the reduction or loss of sex drive.
If you’re experiencing a decline in your normal desire to have sex, it might be time to get with your medical provider to find out if hormone replacement therapy is right for you — find out more about the connection between low libido and low testosterone by clicking the button below.