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888.828.4300info@tctmed.com

Symptoms and Causes of Too Much Testosterone in Women

Too much testosterone in women can be incredibly detrimental—in fact, it can often be worse than too little testosterone.Too Much Testosterone In Women

One common misconception we run into is that hormone replacement therapy is only about treating low hormones, especially low testosterone.

The truth is more nuanced (and it’s often the case that the wrong tests were done and you actually have low testosterone).

The goal of hormone therapy is to achieve balance—a balance between all the major hormones in your body.

We’re concerned with any hormone being outside of normal, whether it be too high or too low. Low testosterone is certainly a problem, but too much testosterone is just as concerning.

We talk quite a bit about low testosterone here at TCT (contrary to popular belief, women suffer from this too), but what about high testosterone? What are the causes? And how does it affect women?

Let’s start with the symptoms.

The Symptoms of Too Much Testosterone In Women

Testosterone controls (or is involved in) a surprisingly high number of bodily processes and functions. Although testosterone is often thought of as the “male” hormone, testosterone is actually present in women in small amounts.

Those small amounts need to stay within a certain range in a healthy woman, and this range is variable from person to person. However, if you have significantly higher testosterone levels than normal, you can start to experience a variety of symptoms.

Because of testosterone’s role in sex determination for males, many of the symptoms of too much testosterone in women involve something called virilization—the development of male physical characteristics. Here is just a short list of some of the symptoms:

  • Male pattern hair loss
  • Excessive body hair growth
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Lowered voice
  • Breast atrophy
  • Increased libido
  • Excessive muscle mass gain
  • Acne
  • Cessation of menstruation

As you might imagine, symptoms like this can have a powerful negative effect on your life. If you’re experiencing the symptoms above and think you might be producing too much testosterone, you might need to get your hormone levels tested. That being said, management of such a condition often needs to be handled by specialists.

Now that you have a better idea of what too much testosterone in women looks like, let’s talk about what causes high testosterone.

The Causes of High Testosterone In Women

We’ve written on the causes of too much testosterone in women before, but here’s a crash course on the subject.

Basically, diseases and disorders that affect your endocrine system are going to affect your hormone levels. Here are just a few of the more common causes:

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Diabetes
  • Dwarfism
  • Gigantism
  • Acromegaly
  • Adrenal neoplasm disorders
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Adrenal or ovarian tumors
  • Conn’s syndrome
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Thyroid disorders

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you may also want to talk to your medical care provider about possible causes. While some causes may seem obvious to the sufferer, others might not be readily apparent.

And, like I mentioned above, you might actually have low testosterone — find out how such a strange mistake could be made.

Get Your Hormone Levels Back to Normal

While many of the disorders and diseases listed above aren’t going to be cured by hormone therapy alone, getting your testosterone levels and other hormones into balance could help alleviate your symptoms.

Let’s get you back to normal—click here to contact us today and get your hormone levels tested.

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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

17 Comments

  1. Lloyd Friedman on 01/09/2016 at 6:26 am

    At age 60 my wife went on HRT including a compound of testosterone cream. The pharmacy chain that made it 200MG/ML instead of 20. With instructions to use 0.1ML per night. Yes she had all the symptoms you mention plus. Now she will not go near the stuff. There was some advantages. A better libido. Had her first orgasm at age 60. A clitoris that was hard to find to one that is now of average size. Her libido is now gone. All though she has not used “T” for many months she is still multi orgasmic. By the way the pharmacy admitted their mistake.

    • Augie Galindo on 01/11/2016 at 4:42 pm

      Lloyd,

      It is a shame that an error like this was made. While human error is always to be expected, it is very unfortunate that it led to such a reaction and dismissal of therapy. I do not care for topical testosterone applications. We utilize injections so that we can have more control over the dosing, and careful and frequent lab testing helps us to identify issues before they become problems.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas – Founding Partner

  2. Valerie Riley on 10/05/2016 at 12:41 am

    Hi,

    I currently use topical testoterone creams and have a pellet inserted every 3 months. I recently had blood drawn and discovered my levels are 834, which are extraordinarily higher than normal range. I do experience some of the side effects mentioned. I’m concerned that this could possibly cause cancer. Please let me know.

    • Augie Galindo on 10/05/2016 at 12:13 pm

      Valerie,

      While there is no solid literature that points to a increase cancer risk with TRT, this is exactly why I don’t use pellets. You ARE being exposed to other risks unnecessarily.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  3. Valerie Riley on 10/06/2016 at 2:29 pm

    Hi, thank you for your reply. Can you let me know what the other risk are for using pallets? Also I, correction my testosterone level is 324, which is still quite hi GH based on the average range for women. Please let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks
    Valerie

  4. Alexis J. on 11/19/2016 at 4:53 am

    Hi, I have two questions:

    1.) What numbers are considered low/high levels of testosterone in a woman?

    2.) Will the changes revert back once the testosterone levels lower? Because I am experiencing some of those symptoms mentioned above

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to all of these messages. It’s been very helpful.

    • Augie Galindo on 11/22/2016 at 12:03 pm

      Hello Alexis,

      I am glad you have found the thread helpful!

      Reference ranges can vary greatly depending on locale and analysis methodology, but a decent base of “normal” total testosterone levels for women would be 12-80 ng/dl, and a calculated free testosterone of 0.3-1.9 ng/dl.

      All things considered, if an elevated testosterone level is the ONLY thing causing symptoms and these levels return to normal, yes, the changes should also normalize.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  5. Kimber on 04/08/2017 at 10:48 pm

    I have been using bio identical hormone replacement for about nine months now. They insert a pellet into me after they have done bloodwork and determine what dosage I should have. After having lots of challenges with hair loss and overall scalp thinning I brought it to the attention of my gynecologist when I was there for my yearly exam. She had me have my lab work sent to her office. From the woman’s clinic I am currently being treated at. My DHT which I am using a supplement and my testosterone levels were way out of the ballpark for a woman. I am receiving the testosterone with the pellet. My concern is once I stop this treatment will my hair return back to its original state?

    • Augie Galindo on 04/13/2017 at 6:52 pm

      Kimber,

      That’s really hard to say, but also, I think you may have been given some misinformation. First of all, I don’t ever recommend pellets, but aside from that, your calculated free T is what matters, not your total. As for an elevated DHT, this alone won’t cause balding unless you are genetically predisposed to it. Coming off of TRT may be the right thing, but it isn’t the only factor contributing to your hair loss.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  6. Cyn on 05/08/2017 at 7:12 pm

    I just found out my testosterone is high, I had a 2 day period & frequent urination, I’m confused because it said if your testosterone is high you can’t get pregnant. I had a 2 day period when I was pregnant with my daughter, can testosterone cause frequent urination? This is really scaring me I really don’t much about Testosterone

    • Augie Galindo on 05/12/2017 at 5:18 pm

      Cyn,

      Keep in mind that not all uterine bleeding is part of a “normal period”, and while extremely elevated testosterone levels may suppress fertility, that doesn’t mean that it is entirely decimated. Testosterone won’t have any direct impact on urinary frequency.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  7. Jaq on 06/27/2017 at 7:44 am

    2 years ago I was diagnosed with chronic lymes disease. Having had it for 11 years it had caused me to develop addisons disease. My estrogen was half of what if should have been and my progesterone was a 4th but my testosterone was high normal. Despite this the main symptoms I was exibiting were those for low progesterone and low testosterone with no low estrogen symptoms and taking estrogen caused worse symptoms. In the end my doctor proscribed testosterone instead and my symptoms inproved. Now two years after finishing treatments for lymes the only hormone I have to take is progesterone but my testosterone is actually high but still the only symptom I have is more than average mucle for a woman which besides when I was at my sickest I’ve had my whole life. (I have pretty much no body hair to speak of for one thing) Why doesnt my high testosterone cause those symptoms?

    • Augie Galindo on 07/03/2017 at 2:03 pm

      Jaq,

      Understand that your total testosterone measurement just doesn’t lend much insight into what is going on. My guess is that while you have had a “high” total testosterone level, your calculated free T has likely been normal throughout. If you have lower progesterone levels, the ration between progesterone and estradiol could be completely normal, even with a “below normal” estrogen level. The issues you were experiencing likely have everything to do with that balance shift and this is why you reacted poorly when your estrogen levels were increased.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  8. Tammy on 11/02/2017 at 10:46 pm

    Hi , I have used Pellets for several years now . I did testosterone and estrogen but my mammogram (after the pellets) showed dense areas and The radiologist suggested that I discontinue the estrogen.
    So now I only do testosterone (112 every 4 months) and I take oral progesterone 200 mg on days 1-25. It does seem to have benefits , energy , libedo increase , but I don’t want to be doing harm to myself . After reading that you don’t use pellets , it made me curious. I started the hormones because I had absolutely NO sex drive. It has helped that tremendously but I don’t want to be trading one problem for another. Can you enlighten me , please.

    • Tammy,

      My biggest concern with pellets is the volatility you will see in resultant serum levels; too high in the first month, and too low just a couple of months later. With elevated levels, comes elevated risk. To be clear, I believe strongly in the benefits of testosterone, but I also believe strongly in utilizing the modality that allows us to use the lowest effective dose, to most strictly limit side effects, and to optimally improve quality of life.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  9. Keri West on 06/06/2018 at 2:21 pm

    I have been on pellets for several years and am now experiencing extreme hair loss and weight gain with an inability to lose weight. I’m quite distressed of the symptoms and have talked to my provider who doesn’t really seem concerned. I see that you don’t recommend pellets. How would I find a provider like you in my own state? I have been unable to find anyone to help me locally.

    • Keri,

      That is quite difficult. I have not found many colleagues who are using injections to treat female patients. Perhaps localized searches on Yelp or Facebook could help?

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

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