Testosterone is not a male-only hormone. For years now, doctors and other health care providers have realized that testosterone and other hormones might be beneficial to women suffering from decreased libido.
More recently, doctors and researchers have found that testosterone might also help alleviate pre-and post-menopausal symptoms. But it wasn’t always clear how testosterone functioned in the female body or why testosterone supplementation might be beneficial to women.
It’s interesting to note that the use of testosterone in women has a long and storied history, at least in the medical community. As early as the 1930’s, doctors were prescribing testosterone for women (there was no debate about testosterone gel for women at that time because the gels didn’t exist—you can read more about that here.)
Many of the symptoms and illnesses that doctors were prescribing testosterone to women for we know now cannot be treated with testosterone. However, the main reason doctors prescribe testosterone to women today, reduced libido, is one of the same reasons doctors prescribed testosterone at that time.
We’ve known for a while that testosterone can help women with decreased desire—the methods have simply changed.
Why We Recommend Against Testosterone Gel for Women
We actually try to steer most patients aware from testosterone gel in general—testosterone gel has a variety of issues that testosterone injections simply don’t have.
The main issue that testosterone gel has is that, in anywhere from 30–40% of male patients, it has no effect whatsoever. Some gels even specifically warn against the use of testosterone gel for women (you can read more about the warning here)
One of the main reasons we try to avoid the use of testosterone gels in general is that they can be transmitted to other people besides the patient. Several of the warnings on these gels specifically point to the danger to women and children from accidental contact with these gels.
The Biggest Problem With Testosterone Gel for Women
Probably the biggest issue with testosterone gel for women is that they simply aren’t made for women!
Men and women have markedly different levels of testosterone in their bodies normally—men have about 10 times more testosterone than women do. Because topical testosterone preparations are made exclusively for men, the levels of testosterone in these gels are much higher than the amount of testosterone a women would need.
It is for this reason, above all others, that we expressly recommend against testosterone gel for women and instead recommend testosterone injections. With testosterone injections, we are able to titrate the precise amount of testosterone necessary to bring your testosterone levels back up to normal. Testosterone gel for women, especially special preparations specifically for women, simply don’t exist in an FDA-approved form.
Women take weekly testosterone injections, just like men, and they often find a great deal of relief from not only low libido, but other symptoms of low testosterone as well.
These symptoms can include anything from the classic lack of interest in sex and weight gain to anxiety and hair loss. You can read more about some of the symptoms of low testosterone in women here and how the affect women uniquely.
Talk to Your Medical Care Provider About Testosterone Injections
Of course, only you and your medical care provider can decide if testosterone is right for you. We don’t recommend testosterone gel for women, but some medical care providers do recommend this when a preparation is made from a compound pharmacy. If this is the right medical solution for your unique needs, only you and your medical care provider can determine that.
If you want to stop struggling with your symptoms, if you’re ready to start feeling better, schedule a free consultation today.