What does testosterone do for a woman? A lot more than you think.
Just like men, you need testosterone in your body—and just like men, your body produces testosterone naturally, though it does so at a much lower level than in a man’s body.
In fact, your testosterone levels may be 10 times lower than what a man would normally produce, though I want to stress that everyone is different. What your body produces naturally may be higher or lower than the average.
While a man’s testes produce the majority of his testosterone, most of yours comes from your ovaries—your adrenal glands also produce some.
Do Women Even Need Testosterone?
One very common misconception is that women don’t need testosterone—it’s known as the male hormone after all. In fact, some women even fear having too much testosterone because of the masculinizing effect it can have on your body.
While having too much testosterone is a problem, having too little is equally problematic.
It’s all about achieving balance. Unlike men, women do not have established norms for testosterone replacement therapy, and researchers have yet to establish definitively what levels of free and total testosterone might be too high or too low.
You also have an added complication—your menstrual cycle, which causes your hormones to fluctuate each month. Hormone-based birth control methods can further complicate your system.
This is one reason going to someone who specializes in testosterone replacement therapy (rather than your primary care physician) is recommended—you need a provider who can closely monitor your symptoms and make sure you’re getting the right dose.
So, What Does Testosterone Do for a Woman Anyway?
Here are a few processes in your body affected by your testosterone levels.
- Sexual desire (libido)
- Estradiol production
- Maintenance of bone mass
- Maintenance of muscle mass
Women who have too little testosterone often find that these processes are interrupted, especially libido, but low libido is just one of the many symptoms of low testosterone.
So, what does testosterone do for a woman who begins testosterone replacement therapy? I wish I could give you a clear answer, but the reality is that everyone is different.
You might find that testosterone restores your sex drive; in fact, testosterone is a common treatment for loss of sex drive following menopause.
Testosterone may also help restore your natural sleep patterns, and it may even help relieve mood issues, like anxiety or depression.
Simply put, testosterone is as integral to your body as it is to a man’s body.
What does testosterone do for a woman?
A little bit of everything.