Testosterone is a sex hormone and an anabolic steroid, and although it is typically considered to be a male hormone, it is also essential for healthy hormone balance in women. In men, it is produced in the testes and in women by the ovaries, with women having around a tenth of that seen in men. Additionally, it is produced by the adrenal glands of men and women, and by the conversion from other weak androgens.
What Does It Do?
Testosterone has been found to increase self-confidence levels, motivation and energy, as well as generally improving your mood and vitality. It is also essential for:
- Increasing libido
- Increasing bone density
- Boosting muscle mass and strength
- Improving memory
For women, this hormone has many and varied benefits. For instance, during pregnancy, it plays an essential role in the development of the embryo, signalling that a male embryo should develop as a boy. It is also key in the emotional and mental state of both men and women. When children go through puberty, for example, testosterone causes the growth of hair on the body and gives a healthy glow to the skin and hair.
Low levels can have a very dramatic effect on the body, with testosterone deficiency leading to:
- weight change
- aches and pains in the joints
- reduced libido
- muscle loss
- loose skin
In menopausal women, levels decrease which can lead to lowered libido, a decreased sense of well-being and a loss of energy as well as all of the symptoms described above. Low levels are often associated with fluctuations of other hormones in the body, for example, women with low testosterone also often have low levels of DHEA.
It may come as a surprise to many, but men experience a ‘male menopause’, or andropause, which happens as their testosterone levels naturally decline with age. This happens from the age of about 30 and symptoms arise when their levels drop below a certain level, although this level is different for each man.
Testosterone and Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
As the fluctuation in testosterone levels can lead to a number of different symptoms in both men and women, it is important for anyone experiencing symptoms to seek out expert consultation and subsequent testing to ascertain whether or not their symptoms are linked to this hormone. If this is the case, then appropriately supplementing the levels of testosterone in the body can help treat these symptoms. Bioidentical testosterone can be used to increase libido, improve mood and even improve muscle mass.