What are a woman’s symptoms when she has too low a level of testosterone?
When it comes to regulating how the body functions, there are few substances more important than hormones. They are known as “chemical messengers” that travel throughout the body initiating and controlling pretty much everything that goes on. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and stores glucose so that we have sufficient energy levels when we need them. Thyroid is needed by every cell in the body in order to function properly. Everyone’s favorite, serotonin, is what makes us feel good.
Equally important is testosterone, known as the male sex hormone, although women also have testosterone and insufficient levels can lead to problems. For women, both testosterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries. Testosterone plays an important role in body growth and maintenance, libido enhancement, and blood cell production, as well as supporting repairs in tissues of the reproductive system. How much testosterone is produced differs based on age and by the time women reach 40, the level is half of what it was when she was 20. Sometimes this can be a problem.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels in Women
What happens when levels of testosterone in women are too low?
While the decrease in testosterone levels in women is natural and perfectly normal, if they reach too low, this can have a significant effect on the quality of life. This is especially true when the drop is from a reason other than normal aging, like loss of the ovaries due to surgery, chemotherapy, substance abuse, disease, certain medications, and even the use of birth control drugs. There is a wide range of symptoms that may indicate low levels of testosterone in women. Some of these include:
- Lack of energy and prolonged listlessness and lethargy
- Overall muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone
- Continual and consistent fatigue without apparent reason
- Inability to sleep through the night
- Low or nonexistent sex drive
- Lack of pleasure or satisfaction with sexual relations
- Weight gain
- Issues with fertility
- Menstrual cycles that are irregular or disappear altogether
- Dryness in the vaginal area
- Loss of bone density
- Leaky bladder
Not surprisingly, one last symptom that needs to be included on that list is depression. It is certainly easy to understand at least some level of depression when dealing with any of those, let alone several. To make things worse, it is not uncommon for low testosterone levels to be considered just a “normal” part of menopause that must simply be expected.
One of the biggest obstacles to effective treatment for women struggling with proper levels of testosterone is the lack of research. Most physicians have little understanding of just how significantly women are affected by low testosterone and, consequently, are often at a loss as to treatment options. Some suggestions that are often considered are:
- Therapy, regular and sex therapy
- Stress management techniques
- Making sure to get a good night’s sleep
- A better diet
While these are good recommendations for most people, it is unlikely that they will adequately address levels of testosterone that are too low. A better course may be to find a healthcare professional familiar with this issue and get the most informed advice possible.
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