Testosterone for Sexual Libido in Menopause

Testosterone is referred to as a “male” hormone or an androgen.  In a woman, testosterone is thought to be linked to the sex drive. Women produce small amounts of the hormone in their adrenal glands and ovaries.  As a woman ages the ovaries begin to produce less testosterone and this decrease may add to symptoms of low libido.  However, a woman’s desire for sex is much more complicated than just a measurement and replacement of a hormone.

Unfortunately, there is no pill / patch / cream approved by the FDA for a testosterone preparation for women.  However, many practitioners do prescribe testosterone in a compounded formula to assist women who do not have ovaries (or whose ovaries are not functioning as in menopause) to assist in enhancing sexual libido.

Do not take testosterone:

  • If you might become pregnant
  • Have had breast or uterine cancer
  • Have high cholesterol or heart disease
  • Have liver disease

The goal of testosterone treatment is to raise a woman’s testosterone level no higher than what is normal for a young woman. All current testosterone products are made for dosing in men. There is not yet a standard dose or blood test for women, so dosing is adjusted based on your symptoms. Too much testosterone may be shown by having:

  • Increase in acne or oily skin
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Hair growth on the face/body
  • Anger and hostility problems
  • Shrinking breast size.
  • Hoarseness or a deeper voice.
  • An increase in the size of your clitoris.

What To Think About

Taking testosterone by using a skin patch, gel, or cream does not seem to affect cholesterol levels, but taking it by mouth does. This is because hormones are processed through the liver when taken by mouth but not when they are taken through the skin. At this time, there are no such FDA-approved testosterone products for women and some women see a practitioner and compounding pharmacist for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

  • Risks of bioidentical hormones are not known to be any different than risks of hormones made by a pharmaceutical company.
  • Many compounded hormone remedies for menopausal symptoms include testosterone. Talk to your practitioner about testosterone risks before using any remedy with testosterone in it.
  • Some supplements may interact with testosterone so be sure and tell your practitioner about any nonprescription medicines or herbs you are taking.
  • Do not take testosterone if you are pregnant or might become pregnant.

Any of my readers taking testosterone?  What do you think?



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