Testosterone is notoriously a man’s hormone. It is produced in abundance in the male reproductive system to create sperm, and it is closely linked with a man’s libido, his ability to gain muscle and the elevation of his mood.
Yet, despite its reputation, testosterone isn’t exclusive to men. Women’s bodies need testosterone to properly maintain healthy weight and bone mass as well as to ensure full reproductive wellness. Unfortunately, women can be low on testosterone — but few are able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a testosterone deficiency. Here are a few good indications that you might need to talk to your healthcare provider about using testosterone boosters:
As in male bodies, testosterone in female bodies plays an important role in the development of bones and muscles. Thus, when a woman doesn’t have enough testosterone, her body doesn’t devote sufficient resources to building and maintaining muscle — which can result in feeling weak. Women shouldn’t expect to bulk up on muscle the same way men do, but an inability to increase muscle mass with the right diet and exercises as well as a loss of muscle tone or strength are potential signs of testosterone deficiency.
Fatigue and Sluggishness
Occasionally, everyone feels tired. However, when that tiredness persists every day and becomes an utter lack of physical, mental and emotional energy not relieved by rest or relaxation, professionals typically refer to use the clinical term “fatigue.” Fatigue and related feelings, like sluggishness and lethargy, can have many causes, and a lack of sufficient testosterone is certainly one of them. However, it is important to note that increasing testosterone levels won’t cure fatigue issues if testosterone deficiency is not an issue.
Low Libido and Sexual Satisfaction
Despite testosterone’s association with the male reproductive system, this hormone is valuable to the female reproductive system, too. In particular, testosterone helps to drive sexual interest and ensure sexual satisfaction, so a sudden lack of sexual appetite or inability to obtain satisfaction might be the result of a sudden decrease in testosterone.
Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Estrogen and progesterone increase and decrease throughout the female menstrual cycle — but testosterone levels can also wax and wane. Testosterone should be highest during the period of menstruation. A lack of testosterone might result in a lack of menstruation, which in turn can throw the entire cycle out of whack. Irregular menstrual cycles have many ramifications, so it is important for those experiencing irregularities to better understand the underlying cause and address it.
Infertility can be the result of an irregular menstrual cycle, but women with low testosterone might have regular periods but still suffer from fertility troubles. Research suggests that testosterone is vital in the development of follicles within the ovaries; these structures help to hold and release eggs during ovulation, so if follicles are not functioning as they should, women might not be able to conceive. Fortunately, increasing testosterone is a simple solution if this is the only fertility issue a woman is facing.
Depression and Anxiety
The human body is an unimaginably complex machine, and every single hormone plays a part in maintaining both physical and mental health. Too much or too little testosterone has a cascade of effects all around the body, and changes to testosterone and its effects on the body can alter how the brain functions. Unfortunately, this often means that those suffering hormonal imbalances like testosterone deficiencies also suffer from mental health concerns, like anxiety and depression. Though antidepressants and related medications can resolve these issues, it might be worth looking into testosterone levels for a more holistic fix.
The thyroid is an organ in the throat that produces hormones responsible for healthy metabolism, growth and development. Often, the thyroid is responsible for hormonal imbalances within the body — but the organ can also be impacted by hormonal imbalances. Sometimes, severe testosterone deficiency can cause the thyroid to become diseased, which can result in even more widespread problems in the body. Unfortunately, like low testosterone, thyroid disease isn’t always easy to diagnose, and it can take months of testing for healthcare providers to arrive at the right solution.
Testosterone is just as important to women as it is to men. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of low testosterone are subtle, and many are caused by a large number of other types of disorders. Still, it might be worth getting your hormone levels checked and starting a testosterone treatment — if advocated by your healthcare provider.