Too many, testosterone in women comes as a surprise, many think that this hormone is only for men. And yes, testosterone is found in women-but in low quantities. Though undiagnosed, it plays a vital and critical role in the woman’s body. When very low, testosterone can lead to problems in a woman’s body. Such problems include; a decrease in a woman’s libido, lack of energy and mood swings. In this article, we want to look at the hormone testosterone. How does imbalance in testosterone affect women in menopause? We hope you will benefit a lot-kindly read on.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone hormone is defined as an androgenic-anabolic hormone that is responsible for the masculine nature of men. In men, it is produced in the testes glands and while in women, it is produced from the ovaries and also in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for estrogen production in women and may also contribute to bone and muscle mass among women. It is widely known that among men, the lack of this hormone leads to low libido and low in muscle mass. Its lack in women can cause women not to leave to their highest potential.
Effects on lack of testosterone on menopausal women
Lack of testosterone in women always exhibits itself in symptoms similar to those of menopause. This could be because the hormone testosterone plays a critical role in the production of estrogen. It therefore follows that there is a direct relationship between declines in testosterone to decline in estrogen production. So here are some of the symptoms for decline in testosterone secretion:
- Low libido: When in high a level, this hormone has been found to increase libido both in men and in women. But with a decrease in the secretion of testosterone, the woman’s libido goes down. Other causes of low libido among menopausal women could be as a result of dry vagina which is also a symptom of low testosterone. Dry vagina is discussed next.
- Vaginal dryness: Vaginal dryness is when a woman’s vagina lacks the natural lubrication and is also less elastic. When in this state, a woman cannot enjoy sex; sex becomes painful and may even lead to bleeding when having intercourse. For many women, with time if it is not treated, the condition may have the woman detest sex and have low libido.
- Mood swings: During this time, some women feel like ‘I am not just in the mood’. They would often be happy one moment and feel withdrawn the next moment.
- Anxiety and irritability Hot flashes: These are episodes of heat that are often felt in the night. A woman could feel like being engulfed amidst flames and have a burning effect on her face and upper body while to some it could just be a warm feeling. These episodes are often increased by hot environments.
- Night sweats: Night sweats could also be as a result of hot flashes apart from occurring on their own as a result of menopause. They often cause a woman to sweat profusely during the night.
- Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition where a woman’s bones have less density and quality. This process may start earlier on in life but may not be noticed until later on when a woman has fractures in her bones. Risk factors for this condition are age and menopause. This
- Insomnia and sleep disturbance: This is a lack of sleep totally or partially. For some women, good sleep is hard to come by; they keep on tossing and turning in bed or completely lack sleep. This in turn affects their functionality during the day as they did not have enough sleep.
Other symptoms include the following:
- A woman may feel inappropriately cold during menopause for most of the time.
- Hair fall
- Lack of energy/fatigue and zest for life
- Loss of bone and muscle mass could affect an athlete’s career as her bones may not be strong enough to run.
- Menopause: Menopause is the natural cause for low secretion of testosterone. Testosterone is normally at its peak when a woman is in her twenties. After this age, it begins to decline until finally it goes much lower but may continue on even after estrogen section stops.
- Hysterectomy: This is the removal of the uterus or ovaries. It could be birth control or for treatment of certain diseases. This causes an imbalance as the ovaries fail to produce the testosterone hormone.
- Hypogonadism: This is a condition where the female hormones in a woman are reduced significantly; it could lead to the reduction in testosterone secretion.Other reasons include;
- Tumor in the adrenal glands
- Oral contraceptives
Testosterone can be administered by the following ways:
- Parenteral route: This is where testosterone is administered through a bypass of the gut and then metabolized by the liver. When administered through oral route, it affects the enzyme balance in the body that is why it is avoided.
- Lozenges: These are put under the tongue and testosterone is absorbed through the lymph vessels
- Application of a gel on the skin or as a patch
- Implants on the upper thigh
- Intramuscular injections
- Regular exercise
- More sex
- Eat foods rich in zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin D and a trace element called boron, dark green vegetables, and citrus fruits.
We have shared quite a lot on testosterone and menopause. We hope that you have benefitted in knowing what it is, how it impacts a woman’s life and how to treat it and prevent it. We look forward to reading your comments.