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Low Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Women

It may surprise you to learn that testosterone is as essential to women's health as it is to men's. Although testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones called androgens, and was once considered an exclusively male hormone, research over the past decade demonstrates that this hormone also plays a definitive role in women's physical and psychological health.

Both testosterone and estrogen are produced by the ovaries. Relatively small quantities of testosterone are released into a women's bloodstream by the ovaries and also the adrenal glands. In addition to being produced by the ovaries, estrogen is also produced by fat tissue in the body. Both of these critical sex hormones are involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of reproductive tissues, as well as other body tissues, bone mass, and particularly in their sex drive. However, heightened libido is not the only benefit of testosterone; many women report that they have more energy and a greater sense of well-being when their testosterone levels are normal.

Symptoms and Causes of Low Testosterone in Women

While there are a host of other symptoms, primary symptoms of low testosterone levels in women include low libido, painful intercourse, and fatigue. At menopause, women experience a decline in testosterone. That decline may be correlated to a reduced libido. Testosterone levels in women are known to also decrease during menopause or post-hysterectomy surgery, and removal of the ovaries. Testosterone levels are also known to drop due to the following:

  • During the natural aging process, accompanied by a natural decline in estrogen and progesterone levels
  • Overuse or over-prescription of oral contraceptives
  • Ovarian cancer and subsequent chemotherapy treatments
  • Disease or damage to the pituitary gland
  • Diabetes
  • Morbid obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Glandular malformation
  • Infections such as mumps, meningitis, or syphilis

Testosterone is not only important to a woman's sexual health, but also to her overall well-being. Other than a low sex drive, other symptoms that are associated with low testosterone levels in women may include:

Fatigue

A primary symptom of low testosterone is fatigue, a feeling of considerably less energy; one of constantly feeling tired and run down. If it seems that doing a physical activity takes you longer with considerably more effort, or if post-workout or exercise recovery takes longer, you may be experiencing the effects of low T.

Ironically, because of the general feeling of malise, many women may altogether stop working out, which can result in even poorer health and lower energy levels, and as they gain weight, and have more to carry around with less muscle to accomplish it, they more easily experience fatigue and general low energy. Natural supplementation of this essential hormone may help you overcome exhaustion.

Low Libido / Lack of Interest in Sexual Activity

Testosterone is a vital component of female sexuality, enhancing interest in initiating sexual activity and responding to sexual stimulation. In contrast to estrogen level dropoff, which dramatically falls at the time of menopause, testosterone levels naturally decline with age, particularly after the age of 40. Total testosterone levels in women in their forties are approximately half of those of women in their twenties. Since this hormone is directly linked to libido, rapid replenishment of testosterone is essential to continuation of normal sexual health and enjoyment.

Replenishment of this of essential hormone can be accomplished by the application of a 100% natural, plant-derived topical supplementation containing testosterone precursors believed to promote the body's own production of testosterone in a healthy, productive manner without falsely signaling the body to stop testosterone production, as is the case with synthetic testosterone.

Hot Flashes, Hot Flushes, Night Sweats

Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, or when they occur at night, night sweats, are a common symptom of menopause and perimenopause, typically experienced as a feeling of intense heat with sweating and rapid heartbeat, and may last from two to thirty minutes for each occurrence. The sensation of heat usually begins in the face or chest, although it may appear elsewhere such as the back of the neck, and it can spread throughout the whole body. Some women pass out if the effects are strong enough. In addition to being an internal sensation, the surface of the skin, especially on the face, becomes hot to the touch. This is the origin of the alternative term "hot flush," since the sensation of heat is often accompanied by visible reddening of the face. Excessive flushing can lead to rosacea.

Severe hot flashes can make it difficult to get a full night's sleep (often characterized as insomnia), which in turn can affect mood, impair concentration, and cause other physical problems. When hot flashes occur at night, they are called "night sweats." As estrogen is typically lowest at night, some women get night sweats without having any hot flashes during the daytime. In popular women's online forums, women who use supplements often report significant reduction and/or cessation of hot flashes.

Other Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Below is a list of common symptoms associated with low levels of testosterone:

  • Loss of libido - sex drive
  • Definite loss of muscle strength and mass
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Accumulation of fat, especially around the abdomen
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and related bone deterioration
  • Crashing, fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Irregular periods, often unlike previous experience
  • Feelings of doom, dread, apprehension
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings, sudden tears
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hot flashes, night sweats, cold flashes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Bouts of rapid heart beat
  • Disturbing lapses of memory
  • Bouts of depression, loss of "self"
  • Incontinence upon sneezing
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Sudden absence of menstruation
  • Aching, sore muscles, tendons & joints
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Stomach discomfort indigestion, gas
  • Breast soreness, tenderness
  • Change in headaches increase or decrease
  • Increased allergies
  • Changes in body odor

Testosterone Replacement or Replenishment

Benefits and Risks

As with many human ailments, the medical society is quick to whip out the prescription pad, which is why prescriptions for testosterone replacement have risen more than 17-fold in recent years. While some experts applaud the increase, others sound a note of caution. Testosterone replacement by oral ingestion, patch, or injection is thought to be generally safe however there just isn't enough data available yet to fully assess the long-term benefits or risks.

One thing that is known is that synthetic testosterone signals the brain that the body has enough testosterone, actually stopping the body from producing its own, which is why people who are on testosterone replacement therapy are periodically cycled off as a precaution to reduce the risk that their bodies will not altogether shut down their own production of testosterone.

This is also one of the main reasons people seek alternative therapies, such as topical testosterone creams, which contain natural testosterone precursors believed to stimulate the body into producing its own testosterone, naturally, and given that bioidentical hormones replicate the very molecular characteristics of the hormones produced in our own bodies, it stands to reason that the human body is better equipped to handle and utilize them safely and effectively than their synthetic counterparts. Though there are relatively few U.S. studies on natural remedies, the few published to date have been promising and seem to affirm an overall emering consensus in people, that natural is better than artificial.

Women, their Men, and Low Testosterone

Facts for Women: Understanding the Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men

Just as Low T affects the sexual drive and libido of women, it also affects men. Men, and the women in their lives, may often mistake their reduced desire for sexual activity as disinterest, or erectile dysfunction (E.D.), when the lack of desire may be a symptom of low testosterone (Low T).

Men may be resistant to discussing issues with their female partners. Women, who have educated themselves about Low T symptoms and treatments through the information on this site and elsewhere, can help educate and motivate the men in their lives to talk to their physicians about the symptoms associated with Low T.

 

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