Think testosterone is just for guys? Think again. Testosterone plays a crucial role in women’s health, too, and it’s not what you think. Women across the globe are discovering, with the help of SottoPelle® Therapy, a bioidentical hormone replacement, that testosterone therapy can ease their symptoms of menopause and improve their quality of life in more ways than one.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 myths about testosterone use and women.
- Myth #1: Testosterone is a “male” hormone. While we usually associate testosterone with men, the fact is that testosterone is an extremely important part of the hormonal system in both sexes. Testosterone is, in fact, the most abundant biologically active hormone in women! The androgen receptor for testosterone is actually found on the X chromosome. However, testosterone became a member of the “boys only” club, it isn’t based on science.
- Myth #2: In women, testosterone only helps with sex drive and libido. Yes, testosterone is the most abundant active sex steroid present in a woman throughout her lifespan, but that’s not where its influence ends. Functional androgen receptors (molecules that bind to testosterone and other androgens to perform specific functions for cells) are located in almost all tissues in the female body, including the breast, heart, blood vessels, gastrointestinal tract, lung, brain, spinal cord, nerves, bladder, uterus, ovaries, endocrine glands, vaginal tissue, skin, bone, muscle and more. This is why testosterone replacement therapy can help women not only with sexual issues, but also with bone loss, muscle loss, urinary complaints, breast pain, rheumatoid complaints, incontinence, and fatigue, just to name a few.
- Myth #3: Testosterone masculinizes women. Large doses of testosterone will create a masculinizing effect, as evidenced by hormone treatment for transgender persons. But low dose, individualized testosterone treatments, such as those used with SottoPelle® Therapy, a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, are designed to bring testosterone levels up to normal, not to exceed them. Any unwanted side effects can be reversed by lowering the dose. Some research has even shown that low doses of testosterone not only don’t masculinize women, they also produce a “feminizing effect.”
- Myth #4: Testosterone use will change your voice. Unfortunately, anecdotal reports have suggested that testosterone therapy can cause hoarseness or permanent vocal changes in women; however, studies have produced no conclusive evidence of this. The most common causes of hoarseness and voice change are allergies, laryngitis, reflux, voice over-use, mucosal tears, medications, and vocal cord polyps. Taking testosterone is not going to change your voice.
- Myth #5: Testosterone causes hair loss in women. This myth doesn’t make a lot of sense biologically speaking as men have higher levels of testosterone in their bodies than women, and yet they experience more hair loss. The fact is that many factors contribute to hair loss (including genetics), and approximately one third of women experience hair loss and hair thinning with normal aging. As aging coincides with a natural decline in testosterone, this may be where the myth developed. In truth, testosterone pellet therapy has been associated with scalp hair re-growth in many women, suggesting that instead of making women lose hair, raising testosterone back to healthy levels may help them to grow more of it.
Those aren’t all the myths associated with testosterone use in women, but they are some of the most common. Check back for more myths about testosterone therapy and women in our next blog post.
Glaser et al. Testosterone therapy in women: Myths and misconceptions. Maturitas (2013) 74:231-234