Well, the chances are high that you are among the 90% majority who think testosterone is only for males and estrogen is for females!
But the fact begs to differ here because human females can also secrete testosterone but in smaller quantities compared to men.
Testosterone is an androgen which helps in developing male sex characteristics, assist in reproduction, help in muscle growth, etc.
Majority of testosterone in men is produced with a dedicated organ called testis, while women produce it through ovary, adrenal glands, fat cells, and skin cells.
If you compare the amount produced in women with that of men you would be surprised to find that it only accounts for 1/20th to that of men.
However, if women secrete above a certain limit, she might exhibit male characteristics like facial hair, muscle development, deepened voice, etc.
In this article, we will cater everything that you must know about testosterone in women.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Male and female sex hormones
- How differently testosterone work in each gender?
- Testosterone levels in women and its impact
- When does women needs to treat testosterone?
- How to deal with abnormal testosterone levels naturally?
- Will supplementing testosterone athletically benefit women?
- Summing up
Male and female sex hormones
Before we go into the core of this topic, you must know basic sex hormones in both men and women.
This distinction will help us understand how diverse the human body and the wonder created by just one pair of chromosomes out of 22 pairs.
Estradiol and various estrogen
Testosterone and various androgens
How differently testosterone work in each gender?
Testosterone performs some of the important functions in males like assisting reproduction, spermatogenesis, inducing secondary sexual characters after hitting puberty, etc.
Muscle building and general bulking up are sponsored by this hormone and that’s the reason why many use it as a supplement to get faster muscle gains.
Fat distribution and fat burning help eliminating unwanted fat deposition and creates a proper channel for muscle growth.
Increasing bone mineral density gives men stronger and thicker bones, in which testosterone helps in the absorption of more calcium into the bone.
RBC production by bone marrow stimulation helps in oxygenating organs like brain and heart, thus creating an energy outburst and improves the mood.
Testosterone induces a sexual drive and creates a desire for a person to engage in intercourse.
In the case of women, testosterone, instead of assisting reproduction does many other the things it does in the male counterpart.
T-hormone is very important for bone health in women, especially for improving bone mineral density and bone mass.
They also play a crucial role in fertility, sexual desire, vaginal care, breast health, etc.
Female also makes use of testosterone by converting it into female sex hormones to be used up by the body.
Both gender experience a testosterone surge during puberty during which secondary sexual characters develop in both.
Female often don’t exhibit masculine features because testosterone acts in a different way inside the female system, and it is quickly converted into estrogen.
Testosterone levels in women and its impact
Women might also be asked by a physician to get a blood test done to estimate the levels of testosterone and other androgens in the blood.
The normal range of testosterone in the blood for females is estimated to be ranging between 15 ng/dl ~ 70 ng/dL.
At the same time, a male counterpart might be having a lower limit of 270 ng/dL and an upper limit of 1070 ng/dL.
If the levels are higher or lower than the limit in females, it might be an indication of some disorder, especially in the ovary or adrenal glands or might be because of a possible medication.
If levels decrease below 15ng/dL, it might cause:
- Low libido
- Problems with the menstrual cycle
- Fertility issues
- Dryness and irritation on the vaginal walls
On the other hand, if the levels are above 70ng/dL, then it might lead to:
- Facial hair growth
- Continuously missing a menstrual cycle
- Polycystic ovary
- Irregular blood sugar levels
When does women needs to treat testosterone?
Usually, abnormal levels in men are more common compared women; still if there are unusually high or low levels of testosterone in women, it might be due to the following reasons and demands treatment.
Higher levels of hormone might be an indication of a possible tumor in the ovary or adrenal glands.
This might result in the expression of masculine characters in women and the possible treatment for the hyperexpression might using glucocorticosteroids, metformin etc.
This will suppress the production of the body’s natural testosterone and thus bridles the increasing levels.
On the other side, the lower levels of testosterone in women might be due to the removal of ovaries or disorder to adrenal glands.
Age is also a factor, and with declining age, the production of testosterone decreases in females just like their male counterparts.
Loss of bone mass, low bone mineral density, decreased libido, suppressed RBC levels are some of the long-term effects of low testosterone in females.
Some studies suggest that hormonal therapy in females with low testosterone have shown improved libido; however, the conclusive proofs are yet to be derived.
How to deal with abnormal testosterone levels naturally?
Just like men, women can also treat abnormal levels of testosterone naturally without employing any medications or drugs.
The matter is that; women don’t require a steep rise in this hormone, rather needs to keep it within the required range.
If the range is below the minimum levels, the possible suspect might be the deficiency of some of the essential nutrients.
Changing the diet plan can help in fixing this issue.
Certain medicinal herbs like Tribulus terrestris and ashwagandha are strong promoters of testosterone secretion.
Adding red meat into the diet might be a great choice, apart from which fruits like pomegranate, lemon, pineapple can also help raise the testosterone levels.
Above all, getting into strenuous physical activities along with this diet can boost the levels.
For those who need to reduce the levels of testosterone, again diet is the ultimate strategy, this time, the ingredients change.
Chasteberry, flaxseeds, mint, nuts, reishi, vegetable oil, white peony, soybeans, palmetto, etc. are great choices for reducing the testosterone levels.
For both categories, one thing can benefit controlling the testosterone levels is ‘mediation.’
When the mind is kept focused, it synchronizes with the body and linearizes all blocked pathways, thus ensuring the proper working of all organs.
Will supplementing testosterone athletically benefit women?
It’s a controversial topic that stormed the sports world in recent history.
If you remember, one of the female athletes was alleged for using steroids to improving athletic abilities, and many others are seized by the sports committee for using steroids over the past few decades.
The science behind it is very simple, testosterone if available in excess on the blood can give unprecedented physical benefits to a woman compared to her clean fellow competitor.
Testosterone can raise aggression, which gives mental motivation to push forward.
The muscle development and energy expenditure pattern of the body will change upon pumping excess testosterone into the blood.
Thus, female athletes can illegally boost their performance; however, the latest biomedical instruments and standards for dope screening can prevent this to an extent.
Women have testosterone just like men but in a smaller amount.
Contradicting the popular social stigma that testosterone is an exclusively male hormone, females also use it for somewhat similar functions.
In women, testosterone helps in functions like muscle development, fertility, vaginal health, improving bone density, creating sexual desire, etc.
The healthy range in women is between 15 ~ 70 ng/dL, and any deviation from this range might be troublesome for them, just like men.
Sometimes, doctors prescribe mild androgenic steroids to raise the levels in women with low testosterone, and for vice versa, glucocorticosteroids might be prescribed to bring down the levels.