Women & Low Testosterone
Testosterone is normally associated with men, but the hormone is also part of the natural makeup of women’s bodies as well. Women need small amounts of testosterone to keep other hormones and bodily functions working properly. Low testosterone in women can cause problems with energy levels, sleep patterns, mood, weight and sex drive.
Women’s bodies naturally produce smaller amounts of testosterone than men’s, but even these small amounts are important to overall health. Testosterone is a vital hormone that helps to regulate various body functions within a woman’s body. Without enough of it, women can experience a variety of symptoms that are often attributed to illness and aging. Low testosterone in women can also cause a hormone imbalance that leads to serious health issues.
Low Energy and Fatigue
Feeling tired after a restless night or a long workout in the gym is normal, but constant fatigue and exhaustion can be a symptom of low testosterone levels. Low energy and chronic fatigue can lead to problems with cognitive skills, alertness, memory, and physical strength that may hinder or interfere with daily functions at work or at home. Research studies from Harvard Health show that low testosterone levels in women may even contribute to osteoporosis by reducing bone density and strength. Over time, this could also contribute to low energy, fatigue and exhaustion.
According to medical research studies, low testosterone levels can cause sleep disturbances, and sleep disturbances can cause low testosterone levels, creating a vicious cycle. Testosterone levels rise during sleep and fall during the day when you’re awake and active. According to sleep studies, the highest testosterone levels occur during the REM sleep cycle, which happens in the deepest part of sleep. Sleep disorders, including lack of sleep and disrupted sleep cycles, can lead to low testosterone in women, as well as men.
Testosterone plays a vital role in regulating mood, and low levels can wreak havoc on mental health. A general feeling of a low mood or unexplained mood swings is a common symptom of low testosterone in women. When hormone levels are out of balance in the body, it can actually alter brain chemistry. This can lead to shifts in moods that range from mild to severe including:
- feeling a little blue
- sadness and hopelessness
- irritability and anger
- panic attacks
Sudden mood swings and altered moods can lead to abnormal thoughts and behaviors. To prevent problems, these symptoms should always be thoroughly evaluated by a doctor.
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight are commonly associated with aging, but low testosterone levels also may be to blame. Low testosterone in women can cause muscle loss, which leads to lack of muscle tone and bone density and promotes progressive weight gain. It may be harder to lose unwanted pounds or maintain a stable weight no matter how hard you try through diet and exercise. Testosterone helps to regulate the amount of muscle and fat in the body. Low levels can reduce the ability to build muscle and increase fat, especially around the stomach area.
Decreased Sex Drive
Decreased sex drive and a lack of interest in sex, are common symptoms of low testosterone in women. Although women with normal testosterone levels can experience these symptoms on occasion, they usually don’t last. Occasional changes in sex drive or interest are normal, but low testosterone levels can leave a woman wanting sex less and less, even with a beloved, desirable partner. Sex becomes less enjoyable and orgasms become less frequent. Testosterone supplements can help restore normal testosterone levels, but pros and cons of treatment and side effects should be discussed with your doctor.
Turtle Creek Medical Center
At Turtle Creek Medical Center, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating low testosterone in women. If you believe you may be suffering from low testosterone, please schedule an evaluation today and learn more about how we can help treat this condition.