Although testosterone is linked to several important functions in women, including strength, mental sharpness and libido, a deficiency of testosterone is rarely the sole cause of low libido. Other physical, psychological and social factors may be partly to blame.
As there are currently no testosterone products approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women seeking to treat low libido, and it is recommended that you first consider other options to treat this problem. Click here to read more about the causes of low libido, or continue reading below to learn about how testosterone affects libido.
Role of the Testosterone Hormone in Women
Commonly mistaken as an exclusively male hormone, testosterone is linked to improving strength, mental sharpness, and libido in women although they produce one-seventh the amount of testosterone as men do.
Women begin producing a constant supply of testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands following puberty, with testosterone levels peaking in the early 20s. During menopause, the production of testosterone is cut in half, which can result in a lack of energy, weak bones or muscles, increased fat storage and loss of libido. Continue reading below to learn about using testosterone products to treat low libido.
Are Any Testosterone Products Approved by the FDA?
At this time, testosterone is not approved by the FDA for treating low libido and other symptoms in women. No testosterone pill, patch, or cream is approved for use by women, and those made for men contain dosages that are dangerously high for women.
Women who are still menstruating and may become pregnant should not take testosterone. Taking testosterone could cause a female fetus to develop male traits.
For menopausal women, testosterone may be prescribed in addition to estrogen to treat the symptoms of menopause, including loss of libido. Women undergoing this sort of treatment are generally prescribed the capsule form of methyltestosterone. Methyltestosterone is a hormone product with a structure close to testosterone that does not directly raise women's testosterone levels and cannot be measured in the blood the way natural testosterone is measured.
What Are The Risks of Taking Testosterone?
Testosterone may increase the risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and blood clots. Further research is needed to fully understand how testosterone may be linked with these conditions. Women taking too high a dosage of testosterone may experience the following symptoms:
- Oily skin or acne
- Hair loss
- Hair growth on the face and body
- Shrinking breast size
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Increased clitoris size
- Anger or hostility
- Hoarseness or deepening of voice
Low libido in women can rarely be pinpointed to one cause. Many factors contribute, such as hormone imbalance (including imbalanced estrogen and progesterone levels), lifestyle, diet, and psychological stress or anxiety. You should consult with your doctor before taking measures to treat low libido with testosterone products.
Follow the links below for more information about loss of libido treatments.
- Channon L.D and Ballinger S.E. "Some Aspects of Sexuality and Vaginal Symptoms during Menopause and their Relation to Anxiety and Depression". British Journal of Medical Psychology. June 1986. 59 (2): 173-80.
- Sarell, Philip, M.D. "Psychosexual effects of menopause: Role of androgens". American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. March 1999. 180: 3S-II.
- Studd, John. "Loss of Libido and Menopause". The Management of Menopause. Annual Review 1998. Partenon Publishing.