I know what you might be thinking: “Testosterone is the male hormone, it’s not something that I need to worry about as a woman, right?” Well, testosterone is a sex hormone that is found in both men AND women, and when a woman’s body produces too little or too much of it, the imbalance can cause a number of unfavorable symptoms.
Do you think you might be affected by a testosterone imbalance? We’ll go over what symptoms women with high or low levels of testosterone in their body may experience, and if you think that sounds like you – you can always take our at-home Hormone Test Kit to get a definitive answer.
Why is testosterone in women important?
Because testosterone is a sex hormone, it’s a common misconception that it’s only used by the body to aid in the development of your reproductive organs. But testosterone isn’t only produced in the ovaries – it’s also produced in the adrenal glands. Why? Because testosterone has a hand in A LOT more than just your reproductive health.
Testosterone plays an important role in:
- Bone health
- Breast health
- Cognitive health
- Menstrual health
- Vaginal health
- Maintaining sex drive
Because testosterone is responsible for many different functions in the female body, an imbalance can have a HUGE impact on your health. But how can you tell if your testosterone levels are off?
The first step is to listen to your body.
What low testosterone in women looks like
Symptoms of low testosterone in women can present themselves in different ways. These symptoms can arise in women who are experiencing menopause, but they can also be seen in younger women if the ovaries or adrenal glands are not functioning properly.
Low testosterone symptoms in women include:
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Dry skin
- Unintentional weight gain(increase in body fat)
- Inability to get good quality sleep
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low mood & anxiety
- Low libido
But what is the underlying cause of low testosterone levels in women? Once these symptoms arise, there are a few things that can be causing them.
What is the cause of low testosterone in women?
- Women who take birth control for long periods of time can sometimes experience low testosterone levels. It’s more common for women to take medications that alter their hormone levels like birth control because it’s used for more than just pregnancy prevention – it can be prescribed to women who experience extremely painful and heavy periods, irregular periods, hormonal acne, and more.
- If the pituitary gland is not functioning properly, it can result in lowered testosterone levels in women. The pituitary gland can stop producing the hormones a woman’s body needs for a number of reasons: for example, head injuries, brain surgeries, stroke, or tumors can be to blame.
- Women who have experienced menopause, eating disorders, or are exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke or chemotherapy can be more at risk of experiencing ovarian failure, leading to low testosterone levels. Although menopause is a natural part of the aging process, there are several other factors that can lead to low testosterone levels in younger women, too.
- Some medications can cause low testosterone levels. Glucocorticoid steroids, anti-hypertensive medication, and some opiates can also be the cause of low testosterone in women.
What high testosterone in women looks like
High levels of testosterone can also cause a slew of unwanted symptoms in women’s bodies. These symptoms include:
- Hirsutism (Excess body or facial hair)
- Male pattern hair loss
- Deepened voice
- Irregular periods
- Smaller breasts & enlarged clitoris
Because of their more noticeable nature, high testosterone may be the more obvious reason for these symptoms. But the underlying cause may still be a mystery for some.
What is the cause of high testosterone in women?
- Many women with high testosterone levels have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS for short. This hormonal disorder causes higher than normal levels of hormones like testosterone to be released into the blood.
- Some disorders that affect the adrenal glands, like congenital adrenal hyperplasia – can cause higher levels of testosterone than normal.
- Steroid use can increase testosterone levels in women.
How to find balance
Whether your hormone levels are low or high, anything that is not considered normal can have adverse effects and can lead to worse conditions if left untreated. Because imbalanced testosterone levels are not something that women hear or talk about very often, it can be easier than you think to go unnoticed.
So, if you think a testosterone imbalance may be to blame for your symptoms, try checking out your testosterone levels. At SelfDecode, we want to make sure that you are equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to take control of your own health – and we make it easy with the at-home Hormone Test Kit. If you find that you do have a testosterone imbalance, then you’ve already gotten past the hardest part, because you’ll be able to address the real issue without all the guesswork – and getting the most accurate information possible is key to unlocking optimal health!