Testosterone for the Lady.
Dr Andrew Rynne.
People naturally associate the hormone testosterone, also called androgen, with men. It’s what makes us so nasty, so aggressive, so driven, so bald, so hairy and so sex mad. Isn’t that so? What very few people don’t realise though is that testosterone also plays a vital role in female sexual functioning. To be healthy, a woman needs to have androgen levels of approximately one tenth of that of young men. This they produce in their ovaries and adrenal glands. It plays a part in many things of which sex drive or libido is but one.
It may go against the grain to associate testosterone with femininity. After all, in the main when compared to men, women are gentler, better at empathising, more intuitive and more patient than men with their raging testosterone. So how could they possible need this stuff that enjoys such bad press? Recent studies have shown that post menopausal women not only lack oestrogen and progesterone but testosterone as well.
This low level of male hormone in post-menopausal women can give rise to many undesirable consequences. Indeed it is now suggested that testosterone may be the “missing link” in the management of menopausal symptoms not otherwise responding to standard HRT. To date this in the main consisted of oestrogen and progesterone. Included here are hot flushes, depression, osteoporosis and the sexual dysfunctions of vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, anorgasmia and low or no libido.
So how much testosterone replacement do ladies need? The quick answer is not a lot. At most her optimum levels of androgen will be from one seventh to one tenth of that of men. So, if a man requires on average 50mg of testosterone delivered daily via a gel call Testogel, then a woman’s requirement will be one tenth of this or 5mg of testosterone daily. A handy way to think of this is that if a man uses one tube of Testogel every day then the same tube of gel should last a woman one week. A little “toothpaste” sized smear on the inside of her forearm every day should do the job nicely.
Doctors who “approve” of testosterone replacement therapy for women are still thin on the ground and some of those like to try and make things complicated. Blood tests, for example, to measure the levels of testosterone that a post-menopausal woman might have, are largely a waste of time and money. They contribute not a jot to the diagnosis. Likewise, expensive specially compounded “female” testosterone replacement therapy will do a lot more for the doctor’s bank account than it will for client’s wellbeing. There is nothing wrong with existing pharmaceutically manufactured androgen gels as given to men.
It is in practise quite simple. All you need do is ask yourself some simple questions: Do you have post-menopausal symptoms not relieved with standard HRT? In particular, do you have sexual dysfunctions like vaginal dryness and loss of libido? If the answer to this is “yes” then try some testosterone replacement therapy at a does of about one tenth of that for a man? Did that improve things for you? If yes then continue if no then discontinue. Now, isn’t that nice and simple? Why complicate things?
To find out more about Testosterone treatments available for women please visit www.doctorrynne.com