Should women worry about testosterone levels?

Surprise, surprise! If you’re a woman, you also have testosterone. After puberty, women begin to produce an adult level of testosterone. The production is split between the ovaries and adrenal glands, and a small amount of testosterone is released into the bloodstream.

Women produce just a fraction of the amount of testosterone each day that men do, and these sex hormones are secreted in short bursts from one stage of your menstrual cycle to another.

What does testosterone do for women?

A young woman produces about 300 micrograms of testosterone per day, and it helps to maintain muscle mass, bone density and a healthy energy level. But this hormone is more than just a muscle-builder, it also has a fun side. Testosterone also:

  • increases libido
  • stimulates desire
  • heightens arousal
  • increases sexual satisfaction

Women with low testosterone may experience persistent fatigue, low libido and a decreased sense of well-being.

Too much of a good thing

Where testosterone is concerned, you can have too much of a good thing, if your body produces too much testosterone, you may have:

  • irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • more body hair than the average woman
  • frontal balding
  • acne
  • increased muscle mass
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • risk of ovarian cancer

On your annual visit, ask your gynae about testosterone and other hormones. It can’t hurt to know that your hormones are normal!

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