You may have noticed that testosterone therapy is being increasingly prescribed for men, but did you know that it is also a very effective treatment for women? If you are a woman who has been looking into hormone optimization to solve your perimenopause or menopause symptoms, then you have read a lot about estrogen and progesterone, but these two sex hormones aren’t the only ones that get out of balance. Testosterone may also be the culprit. Did you just cringe? Testosterone therapy? That can’t be right, and it can’t be safe. But science is consistently supporting the efficacy and safety of t-therapy for women.
If you’re ready for powerful changes, but you’ve got a lot of old ideas about testosterone, read on. We will knock out the myths and get straight to the facts.
Let’s Get the Facts Straight
Let’s start by casting out the obvious assumptions that arise around testosterone and testosterone therapy in women. Undoubtedly, clearing your head of myths, misconceptions, and unfounded concerns will enable your physician to provide you with evidence-based recommendations and appropriate treatment. Here are eight facts about T-therapy for women:
1.) Fact: Testosterone is essential for a woman’s physical and mental health.
2.) Fact: Testosterone is not masculinizing.
3.) Fact: Testosterone does not make you hoarse.
4.) Fact: Testosterone will not make you bald. It increases scalp hair growth.
5.) Fact: Testosterone protects your cardiovascular system.
6.) Fact: Parenteral testosterone does not adversely affect your liver or increase clotting factors.
7.) Fact: Testosterone stabilizes mood and doesn’t increase aggression.
8.) Fact: Testosterone is breast protective.
Let’s Knock Out the Myths
Despite what you may have read, testosterone doesn’t only affect a woman’s sexual function and libido. Because androgen receptors are located in almost all of your tissues, when your pro-androgens decline during pre and post-menopause may experience the following symptoms:
- Dysphoric mood (anxiety, irritability, depression)
- Lack of well being
- Physical fatigue
- Bone loss
- Muscle loss
- Changes in cognition
- Memory loss
- Hot flashes
- Rheumatoid complaints
- Breast pain
- Urinary complaints
- Sexual dysfunction.
When treated with T-therapy, these symptoms can improve and even go away altogether.
Most Common Fears Around T-Therapy for Women
Fear: It’s Going to Turn Me Into a Man!
For over 65 years, research has shown that testosterone stimulates femininity when taken in lower doses. Yes, pharmacologic doses of testosterone and supra-pharmacological doses of testosterone used to treat female to male transgender patients can result in increased facial hair growth, hirsutism, and slight enlargement of the clitoris, but true masculinization is not possible. However, unwanted side effects are easily reversed by lowering the dose. But many women choose not to decrease their dose of testosterone because the benefits outweigh the side effects, and the side effects can be treated with other approaches.
Fear: It’s Going to Make Me Aggressive
Androgen therapy has been used to treat PMS for over 60 years. It has been shown to alleviate a woman’s shifting moods during her cycle. Rather than increasing aggression, T-therapy research has shown that it actually decreases irritability, anxiety, and aggression in over 90% of patients treated for symptoms of androgen deficiency.
Fear: T-therapy Is Going to Give Me Breast Cancer!
In 1937 scientists became aware that breast cancer is estrogen-sensitive cancer and that testosterone is ‘antagonistic’ to estrogen. For this reason, it can be used to treat breast cancer and other estrogen-sensitive diseases, including chronic mastitis, breast pain, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Clinical trials have confirmed that testosterone has a beneficial effect on breast tissue because it decreases breast proliferation and prevents stimulation from E2 (“bad estrogen”). The T/E2 balance is breast protective, which is why T may lower the risk of breast cancer in women treated with estrogen therapy. When testosterone is combined with an aromatase inhibitor (subcutaneous implant), it can effectively treat androgen deficiency symptoms in breast cancer survivors.
Fear: T therapy Isn’t Safe!
Excellent reviews on the safety of parenteral T-therapy in women are out there. In addition, long-term data proves the efficacy and safety of doses up to 225mg in over 40 years of therapy. And you may be surprised to learn that testosterone implants have been used safely in women since 1938.
Also, long-term follow-up studies on transgender patients who have been given supra-pharmacologic doses report no increase in breast cancer, mortality, vascular disease, or other major health problems.
The effects of testosterone on musculoskeletal and cognitive health and individual wellbeing are still under investigation. Studies about long-term safety are still ongoing.
What You Need to Know About Safety
Many side effects and safety concerns associated with testosterone have been linked to oral formulations or increased aromatase activity (the conversion of androgen into estrogen), subsequent elevated estradiol (bad estrogen), and its effect at the ER. Aromatase activity increases with obesity, age, alcohol intake, drugs, breast cancer, insulin resistance, medications, processed diet, and sedentary lifestyle. For this reason, monitoring symptoms of elevated E2 and aromatase activity is critical to the safe use of T-therapy.
The Safety and Efficacy of HRT
Above all, if it weren’t safe and effective, we wouldn’t prescribe it. Here’s what we know, the science is there. Evidently, testosterone is a vital hormone for peak performance in the female body. Certainly, women experience hormonal imbalance throughout their lives. Women’s bodies are so sensitive that even the smallest changes can wreak havoc on everything from mood, weight, fertility, and more. T-therapy for women is a safe and viable option for relieving the following symptoms:
- Bone density
- Fat loss
- Muscle strength and mass
- Red blood cell production
- Sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Breast tenderness
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood swings
- Sleep issues
- Night sweats
Take Control of Your Symptoms!
If you are ready to take control of these symptoms and increase performance, then explore our protocols and select the best one for you. Elite Health Online is exactly what you need! Furthermore, our practitioners know what it takes for you to be your best – no uninformed or restrictive options here, just scientifically-backed and educated professionals. Not only that, our stacks shipped directly to your door!