Testosterone Levels in Women: Why Are They Important?Testosterone is considered to be the "male hormone" that's produced in normal testosterone level for a woman by the testes. Although women's ovaries produce some testosterone, the normal testosterone level for a woman is produced in much higher concentrations in men and it is responsible for many of the secondary sex characteristics seen in men such as a deeper voice and hair on the chest, in addition to contributing to a healthy libido, building muscle mass, and maintaining energy levels. The problems associated with high testosterone levels are infrequent and rare in middle-aged and elderly men who are not receiving testosterone or other steroid treatments. When the testosterone level becomes levdl of balance, it usually lvel too low rather is deca good steroid too normal testosterone level for a woman. The most common "out of balance" testosterone levels are found to be on the low side of normal; this occurs because a male's highest testosterone level usually peaks at about age 20, and then it decreases slowly with age. While this decrease may not be noticeable in some men, others may experience significant changes starting in their middle-aged years or more commonly at age 60 and above. This drop in testosterone levels is sometimes termed hypogonadism, " male menopause " or andropause.
es3.info | Gender Identity Disorder Information
Women and men both produce a range of sex hormones. While hormones like estrogen and progesterone are most important for female reproductive function, women also produce testosterone, which contributes to fertility and other body functions. The amount of testosterone normally in a woman's body varies, primarily depending on age, menstrual status and pregnancy.
Certain medical conditions can also affect a woman's testosterone level. In women of childbearing age, roughly 25 percent of circulating testosterone comes from the ovaries, 25 percent comes from the adrenal glands, and the remaining 50 percent arises from conversion of testosterone precursors in other body sites. Although the role of testosterone in women is not as well understood as it is in men, the hormone is known to affect ovarian function, bone strength, and is believed to contribute to sexual desire libido.
Circulating testosterone exists in a biologically-active free form and a bound form that is inactive. Depending on what test s your doctor orders, the laboratory will report the free testosterone level, the total testosterone level free plus bound forms , or both. The range for free testosterone gradually decreases as a woman ages. Examples for specific age ranges from Mayo Medical Laboratories include:.
Several factors can affect your testosterone level. Your age is especially influential. Your total testosterone level is usually highest in your early 20s and gradually declines as you age, although there is not a precipitous drop that accompanies menopause. Testosterone levels also vary with your menstrual cycle, being lowest during your period and peaking at mid-cycle. Additionally, testosterone levels tend to be lower in the early morning than later in the day.
Carrying excess body weight tends to increase your testosterone level, as does using hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.
Smoking may increase your testosterone level, although research on this association has yielded inconsistent results.
Testosterone levels naturally increase during pregnancy but return to a normal level after delivery. Women who have had their ovaries removed have lower testosterone levels than those who have still their ovaries, even after menopause.
Several conditions can lead to an abnormal testosterone level in women. Polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS is the most common cause. This condition is associated with excess testosterone and related hormones known collectively as androgens. Other possible causes of elevated testosterone in women include adrenal, ovarian, and pituitary tumors. Low testosterone levels occur with ovarian failure, also known as primary ovarian insufficiency.
Excess testosterone in a woman can cause a variety of symptoms that often differ in severity, depending on the underlying cause. A low testosterone level can also interfere with normal ovarian function and cause menstrual irregularity. However, other signs and symptoms associated with a low testosterone level in women are less well defined, largely because there is no specific level clearly associated with the development of symptoms.
Symptoms purported to be associated with low testosterone levels in women include:. If you are concerned about your testosterone level, talk with your doctor.
Reviewed and revised by: Video of the Day. Herbal Treatments for Low Testosterone. What Are the Target Organs for Testosterone? What Is the Normal Testosterone Range? Side Effects of Taking Testosterone Supplements. Depression and High Testosterone in Women. How to Control Testosterone Naturally. How to Decrease Testosterone in Women Naturally. Chemicals That Stop Testosterone Production. Testosterone for Muscle Growth in Women. High Testosterone Symptoms in Men.
Is Progesterone Produced by Men?