Testosterone is commonly stereotyped as being a male hormone; however, testosterone is also one of the six hormones produced by the female reproductive organs. As it is one of the hormones essential to regulating the female body, understanding the role of testosterone before, during, and after menopause is vital. Testosterone, along with other hormones in the body, can significantly affect the health of a woman.
Continue reading to learn about the importance of testosterone in the female body as well as how it is produced.
Definition of Testosterone
As the primary male sex hormone, the medical definition of testosterone usually refers to it as being a naturally occurring androgen, which is produced in the testes of men.
To be clear, androgens are a group of male hormones that are responsible for the development of the male reproductive system and secondary male sexual characteristics, such as voice depth and facial hair. In the male body, testosterone is produced in vast quantities. In the female body, more specifically in the ovaries, only about one-seventh the male amount is produced.
Read on to learn about the relevance of testosterone for women.
Production of Testosterone
Although women produce as much as only one-seventh the amount men do, this small quantity of testosterone is important for normal female sexual development before, during, and post menopause.
In women, the production of testosterone is split between the ovaries and adrenal glands. The amount produced is on average a tiny three tenths of one milligram per day.
Starting from puberty, the female body begins to produce a constant supply of testosterone, with production peaking in the early twenties.
When women reach menopause, testosterone levels decrease and various related symptoms result, such as loss of libido. Testosterone levels drop to about half the normal level at the onset of menopause or following ovary removal.
A testosterone imbalance can lead to many irritating symptoms and even illness. Fortunately, there are many alternative treatments available that can treat testosterone imbalance in a natural and safe way.
For a full explanation of the consequences of testosterone fluctuations, please go to the page on the role and effects of testosterone in the body.