Some women are surprised to hear that they too produce testosterone, and that it isn't just a hormone for men. Although women only produce about one-seventh of the amount that men do, it is still one of the most important hormones in the female body.
Testosterone in women is produced in the ovaries and in the adrenal glands, but this production only starts once a girl hits puberty. Levels increase during her twenties and then subside after a woman has finished menopause in her late forties or early fifties.
Why Do Women Need Testosterone?
Believe it or not, testosterone benefits females in more ways than you might expect. If a woman lacks testosterone, she can suffer from uncomfortable and distressing effects. Listed below are some of the reasons that testosterone is important to the female body:
- Aids in sexual development. It helps to characterize us as women. This means that testosterone helps to control the development of the primary and secondary female sexual characteristics which include growth of the breasts, widening of the hips, and the body becoming curvier.
- Regulates sex drive. Testosterone plays a key role in increasing a woman's libido and sexual response.
- Helps increase pregnancy rate. More testosterone is produced in the middle of the menstrual cycle, which increases the chance of conception.
- Benefits the brain. It strengthens brain tissue which helps to prevent against blood clots and strokes.
- Strengthens bones. Testosterone can help to fight against osteoporosis because it strengthens bones, and makes them less susceptible to breaks or fractures.
- Promotes healthy skin. A small amount in the body is found to have a positive effect on your skin, making it healthier and less susceptible to acne breakouts.
- Affects mood. When the proper, balanced amount of testosterone is in a woman's body, it helps to fight against depression. It can also fight off the stress hormone cortisol, thus alleviating stress.
- Helps distribute fat. This is particularly important for women, because testosterone helps to turn fat into muscle.
- Promotes a healthy heart and blood. This hormone keeps the blood vessels clean which means blood flow around the body is healthy. This process works in the same way for the heart.
- Relieves menopause symptoms. When women go through menopause there is often more testosterone in the body because of the lack of other hormones. This means it can help to relieve symptoms like a loss of libido or vaginal dryness.
Testosterone is certainly an important hormone for women to produce, but what happens if your levels are too high or too low? There are some unpleasant symptoms that are related to these two circumstances, but treatment options are always available. To find out what they are and how to treat them follow this link.