Women produce on average five to ten per cent of the amount of testosterone compared to their male counterparts. In spite of this, women worry about turning into a muscled machine, flexing their pecs a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although this is far removed from reality, the myth of excess testosterone and idea of becoming very manly still persists in many women's ideals. Although women produce smaller amounts, testosterone plays a pivotal role in metabolic functioning and sexuality. Women shouldn't think of it as a curse but a gift to helping maintain the body's functions. Read on to learn about testosterone and its effects during menopause.
Commonly known as the male sex hormone, testosterone is a cholesterol-derived steroid hormone that helps promote sexual maturation in males and system regulation in females. In women production of testosterone occurs in the adrenal glands and ovaries functioning to help boost sexual drive, strength and mental stimulation. In general testosterone helps improve mood, concentration feelings of desire and libido.
Testosterone has direct and indirect affects on many menopausal symptoms Directly it affects testosterone receptors in the brain and the skin and hair follicles. Indirectly after converting to estradiol which boosts the effects of estrogen, it helps to relieve hot flashes, fatigue and improve sexual desire and arousal. Specifically during treatment for hot flashes it has been shown that estrogen does can be lowered if testosterone is added confirming an additive estrogen effect with testosterone.
Very high and extremely low amounts can wreak havoc in many women causing excessive facial hair, deepening of the voice, loss of libido, poor mood and fatigue. Provided blood cholesterol levels are maintained within the normal range, normal treatment with testosterone does not produce any side effects. Yet taking testosterone for continual periods can result in abnormal blood levels and may induce side effects that include jaundice, weight gain, acne, swelling of the joints and persistent headaches.
Taking testosterone will not make you more aggressive or angry unless doses are excessive. Typically aggression is caused by excess androgens not with androgens in the normal levels.
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