Despite generally being associated with the male reproductive system, testosterone is a hormone that is produced in small quantities in women, and that plays a critical role in their physical and sexual well-being. Testosterone is a cholesterol-derived steroid hormone, which is responsible for sexual regulation in women. As well as boosting a woman's libido and affecting her fertility, it also influences a woman's strength, her level of aggression, and her mental sharpness.
During and after menopause, all of a woman's hormones fluctuate, and instigate the changes that take place in a woman's body as she makes the transition from being fertile to becoming infertile. However, these fluctuations can have adverse effects, and the symptoms of their changing levels can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. Read on to learn what happens to testosterone levels postmenopause, and what effects this can have on your body.
Levels of Testosterone during Postmenopause
During a woman's life, testosterone levels can fluctuate according to her phase of life, and biological needs, but they do decline steadily as she approaches menopause. However, although they may be at their lowest point postmenopause, they are relatively high compared to the other reproductive hormones. During perimenopause and menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, and fall as you make the transition from menopause to postmenopause. This means that, although levels of testosterone may be at an all-time-low, they are not balanced with estrogen and progesterone in the same way.
Effects of Testosterone Imbalance during Postmenopause
Relatively high testosterone levels can have a number of undesirable effects. These symptoms can be physical or emotional. They include:
- Increased hair growth. Women may find increased hair growth on the upper lip, face, chest, nipples, and lower abdomen, due to postmenopausal testosterone imbalance.
- Deepening of the voice. A woman's voice may gradually or rapidly change in pitch and coarseness.
- Skin problems. Some women may experience acne or oily skin in response to irregular testosterone patterns.
- Mood. Testosterone levels can have a significant impact on your mood. In the right quantities, testosterone can have a positive impact on a woman's confidence, libido and mental sharpness. However, in excess, testosterone can cause agitation, anxiety, and aggression.
There are studies that have associated postmenopausal high testosterone levels with more serious health risks. These include insulin resistance, heart disease, and breast cancer. If you feel that you are suffering some of the other symptoms of high testosterone levels, speak to your doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis, and to eliminate any fears of more serious health risks.
Imbalanced levels of testosterone can be unpleasant and difficult to cope with. However, there are many treatments available for fluctuating testosterone and its uncomfortable symptoms. These treatments range from lifestyle and dietary changes, to alternative medication, and to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). To learn more about testosterone, testosterone imbalance, and ways it can be treated, click on the links below.