A woman experiencing menopause or other hormonal changes may be affected by low testosterone levels. For many years, low testosterone in women, along with the symptoms it causes, was downplayed and brushed aside due to the hormone's traditional association with men. Recently, new research and analysis of the issue have brought more acceptance and recognition to the fact that testosterone deficiency can seriously impact women's health.
The following is a comprehensive list of the causes of low testosterone in women:
What Causes Low Testosterone in Women?
Removal of ovaries. If a woman has her ovaries removed (bilateral oophorectomy) or experiences premature ovarian failure, she will have an immediate 50% reduction in testosterone levels.
Natural decline with age. Along with estrogen and progesterone, testosterone production declines as a woman ages.
Low progesterone levels. Testosterone production depends on sufficient progesterone levels in the body. If a woman's body is healthy, it will naturally convert progesterone into testosterone. If her progesterone levels are too low, her testosterone levels will also be low.
Birth control. Some prescribed drugs, such as birth control and corticosteroids, may lower testosterone levels in a woman's body.
Stress. High stress levels are often responsible for reducing testosterone levels in women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Oral estrogen used during HRT can also lower a woman's testosterone levels.
Not only low levels of the hormone affect women. Read on to find out more about what can cause the troubling condition of high testosterone levels.
What Causes High Testosterone in Women?
Low estrogen levels. In a woman's body, one of the main purposes of testosterone and other androgens is to be converted into the female hormone estrogen. Low estrogen levels allow the circulating androgens and testosterone to be more freely available and thus stimulate cells more.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Many women with high levels of a form of testosterone called 'free' testosterone develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), characterized by irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, blood sugar disorders, and, in some cases, symptoms like acne and excessive hair growth.
Adrenal glands. When the problem is adrenal, it may be simply that the gland makes slightly more testosterone than it should for unknown reasons, or, the problem may be a condition known as late-onset or non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In this case, there is a deficiency of the enzyme which causes the adrenal glands to make the wrong proportion of hormones.
There are other diseases and conditions that can also cause high testosterone levels, such as diabetes, dwarfism, and Cushing's syndrome.
High and low levels of testosterone can have a great impact on a woman's health. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that will restore a healthy level of testosterone within the female body. Click on the following link to learn treatments for testosterone imbalance.