How testosterone can help reduce your menopause symptoms
Generally associated with men, testosterone is a vital hormone for women too. Women produce three times as much testosterone as oestrogen. The difference is that females produce a clever enzyme called aromatase, which converts the majority of this testosterone into oestrogen. Loss of testosterone is particularly apparent after surgical and medical menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) when testosterone production decreases by more than 50%.
What does testosterone do for women?
Testosterone plays a vital role in helping us look and feel our best. It promotes libido by increasing dopamine levels in the central nervous system. It also helps to maintain normal metabolic function, muscle and bone strength, liver and heart health and mood and cognitive function.
What happens to testosterone during menopause?
As you enter the menopausal stage, your natural levels of testosterone reduce, especially in women who have had their ovaries removed.
For many women, this decline, along with lowering oestrogen levels, can bring with it many distressing symptoms such as low sexual desire and an inability to orgasm. It can also contribute to a reduction in general quality of life, including tiredness, depression, headaches, cognitive problems and a decrease in muscle tone in your bladder and pelvis, which can lead to urinary incontinence and a weakening of genital tissues.
Why use testosterone replacement therapy?
One of the leading causes of concern for women during menopause is vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive and, in general, feeling less feminine. A low dose can sometimes help to improve energy, mood, concentration and libido – although it doesn’t work for everyone. It can take up to a few months for improvements to take effect, so you may be advised to take if for 3-6 months in the first instance before reviewing your symptoms with your doctor.
Is testosterone available on the NHS?
Testosterone isn’t included with traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) available on the NHS. If this is an avenue that you’re currently researching, BHRT may be an option for you to consider. BHRT is fully customised to the needs of each patient based on their individual symptoms and blood test results.
Are there any side effects?
The way women respond can differ significantly due to varying absorption, metabolism and sensitivity to the hormone; however, due to the recommended dose being quite small, side effects are uncommon.
Considering Hormone Replacement Therapy and wondering what’s right for you: Bioidentical Hormone Therapy or traditional HRT? Click here to read our blog post which discusses the differences between both as well as how to take the next step.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.