Testosterone is the main male sex (androgen) hormone, but it is also a vital hormone in the everyday balance of a woman’s system.

Symptoms due to female androgen deficiency e.g. low libido and energy is still a condition that some doctors do not recognise as a medical condition. More research is required, but treatments can be used to alleviate symptoms that are associated with a low testosterone level.

Why is testosterone important?

In women, testosterone is most commonly linked with libido. In pre-menopausal and peri-menopausal women, libido often decreases. This can be due to a number of reasons:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Depression
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Relationship issues

However, some of these causes may be managed by other approaches rather than testosterone. However, if they are not successful then testosterone may be considered as an option.

Other benefits of testosterone treatment

Other benefits of testosterone include increase in energy levels, improvements in bone and muscle strength and a restoration of “joie de vivre!”

How is testosterone used?

A simple blood test will determine whether a woman has a low level of testosterone.

Then, as with other types of HRT, a low dose of testosterone will be used initially, and then increased if further benefit is required and no side-effects are being experienced.

Testosterone is prescribed as either a cream or a patch.

The use of testosterone to manage libido is not licensed in the UK. However, as testosterone is a licensed medicine, the specialist doctor can prescribe testosterone in specific circumstances. Consequently, it is vital that patients seek help from specialist doctors.

What are the side-effects of testosterone?

Testosterone treatment at the correct dose is not associated with a significant level of side-effects.

Testosterone is not recommended for the following groups of women:

  • Pregnant women
  • Acne sufferers
  • Women with excessive hair growth or with scalp hair loss