What is Testoserone Replacement?
Discussion of testosterone replacement focuses on decreased sexual desire or libido. It should be noted that testosterone in women plays an important role in the metabolism of bones, muscles, skin and the function of the brain, just to mention a few. The goal of testosterone replacement in women is to reproduce steady physiologic levels over a period of time.
In women, testosterone is produced in the ovary and the adrenal gland. The blood level peaks between 20 and 30 years of age. Loss of ovarian function due to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation significantly reduces circulating testosterone. Menopause also results in diminishing testosterone. Oral contraceptives reduce testosterone levels as well. Oral contraceptives are metabolized in the liver. As a result, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is produced. SHBG effectively binds free-testosterone, “the working fraction,” thereby reducing active levels. There is sufficient data suggesting testosterone replacement in women is beneficial. The following are a few benefits of bioidentical testosterone replacement…
- Increased libido
- Increased energy/stamina
- Increasing lean muscle/reducing fat
- Improved bone strength
- Cognitive clarity
- Improved mood and sense of well-being
- Cardiovascular protection
- Improved lipid profile (reduced cholesterol and triglycerides & improved HDL)
Again, monitoring is extremely important to assure appropriate blood levels and symptom relief. It is worth mentioning that many women will have low testosterone blood levels and be asymptomatic. This fact should imply that replacement of testosterone to normal levels does not guarantee results. For this reason, a trial may be very helpful.