We hear about low testosterone and our minds automatically turn to something related to men’s health. There are many advertisements for “Low-T” drugs/supplements for low testosterone in men and it may come as a surprise to many, but men do not have a monopoly on the androgenic hormone known as testosterone.
Testosterone, which many consider insignificant for women, is actually quite vital. Contributes to your overall sense of well-being and energy levels. It helps you build lean muscle mass, bone strength, and is best known for its role in sexual desire and libido. Women should be aware of the testosterone levels in their bodies and Tongkat Ali benefits can be beneficial for those experiencing low “T” levels.
Androgens and Testosterone
As mentioned above, testosterone is an androgenic hormone. But what does this mean? An androgen called testosterone is often called a “male hormone.” However, don’t let the name fool you. Both men and women produce androgens as part of a normal process in their bodies, just in different amounts. Androgens actually have over 200 actions in women. They are present in even higher amounts than estrogen (the female hormone) and their main purpose is to convert to estrogen.
The only androgen we want to focus on is testosterone. Testosterone is produced by the adrenal glands and the ovaries in women. A quarter of the hormone is made in the ovaries, a quarter is made in the adrenal glands, and the other half is made in other tissues from the various precursors (a substance from which another substance is made, usually more active or mature) produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
“T” levels in women rise naturally during puberty, stimulating hair growth in the pubic and underarm areas. During pregnancy, the amount of testosterone increases as the baby grows to term and can increase up to 10 times higher than in a non-pregnant woman. We know that “T” levels decline with age and that low hormone levels can affect women at any time, but most women will experience a noticeable change once they reach their 50s and 60s. Also, certain medical conditions (hypopituitarism, polycystic ovary syndrome, chronic disease), surgical procedures (ovary removal), or medications such as oral hormone replacement therapy can cause testosterone levels to drop significantly.
High and low testosterone in a woman’s body
Females naturally have less testosterone than males Normal male testosterone values are (total testosterone) 270-1070 ng/dl and (free testosterone) 9-30 ng/dl, while in non-pregnant women the testosterone value (total ) is 6-86 ng/dl and (free) 0.3-1.9 ng/dl. Testosterone levels in women increase about 30 percent during early adolescence and even more during pregnancy. As they age, women produce up to 50 percent less testosterone than they did in their teens and early 20s.
If a woman’s body produces too much testosterone, she might experience:
- Scalp hair loss (baldness)
- Missed or irregular periods
- facial hair growth
- Increased body hair
If there is a decrease in testosterone in the body of women, this leads to:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Weight gain
- Decreased feeling of well-being.
- Increased susceptibility to bone loss, osteoporosis, and fractures.
According to recent studies, low hormone levels in women can also increase the risk of developing heart disease. The results of this study show that “postmenopausal women, like older men, may also benefit from testosterone supplementation therapy. Testosterone has been found to be an effective and safe therapy for elderly women with chronic heart failure.”