Testosterone and Its Benefits to Women
by Brock Smith, RPh
brought to you by Bellevue Pharmacy, a ProjectAWARE
Testosterone is referred to as the "Other Hormone," and
it can add zest to menopause. Monthly surges of this androgen boost
your well-being, sense of personal power and sex drive. Other benefits
derived from testosterone are that it helps promote bone growth,
and it can help relieve mild depression, some vasomotor symptoms,
and vaginal atrophy and dryness.
Testosterone can be the "Impulsive Hormone," and there
is a parallel of information about it in men and women. Those with
higher levels are usually single, aggressive, and dominate and take
risks, but these impulses can be channeled and controlled in order
to avoid problems. In women a little bit can go a long way, as it
enhances sexual desires and fantasies, helps make women more easily
sexually aroused, to enjoy intercourse better and have more frequent
If you have your ovaries removed or you are in natural menopause,
your testosterone levels drop by 1/3 or more, and it is definitely
advisable to replace it along with estrogen. As one author, Dr.
Susan Rako, MD, stated, "It is the Hormone of Desire."
Besides the bone and sexual benefits, it also acts on the brain,
muscles, liver and blood vessels, as it enhances cognitive functions.
The negatives of too high a dose of testosterone include susceptibility
to baldness, facial hair, acne or deepening of the voice. Dr. Elizabeth
Barrett-Connor, MD in San Diego says, "Definitely, one size
does not fit all and the testosterone should be tailored to each
individual according to needs." In therapy the goal is to reinstate
what the woman had before menopause, to bring her back to what she
was and how she felt.
Testosterone can be administered in sublingual tablets, as a single
testosterone dose or in combination with progesterone and estradiol.
Forms and dosages of testosterone supplementation include:
- The sublingual tablet is usually dissolved
under the tongue about 2 hours prior to bedtime
- A topical gel that gives a 24-hour even release
capability is applied to clean dry skin as 2. ml. per day
- A testosterone 2% thick gel is available
to apply a small amount (lentil pea size) to vulva area about
1 hour prior to bedtime every day.
More About Testosterone:
A study to determine the effect of testosterone administration
on physiological and subjective sexual arousal in sexually functional
Course of Effects of Testosterone Administration on Sexual Arousal
in Women from the Archives of General Psychiatry, Vol. 57 No.
2, February 2000.
A comprehensive paper, Female
Sexual Dysfunction: Definition, Causes, and Potential Treatments,
by Laura Berman Ph.D. and Jennifer Berman M.D., includes discussion
of testosterone as a potential treatment.
For questions and further information, contact Bellevue