Testosterone in a woman – Don’t let men take the limelight for this!

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Are you also puzzled by the title? You read it right, testosterone is not just a MALE hormone, it is essential for women too.

Role of testosterone in a woman 

It is a myth that “Testosterone” is a “male” hormone, as in reality it is also found in females. Both men and women require testosterone in certain amounts to perform numerous functions of the body. Testosterone is even seen to influence human behavior and contribute to the overall well-being of an individual.

Why do women need testosterone?

Testosterone is present in women throughout their lifespan, however, it declines gradually with age. It is produced in ovaries and adrenal glands and plays a significant role in-

1. Maintaining sexual functions and activity

2. Building muscle mass

3. Production of new blood cells

4. Providing strength to bone and increasing its mineral content

5. Regulating body fat deposition

What indications you should know…!

Symptoms of low testosterone include:

1. Anxiety and irritability

2. Depression

3. Muscle weakness

4. Sleeplessness

5. Reduced sexual activity

Symptoms of high testosterone include:

1. Increased muscle mass

2. Excess hair on face and body

3. Acne

4. Mood swings

5. Irregular periods (menstrual cycle)

What can affect Testosterone levels?

Certain diseases and disorders can alter the amount of testosterone hormone (chemical messenger) in your body. Some of them are as follows:

1. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

In CAH, lack of enzyme leads to disturbance in hormone production. Therefore, it may cause too much secretion of testosterone.

2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

In CAH, lack of enzyme leads to disturbance in hormone production. Therefore, it may cause too much secretion of testosterone.

3. Thyroid disorders

Hypothyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (underactive thyroid) are two main disorders of the thyroid gland. In hyperthyroidism, testosterone increases beyond the normal range while in hypothyroidism testosterone decreases.

4. Diabetes

Diabetes causes an increase in blood sugar levels in the body. Type 2 diabetic individuals have less or no sensitivity towards insulin and are suggested to be at risk of having increased testosterone levels.

What can be done!

A simple blood test can tell about the amount of total testosterone (free testosterone + testosterone bound to protein) present in women. The combined examination of blood tests and family history help doctors to predict the reason behind the disturbance of testosterone hormone in the body.