Testosterone is not just a male hormone. Women need it too. And no, testosterone doesn't make women 'macho, bulky and aggressive', that sort of image is conjured by steroid-based testosterone, very falsely advertised as 'just testosterone' in the past. Because of this widely spread myth so many women dismiss weightlifting and increasing their T-Levels.
Of course, females with super high T-levels will begin to show signs of masculinity, but a healthy level of testosterone is necessary for good health. Natural testosterone is produced in the body and has many functions for both women and men. And a balance of hormone levels is essential for both genders, because it massively impacts health, well-being, fitness and performance.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a natural steroidal hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries. During pregnancy, it can even be produced by the placenta as well. Testosterone is responsible for many masculine traits, such as hair growth, sex drive, muscles, and a deeper voice. This hormone is critical for the proper functioning of the ovaries, libido and it is essential for bone strength. So, testosterone is the most important androgen hormone for both women and men.
Normal T Ranges in Women
Normal T-Levels for women are much lower than normal T-Levels for men. According to the National Institute of Health, the normal range for women is 30-95 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), while for men it's 300 to 1,200 ng/dL. So that's quite significantly lower for women. Of course, these ranges vary with age and levels increase as women get older.
Testosterone in blood is lowest doing puberty and highest during the pre and post menopause period. Abnormal T-Levels in women can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as hormonal problems, adrenal or pituitary gland problems, ovarian cancer or disease, etc. Also, pregnant women have a higher T-level than non-pregnant women.
Benefits of Healthy T-Levels in Women
1. Libido and Menstrual Cycle
Female sex hormones fluctuate over the course of a month/cycle and stimulate the production of an egg for fertilization. When you are most fertile, testosterone levels increase. And that's why, conveniently, it boosts your libido as well.
2. Strong Bones and Muscles
Women who had low T-Levels used T supplementation over a period of 12 months, in order to correct this hormone deficiency. They discovered they developed stronger bones, and leaner muscles, so they toned up, not bulked up! Their health overall increased, due to muscle mass, spine and hip bone density increasing, and without any fat mass increase. Of course, this also came with a big increase in libido as well.
3. Improved Heart Health
Another study found that healthy T-Levels in post-menopausal women helped reduce the risk of heart disease, balanced cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It helps protect against cardiovascular damage, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Additionally, for women going through menopause, healthy T-Levels can help relieve the symptoms, such as urinary urgency, hot flashes, incontinence etc.
Testosterone Imbalance Symptoms
As with anyone, man or woman, testosterone levels start to decrease as they age. But for women, T-Levels start to decline much earlier. Low T affects your bones and muscle mass, as well as heart health and libido. While typically T-Levels will drop with age, the balance can shift in the opposite direction and T-Levels will climb up.
Low T-Levels Symptoms
- Lethargy and fatigue
- Lack of motivation
- Poor immune function
- Irritability, symptoms of depression
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
High T-Levels Symptoms
- Weight gain
- Unwanted hair growth
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Acne or oily skin
- Balding around the hairline
- Menstrual irregularity
As you can see, both low or high T-Levels cause menstrual cycle irregularities, and overall decrease of what we like to call a 'good time'. If you suspect you suffer from either high or low T-levels, talk to your health care provider and ask to be tested and examined depending on your symptoms. A lot of women choose to treat the symptoms alone, like using hair growth serums, or anti-acne medication, but that doesn't fix the cause. So it's best to receive professional confirmation and treatment.
In conclusion, Testosterone is just as important for women as it is for men. Make sure that you maintain a healthy balance of T-Levels, and that you won't allow them to drop too low or climb too high. Through regular exercise and healthy diet, you will be able to attain and maintain a healthy balance in no time!