Testosterone for women
You have been given a prescription for testosterone. As we explained to you, this is an important hormone which can often improve your symptoms and quality of life. This leaflet explains this in more detail.
Testosterone is currently not licensed to women in the UK. However, it is prescribed by many menopause experts as it has proven benefits in numerous clinical trials. It is also very safe when it is used in the way that it has been prescribed for you. AndroFeme®1 is licensed for women in Western Australia.
What is testosterone?
Many people think of it as the “male” hormone which is correct, but women produce testosterone too. In fact, women produce three times as much testosterone than oestrogen before the menopause.
Testosterone is made in your ovaries and also your adrenal glands, which are small glands near your kidneys. Levels of testosterone in your body gradually reduce as you become older.
What does testosterone do?
Testosterone plays an important role in sexual arousal, sexual response, libido, bone strength, cardiovascular health, cognitive performance, energy levels and wellbeing in women.
When your levels of testosterone reduce, you may find that you desire sex, it is not as pleasurable as it used to be, even though you still desire and love your partner.
Many women find that taking testosterone improves their stamina and energy levels; both physically and mentally.
Who needs testosterone replacement?
Testosterone is usually given to women who are also taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and have persistent symptoms, especially reduced libido.
If you have had your ovaries removed by an operation, then it is very likely that your levels of testosterone will become low ver y quickly. This is because your ovaries produce the majority of testosterone in your body.
It is possible to have your level of testosterone measured in your body. This is done by a simple blood test. However, a low level does not always mean that you need treatment with testosterone.
How is testosterone treatment given?
Testosterone is usually given as a cream (AndroFeme®1) which you rub into your skin so it goes directly into your bloodstream. It will restore your blood testosterone levels back into the normal range for women.
You should use 0.5ml (a peasize amount) of AndroFeme®1 into your skin. It should be rubbed onto your lower abdomen or your outer thigh. You should wash your hands thoroughly after using it.
Alternatively testosterone may be given to some women as a gel or an implant.
It can sometimes take a few months for the full effects of testosterone to work in your body.
What are the side effects of testosterone treatment?
There are usually no side effects with testosterone treatment as it is given to replace the testosterone that you are otherwise lacking. Very occasionally women notice some increased hair growth in the area in which they have rubbed the cream. This can be avoided by changing the area of skin on which you rub the cream.
As the dose is so low, testosterone used in this way does not increase your risk of developing facial hair, voice deepening or skin changes. It is important to have regular blood monitoring to reduce the risk of any side effects occurring.
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