Testosterone is an essential hormone found in both men and women. It plays important roles in the development and maintenance of reproductive organs and sexual features. In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles and is responsible for the development of male characteristics, such as growth of facial and body hair, increase in muscle mass, and deepening of the voice. In women, testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands and also contributes to healthy libido, regulation of the menstrual cycle, and fertility.
Normal Testosterone Production and Levels in Women
Normal testosterone production in women is much lower than that of men. During a female’s reproductive years, the average amount of testosterone produced is 15-70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The levels tend to be highest in the middle of the menstrual cycle, and drop after menopause.
Effects of Low Testosterone Levels in Women
Low testosterone levels may have a negative effect on a woman’s physical and mental health. Women may experience fatigue and low libido, as well as impaired physical performance such as difficulty building muscle mass. Lower levels can also lead to depression, and mental fog. Low testosterone levels can also contribute to osteoporosis as well as insomnia and weight gain.
Testing for Testosterone Levels
If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, speak to your health care provider about testing. The testosterone test involves collecting a blood sample from the arm, and sending it to the lab for analysis. The results can be compared to the average range, and if levels are too low, lifestyle changes and treatments can be discussed.
Testosterone Replacement Treatments
If your testosterone levels are lower than normal, your health care provider may recommend testosterone replacement treatments. This may include creams, gels, or injections. Testosterone replacement therapy can be used to supplement your natural levels, reduce the symptoms of low testosterone, and restore your vitality.
Natural Ways of Boosting Testosterone Levels
In addition to testosterone replacement treatments, there are several natural ways to boost your testosterone levels.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise increases testosterone production, so regular exercise such as strength training, HIIT workouts, and aerobic activities can be beneficial.
- Reduce stress: Stress is a major hormone disruptor and can lead to lower testosterone levels. Try to reduce stress with activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is necessary for the body to produce testosterone, and not getting enough can lead to lower levels. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
Testosterone is an important hormone for both men and women, and understanding the basics of testosterone production, levels, and health can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a better quality of life. If you have any concerns or questions about your testosterone levels, speak to your health care provider.