The 5 Worst Myths About Testosterone In WomenDecember 27, 2019
Hormone Imbalances (Testosterone, Estrogen and Progesterone) and How They Affect Women’s Health.
Hormone imbalances in women don’t just include a decline in estrogen and progesterone, or elevated cortisol. It can also involve a change in the levels of testosterone. This is not always common knowledge. This week we will explore just some of the myths surrounding testosterone and testosterone therapy in women.
Myths about Testosterone for Women
- Testosterone is for men only: Men naturally have more testosterone than women, but this doesn’t mean that women don’t have any or don’t need any testosterone. For women’s hormones to function optimally, women need testosterone. Testosterone in a woman’s body helps regulate mood, sleep patterns, as well as libido, just as they do in men. Testosterone is also important for bone health and maintaining cognitive function.
- Testosterone therapy makes you more masculine: If you have abnormally low levels of testosterone, raising them to the normal level that women should have will not give women masculine features such as a lower voice or more facial hair.
- Testosterone can cause heart problems: Previous studies concluded that testosterone therapy in men could increase the risk of heart attacks. However, subsequent studies found that there was actually no risk, or even a decreased risk. Restoring your testosterone levels poses no risk to your heart health.
- Testosterone causes blood clots and liver problems: Testosterone does not pose any threat to your level if administered in a non-oral manner, because other methods of administering testosterone, such as injections do not pass through the liver.
- Testosterone makes you more aggressive: Testosterone has not been found to cause rage. Indeed, given that testosterone contributes to the regulation of mood, a restoration of hormone levels in women can likely improve one’s mood and reduce anxiety and irritability.
As naturopathic physicians in Canada, we cannot prescribe testosterone to women or men based on our licensure (CNPBC). However, we have found that we are able to manipulate women’s testosterone levels naturally using botanical medicine, and balancing other female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone.
We don’t often see women with testosterone that is too low. In many cases, we will find that women have testosterone levels that are too high, and this is the causing factor of some symptoms. For example, women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), tend to have higher than normal testosterone and present with facial hair growth and acne as a part of their symptom picture.
We’re lucky, because as naturopathic physicians, we are able to treat these symptoms and hormonal imbalances relatively easily. We can combine diet, and lifestyle changes with the addition of some herbs to rebalance those hormones, causing those symptoms to resolve. Many times we can successfully treat PCOS without the need for oral contraceptive pills (birth control) or other pharmaceutical medications.
Treat The Whole Person
We have also find that when we are treating women for hormonal imbalances we get the best results when we develop very comprehensive treatments plans which include other body systems. When we begin to treat women for hormonal imbalances, we also take into account the need to treat their digestive system, thyroid gland and adrenal glands.
The reason for that, is that hormones do not act as if they are in a vacuum. When one hormone is elevated or diminished in the body, this affects ALL the other hormones in the body. All of the systems in our body’s work together, so when one hormone or system is not functioning optimally, it affects the other systems and hormones.
Curious About Your Hormone Health?
We love to help women balance their hormones and resolve many symptoms and conditions. At Bay Wellness Centre, we do specialized testing and develop personalized treatment plans to balance hormones, using natural methods, as well as bio-identical hormones and medications. Book a visit with us today!