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lisa fournace winn, dnp, aprn

Women Need Testosterone Too!

Testosterone, often associated with masculinity, plays a crucial role in both men and women. While women naturally have lower levels than men, the impact of testosterone on female health is significant. Understanding the effects of low testosterone in women, the risks and benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), as well as various forms of TRT and the criteria that determines suitable candidates for TRT will equip you to make better and more informed decisions regarding your health.

Understanding Testosterone in Women

In women, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. It contributes to the production of new blood cells, maintaining bone density, muscle mass, and libido, as well as influencing mood and energy levels. 

When testosterone levels dip below normal, women may experience a range of symptoms. The two main reasons behind low testosterone for women are (1) normal aging, (2) issues with the ovaries or pituitary glands. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and reduced energy levels
  • Decreased libido and sexual satisfaction
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory issues
  • Changes in skin, such as increased dryness

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or TRT, is a form of hormone therapy that usually involves the administration of testosterone through injections, skin creams, patches, gels, pills, or subcutaneous pellets. It can offer relief to women experiencing symptoms of low testosterone,  and may offer relief or prevention of osteoporosis. Determining what constitutes as low testosterone will depend on not only your doctor, but your age, health, and health related issues. So it’s crucial to weigh the potential risks and benefits.


-Improved mood and well-being

-Increased libido and sexual satisfaction

-Enhanced bone density and muscle mass

-Improved cognitive function


-Acne and oily skin

-Hair growth (hirsutism) and male-pattern baldness

-Voice deepening

-Potential cardiovascular risks (still under research)

-Virilization (development of male characteristics)

Forms of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Topical Gels and Creams: Applied to the skin; these are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Intramuscular Injections: Administered every 1-2 weeks, providing a sustained release of testosterone.

Pellets: Small subcutaneous implants that release a steady dose of testosterone over several months

Who is a Good Candidate for TRT?

Women with clinically diagnosed low testosterone levels, experiencing symptoms affecting their quality of life, are potential candidates for TRT. However, each case must be carefully evaluated, considering medical history, current health status, and the severity of symptoms.

Who is Not a Good Candidate for TRT?

-Women with normal testosterone levels

-Those with a history of breast or uterine cancer

-Individuals with liver or cardiovascular issues

-Pregnant or breastfeeding women

Understanding the role of testosterone in women is crucial for addressing and managing symptoms of low testosterone. While TRT can offer relief, it’s essential to consider individual health factors and consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable approach. Every woman’s body is different and has a different optimum level of testosterone. Finding a physician that best fits your unique medical needs, can help effectively mitigate risk of side effects while improving your low testosterone levels.

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