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Get to know your Hormones: Testosterone

Get to know your Hormones: Testosterone

Testosterone: 

Testosterone is often mistakenly associated with men – but it’s just as important in women! Although we don't have as high testosterone levels as men do, testosterone is still an essential hormone. It's important for everyday bodily functions such as maintaining your energy, mood, sex drive, and for general muscle health.

Your ovaries and adrenal glands (those are two small glands located just above your kidneys) are the primary sources of testosterone production in the body. In fact, your ovaries use testosterone to make oestrogen through a process called aromatisation.

Although your ovaries continue to produce some testosterone after menopause, studies show levels of testosterone by the time women reach their mid-40s are half of what they were compared to women in their 20s.

In practice low testosterone levels can have a wide range of effects, affecting energy levels and sex drive. Having a reduced sex drive, also known as low libido, can be a symptom of low testosterone. It is important to recognise that 'not feeling like it' can be caused by what's going on with your hormones and body. Addressing these feelings are vital to stop them from impacting on your quality of life and relationships.

Other symptoms of low testosterone can include low mood, loss of energy and headaches. These symptoms may respond well to testosterone replacement, which is a form of hormone replacement therapy.

Your doctor can offer you a blood test called a 'free androgen index' which gives a guide to your testosterone levels. This test is typically used when prescribing or monitoring testosterone levels to make sure everything is in normal range.

To read more in this series, visit:

  1. An introduction to hormones
  2. Oestrogen and Progesterone

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