Testosterone plays a big role in growth, reproduction, and maintenance of a healthy body. It is an androgen and is often perceived as a “male” sex hormone alone, supporting the fact that women are driven by estrogen and men are driven by testosterone. As mere individuals of society, without an in-depth understanding of hormones, we tend to disregard that everyone, regardless of sex, has both. It’s just that women have more estrogen while men have more testosterone.
This sex hormone, testosterone, in women, contributes to a lot of health-related aspects in terms of our body. It plays a role in breast health, fertility, menstrual health, bone health, vaginal health, and sex drive. In women, normal testosterone levels range from 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter of blood, any number lower than that can cause problems that range from fertility problems to osteoporosis.
- She’s super tired! – Fatigue is generally a vague topic, and it can be caused by various factors and situations. Some of which are anemia, sleep apnea, low vitamin D, or just your thyroid not functioning properly. But in some cases, when a woman is typically known as the “Energizer”, a big mass of energy, a superwoman, someone who works 10 hours a day, come home and still cook, do the dishes, ready the kids to bed, all of a sudden become a random slump of laziness and tiredness, it can be a sign that a woman’s testosterone levels are low.
- She can’t sleep! – Changes in sleep patterns can indicate that a woman may have low testosterone levels. These changes may have to do with insomnia. You can’t sleep, you can’t stay asleep, you get sweaty, you get hot flushes, and you become aggravated. Although, in women in their mid-thirties and older, changes in sleep pattern can be caused by menopausal. But if it persists for up to more than six weeks at a time, then maybe a trip to the doctor for a or a hormone test is necessary.
- She feels insecure! – Weight gain can mean a lot of things. It can be a thyroid problem, menopausal, or too much enjoyment during the last thanksgiving. Moreover, It is normal for our metabolism to slow down when we reach our 30s. But those of us who aren’t there just yet may experience slow metabolism due to the fall of testosterone count. What happens is when the sex hormone goes crazy unstable, it causes our muscle mass to decline and eventually causes the extra pounds that are too stubborn to be eliminated by eating right and working out.
- She doesn’t want to have sex! – A decrease in sex drive is what people usually think about when they hear about low testosterone. And it’s true, the change of hormone levels may lead to a decrease in libido, that causes vaginal dryness, that may lead to painful intercourse. So aside from not feeling it, maybe it just hurts a lot to have sex.
- She is anxious and depressed! – All of the things we’ve just enumerated can be a bit overwhelming, sudden and big changes can take a toll on a person’s mental health and preventing it is almost a zero to a low probability as it is really unexpected. The testosterone actually stabilizes our mood, and it being low can cause mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Check on you women by assessing how they are sleeping, how are they concentrating, how is their appetite and other things that can determine their overall condition and wellbeing.
We cannot stress how important it is to take note of these signs as the effects of having low testosterone can be really serious. These include changes in breast tissues, low sex drive, fertility problems, irregular menstrual periods, vaginal dryness, and osteoporosis. Some of these are even causes of emotional and mental problems like separation, fights, and even divorce.
It is essential for us to understand that these are things that are going inside of women that they really can not control, and we have to support them through it. It is hard and a lot of patience and communication is required in order to attain a mutually satisfying understanding. Just remember that there are hundreds and thousands of ways to counter the side effects of having low testosterone, but band aid solutions are what prolongs the suffering. Know the root cause of our pains and get treated! She doesn’t hate you, it’s the testosterone, I promise!
Dr. Kre Johnson is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician Brownstone BWell: Brownstone Healthcare has partnered with the City of Birmingham to offer primary care services to the employees of the City of Birmingham for $0 copayment. This partnership is for preventative services & screenings and sick visits. We partner with your current primary care physician and our goal is to keep you out of the ER and urgent care. We do not share your information with the City of Birmingham. We uphold HIPPA and professional standards. You can visit us at our downtown location 1700 5th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203 or Trussville: 4643 Camp Coleman Road #117 Trussville, AL 35173 205-202-5650 call for your appointment today.