There are various side effects and problems that are created due to high levels of testosterone in women. This article provides information regarding the same.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone found in the androgen group of mammals and other vertebrates. Although it is a male sex hormone secreted by testes in males, there is a very minute amount also secreted by the ovaries in females. This hormone is related to sexual functions in men, and many times, is known to play similar functions in women as well. The level of testosterone in women is one tenth of the amount found in a man’s body, and this level depends greatly on the age, weight, height, and metabolism of a woman’s body.
The levels of this hormone are the same in prepubescent boys and girls, but when they hit puberty, the levels increase in males and decrease in females after menopause. However, the little testosterone present in a woman’s body helps her to be physically fit. On the other hand, high testosterone in women can lead to serious health problems.
High Levels of Male Sex Hormone in Women
The level of this hormone in boys and girls till puberty is about 30 ng/dL, which increases with age in both men and women. However, it is supposed to decrease after menopause in women. This increase in case of women should go to 50 ng/dL by the age of 15 and 70 ng/dL till they are 20 years old. After 20 years of age, this level is said to be normal till menopause, and then it decreases.
There are a number of causes for this abnormally high-blood testosterone in women. Some may be natural while the others induced. They are:
- One of the major causes of this can be low-estrogen levels in the body, which are considered to increase the production of the male sex hormones. These male sex hormones produced in women are converted into the female reproductive hormones called estrogen.
- However, when there are low-estrogen levels in the body, the androgens and testosterone are circulated more freely in the body, stimulating more cells.
- Another reason is having the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This disease is caused due to the production of “free” form of testosterone in a female system. This can cause infertility, irregular or absent menstrual periods, and sometimes excess hair growth.
- Many times, this hormone is also secreted by adrenal glands. Thus, if you have a problem with the glands, these hormones will be produced in high quantities. This can also be due to a condition known as late onset or non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia, where there is less production of the enzyme that produces the hormones.
Increased levels of the hormone can result in irregular periods, infertility, and enlarged clitoris. It may also lead to high cholesterol and high-blood pressure, sleep apnea, increased facial hair growth, and liver diseases. Increased sexual desire, aggression, and competitiveness can also be noticed in these women.
Testosterone therapy can be used to bring back the levels of the hormone back to normal. Therefore, if you are observe or experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, consult your doctor immediately for related treatment.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.