Search For a Provider Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube ES View the Patient Toolkit

Did You Know?

Women and testosterone

Low testosterone can affect women, too.

We often think of testosterone as a “male” hormone, as it’s responsible for male characteristics, such as a deeper voice and facial hair. But women also have testosterone, although in smaller amounts than men.

Testosterone is produced by a woman’s ovaries and does have some influence on her sex drive.

Some women with low libido benefit from testosterone therapy, which carefully increases testosterone in the body through a gel, patch, or oral medication. It’s important to note, however, that testosterone level is not the only element that drives a woman’s interest in sex. Many other factors, including health conditions, medications, emotional issues, and comfort with her partner also play a role.

It’s also important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved testosterone therapy for women, only men. Women’s physicians may prescribe testosterone in smaller doses for off-label use. Studies of testosterone therapy for women have not lasted more than six months, so researchers are not sure what long-term effects it may have.

For now, testosterone therapy is not advised for women with breast or uterine cancer, heart or liver disease, or high cholesterol. Testosterone should not be taken during pregnancy.

Women who may benefit from testosterone therapy include those who have had their ovaries removed, as they are no longer producing natural testosterone. Women with low libido may also consider testosterone if all other possible causes have been ruled out.