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What Should Women Know About Testosterone Therapy?

Research on testosterone therapy has had encouraging results for postmenopausal women.

When developing the guidelines, the panel analyzed medical studies on the subject. Findings suggested that women may have more “satisfying sexual events” each month. They might also see improvements in desire, arousal, pleasure, orgasms, and sexual responsiveness. Some women feel less sexual distress when using testosterone.

Testosterone therapy should be prescribed by a qualified physician, and doses should be measured carefully.

One of the goals of testosterone therapy is to restore testosterone levels to those of premenopausal women. However, current testosterone preparations are generally designed for men.

Therefore, doctors need to approximate testosterone doses for women based on men’s products. This is fine, according to the panel, as long as the target is the premenopausal woman’s range.

Testosterone therapy is not appropriate for all women. For example, women at risk for cardiometabolic diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, insulin resistance, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) should not use testosterone.

Women undergoing testosterone therapy should have regular checkups with their doctor.

The panel recommends that women who start testosterone should see their doctor again about three to six months later to make sure everything is going smoothly. From that point, checkups every six months should suffice.

Studies have shown that testosterone can have side effects, including mild acne and growth of body hair.

The panel also noted that the long-term effects of testosterone therapy in women are still not known.

Women who are interested in testosterone therapy should see their healthcare provider to determine whether this path is right for them.

Resources

The International Society for Sexual Medicine

“Societies Endorse Guidelines for Testosterone Therapy in Women”

(October 15, 2019)

https://www.issm.info/news/sex-health-headlines/societies-endorse-guidelines-for-testosterone-therapy-in-women/

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Susan R. Davis, MBBS, PhD, et al.

“Global Consensus Position Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy for Women”

(Full-text. September 2019)

https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(19)31314-1/fulltext

The North American Menopause Society

“Are We There Yet? Navigate Now with Our Guided Menopause Tour”

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/are-we-there-yet-navigate-now-with-our-guided-menopause-tour

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter

“Q. What is cardiometabolic disease and how is it different from cardiovascular disease?”

(March 2018)

https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/issues/14_3/ask-experts/Q-What-is-cardiometabolic-disease-and-how_2308-1.html

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