“If you are considering testosterone therapy, talk to your doctor to gain a clear understanding of what is currently known about this therapy”.1

Umbrella
What may the Testosterone Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Androgen
  • Male Androgen Hormone
  • Male Hormone
  • Male Sex Hormone
  • Testosterone
  • Testosterone Therapy/Treatment

Androgens

What are androgens?

DotS the definition of androgens may vary. The North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS) definition is:

“Androgens – – Often called “male hormones,” androgens are also produced in the female body as testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), among others, but in much lower quantities than in men. Insufficient androgen levels at any age are thought to contribute to fatigue, mood changes, and lowered sex drive”.2

Androgens and Menopause

Is there an association between androgens and menopause?

The NAMS also explain:

“There is no dramatic change in androgen levels at menopause; androgen production seems to be affected more by aging, although women who have their ovaries removed (surgical menopause) sometimes experience a sharper drop in their levels of testosterone. Interestingly, testosterone has been found to increase again in older women”.3

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

What is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)?

DotS the definition of DHEA may vary. In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products – DHEA the (United States) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health’s definition is:

  • “Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a substance that’s naturally made in the body, where it’s converted into the hormones testosterone and estrogen. DHEA production decreases as people grow older, but the significance of this change, including whether it affects aging and menopause symptoms, is unclear”.4

Testosterone

What is testosterone?

DotS the definition of testosterone may vary. The Australian Menopause Society’s (AMS) definition is:

“Testosterone is the male sex hormone found in smaller amounts in women. In women, increased levels of testosterone can lead to acne and can cause unwanted facial or body hair (hirsuitism). Low levels of testosterone in women may contribute to loss of libido and sometimes low mood and energy”.5

The NAMS’s definition is:

“Testosterone. The male androgen hormone that is essential for sperm production and responsible for inducing and maintaining male secondary sex characteristics. In women, testosterone (partially produced by the ovaries) may regulate sexual desire and may also help maintain bone and muscle health”.6

Testosterone’s Role

In women, what is the role of testosterone?

In Testosterone Replacement In Menopause: 2. What Is Its Role In Women? the British Menopause Society (BMS) elaborate on:

“Testosterone contributes to libido, sexual arousal and orgasm by increasing dopamine levels in the central nervous system. Testosterone also maintains normal metabolic function, muscle and bone strength, urogenital health, mood and cognitive function”.7

Women, Testosterone and Aging

In women, is there an association between testosterone and aging?

In What You Should Know About Testosterone for Midlife Women With Sexual Problems: How Does Testosterone Affect Female Sexual Desire? the NAMS elaborate on:

“The decline in testosterone in women is solely age related, not menopause related, and begins years before perimenopause”.8

Menopause Symptoms

Is there an association between testosterone and menopause symptoms?

In Testosterone for Women: Why Use Testosterone? the (British) Women’s Health Concern explain:

“A low dose of testosterone can sometimes be beneficial at improving your energy, mood, concentration and also sex drive (or libido). It does not help everyone”.9

Menopause Libido

In women, can testosterone help with menopause loss of libido?

In Libido: Managing & Treating Low Libido – Testosterone Therapy (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) also note:

“Whether testosterone can help women with loss of libido continues to be debated”.10

In Low Sex Drive In Women: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment: Hormone Therapy the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Male hormones, such as testosterone, also play an important role in female sexual function, even though testosterone occurs in much lower amounts in women. It’s not approved by the FDA for sexual dysfunction in women, but sometimes it’s prescribed off-label to help lift a lagging libido. However, the use of testosterone in women is controversial. Taking it can cause acne, excess body hair, and mood or personality changes”.11

What is FDA?

FDA may be an abbreviation for the (United States) Food and Drug Administration.

In Libido: Managing & Treating Low Libido – Testosterone Therapy the JH also explain:

Testosterone
“Some studies have shown women who experience a loss of sexual interest at menopause may benefit from testosterone therapy when it is used in high doses. Due to potential complications of testosterone therapy, using high doses may not be the right thing to do however. While some women seeking help from health professionals because they are concerned about their decreased sexual function do have low testosterone levels, researchers have concluded that the relationship between testosterone and libido is likely to be complex and you need to take into account age, mood, general wellbeing, sexual function and the risks of testosterone therapy also”.12

In Sexual Difficulties In the Menopause: Key Points the AMS note:

  • “A trial of testosterone therapy may be appropriate for some women whose symptoms do not improve on MHT alone”.13

Global Consensus Position Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy for Women, 2019

What is the conclusion of the Global Consensus Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy for Women?

The conclusion on page five in the first Global Consensus Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy for Women – endorsed by 11 menopause-related organizations – published online 02 September 2019, is:

Testosterone

“Summary and Key Messages

The international panel concluded the only evidence-based indication for testosterone therapy for women is for the treatment of HSDD, with available data supporting a moderate therapeutic effect, in postmenopausal women. There are insufficient data to support the use of testosterone for the treatment of any other symptom or clinical condition, or for disease prevention”.14

What is HSDD?

HSDD can be an abbreviation for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder/Dysfunction.

In International Consensus on Testosterone Treatment for Women the JH explain:

“They concluded that testosterone can be effective at improving sexual wellbeing for postmenopausal women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Dysfunction (HSDD). Recognised benefits included improved sexual desire, arousal, orgasm and pleasure, together with reduced concerns and distress about sex”.15

Revised Global Consensus Statement on MHT, 2016

What is one of the points of consensus about testosterone therapy either alone or with menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

  • “The use of continuous testosterone therapy, either alone or with MHT, is supported in carefully selected postmenopausal women with sexual interest/arousal disorder (in countries with regulatory approval)”.16

Europe

In Europe what testosterone products are approved for women?

In Androgens, Antidepressants and Other Drugs on Which the Jury’s Still Out: Androgen Therapy – Testosterone the NAMS elaborate on:

“The testosterone patch is approved in Europe for treating low sexual desire associated with distress in surgically menopausal women who are also on estrogen therapy, but the United States and Canada are waiting for further long-term safety data before deciding on approval”.17

United States

In the United States are any testosterone products approved for women?

In 2013, in What You Should Know About Testosterone for Midlife Women With Sexual Problems: Is There A Testosterone Product for Women? the NAMS explain:

“There is currently no testosterone product approved for women in the United States. The government is waiting for more long-term safety data. Because testosterone is converted to estrogen in the blood, some experts think that testosterone therapy might have similar risks as systemic estrogen therapy (such as breast cancer and heart disease). Other countries, however, have approved the testosterone patch for treating low sexual desire in surgically menopausal women who are also on estrogen therapy”.18

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom what testosterone products are approved for women?

In Testosterone Replacement In Menopause: 9. What Are the Currently Available Options? the BMS explain what products are currently available.

Health Care Provider

What if I am considering testosterone therapy?

If you are considering testosterone therapy, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Menopause Management: Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) – What Are the Risks of Testosterone Therapy? the JH elaborate on:

“If you are considering testosterone therapy, talk to your doctor to gain a clear understanding of what is currently known about this therapy. It is essential for women undergoing testosterone treatment to be supervised by doctors who are experts in this area”.19

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Testosterone?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Testosterone?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Menopause Management: Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) – What Are the Risks of Testosterone Therapy? Last Updated 16 July 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management Accessed: 15 September 2019
  2. Hormone Therapy Help Desk: ET, EPT, and More: Androgens. North American Menopause http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/hormone-help-desk-et-ept-and-more Accessed: 15 September 2019
  3. Hormone Therapy Help Desk: ET, EPT, and More: Androgens. North American Menopause http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/hormone-help-desk-et-ept-and-more Accessed: 15 September 2019
  4. Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Health Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products – DHEA. Last Updated: May 2017. This Page Last Modified March 27, 2018. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health https://nccih.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms Accessed: 15 September 2019
  5. Glossary of Terms: Testosterone. Content Updated: January 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/381-glossary-of-terms Accessed: 15 September 2019
  6. Menopause Glossary: T – Testosterone. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-glossary#T Accessed: 15 September 2019
  7. Testosterone Replacement In Menopause: 2. What Is Its Role In Women? British Menopause Society https://thebms.org.uk/publications/tools-for-clinicians/testosterone-replacement-in-menopause/ Accessed: 15 September 2019
  8. What You Should Know About Testosterone for Midlife Women With Sexual Problems: How Does Testosterone Affect Female Sexual Desire? Menopause, Vol. 20, No. 7, 2013. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2013/clinical-corner-july-2013.pdf Accessed: 15 September 2019
  9. Testosterone for Women: Why Use Testosterone? Written February 2019.  Women’s Health Concern https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/testosterone-for-women/ Accessed: 15 September 2019
  10. Libido: Managing & Treating Low Libido – Testosterone Therapy. Last Updated 09 May 2019 — Topic Updated 02 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/sex-sexual-health/libido Accessed: 15 September 2019
  11. Low Sex Drive In Women: Diagnosis & Treatment – Hormone Therapy. 15 February 2018. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sex-drive-in-women/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374561 Accessed: 15 September 2019
  12. Libido: Managing & Treating Low Libido – Testosterone Therapy. Last Updated 09 May 2019 — Topic Updated 02 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/sex-sexual-health/libido Accessed: 15 September 2019
  13. Sexual Difficulties In the Menopause: Key Points. Content Updated 27 June 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/722-sexual-difficulties-in-the-menopause Accessed: 15 September 2019
  14. Davis, S. R., Baber, R., Panay, N., Bitzer, J., Perez, S. C., Islam, R. S., Kaunitz, A. M., Kingsberg, S. A., Lambrinoudaki, I., Liu, J., Parish, S. J., Pinkerton, JA., Rymer, J., Simon, J. A., Vignozzi, L., and Wierman, M. E. Global Consensus Position Statement on the Use of Testosterone Therapy for Women. Climacteric, 2019;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/4826803e84883e0c4fdb4480f36c88f9.pdf Accessed: 15 September 2019
  15. International Consensus on Testosterone Treatment for Women. 02 September 2019. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/news/international-consensus-on-testosterone-treatment-for-women Accessed: 15 September 2019
  16. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D.D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 http://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 15 September 2019
  17. Androgens, Antidepressants, and Other Drugs on Which the Jury’s Still Out: Androgen Therapy – Testosterone. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/androgens-antidepressants-and-other-drugs-on-which-the-jury-s-still-out Accessed: 15 September 2019
  18. What You Should Know About Testosterone for Midlife Women With Sexual Problems: Is There A Testosterone Product for Women? Vol. 20, No. 7, 2013. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2013/clinical-corner-july-2013.pdf Accessed: 15 September 2019
  19. Menopause Management: Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) – What Are the Risks of Testosterone Therapy? Last Updated 16 July 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management Accessed: 15 September 2019
Topic Last Updated: 02 October 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 15 September 2019
image_pdf