The Use of Testosterone Replacement in Women - Is it Worth it and Safe?
There is so much confusion about the use of hormones in pre and post menopausal women, especially after the largest study ever undertaken using two female hormones was halted due to increased incidence of breast cancer in women. I will try to attempt to distill issues related not only to female based hormone therapy (estrogen and progestin) but also to the use of testosterone replacement therapy in women.
WHAT IS TESTOSTERONE? ISN'T IT A MALE HORMONE?
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for normal growth and development and maintenance of male sex characteristics. It also affects lean body mass, mood and sexual function in both males and females, so it is not only a "male" hormone. It is the primary androgenic (responsible for masculine characteristics) and anabolic (muscle building) hormone.
Testosterone is produced by the testicles in males and by the ovaries in females, with small amounts also produced by the adrenal glands in both genders. Men produce about 7-8 times more testosterone than women.
Testosterone is also the precursor of estradiol (a "female" hormone) in men and women.
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN
As we all know if we watch TV for more than an hour, we are bombarded daily by ads selling erectile dysfunction drugs for men. But we hardly hear anything about sexual dysfunction in women, and there are many reasons why women's sexual desire and other hormone related quality of life issues are so misunderstood, under-diagnosed and under treated.
Fitness, Hormones, & Nutrition
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