Understanding the Benefits and Risks of TRT for Relieving Menopause Symptoms
Testosterone therapy has become an increasingly popular treatment option for women suffering from symptoms associated with menopause and hormonal imbalances. However, testosterone use in women is still controversial and research on its long-term safety is ongoing.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and potential side effects of testosterone therapy for women and provide guidance on managing risks.
What is Testosterone Therapy?
Testosterone therapy involves supplementing testosterone levels through the use of gels, patches, injections or other delivery methods. In women, testosterone therapy is used to treat symptoms associated with menopause, aging and hormonal imbalances that can occur due to declining testosterone.
Hormone depletion in women can lead to troublesome symptoms like low libido, fatigue, mental fogginess, loss of muscle tone, increased body fat, and reduced sense of wellbeing.
Testosterone therapy helps counteract these effects of aging by restoring testosterone levels back to a normal range. This can help women feel more energetic, improve sexual function, enhance cognition and mood, maintain bone density, and improve body composition.
Different Types of Testosterone Therapy
If your doctor determines testosterone therapy may help relieve your symptoms, there are several delivery methods available:
|Gels and Creams
|Testosterone gels or creams are applied directly to the skin, usually the upper arms, shoulders, or thighs. The testosterone is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Gels and creams are applied daily, often in a small dose such as 0.5 grams. Dosage can be adjusted based on your response and blood testosterone levels.
|Testosterone transdermal patches also deliver testosterone through the skin. They are applied to the lower abdomen, upper buttocks, or another area with little hair. Patches provide a continuous measured dose of testosterone over 24 hours. Patches are changed daily or twice weekly. Dosage varies from 300-400 micrograms per day.
|Testosterone injections, such as testosterone cypionate or testosterone enanthate, are administered intramuscularly into the buttocks or thigh. Testosterone injections provide longer-lasting increases in testosterone levels compared to gels or patches, with effects lasting 2-4 weeks. Injection dosages are often 50-100 mg injected every 2-4 weeks.
|Oral testosterone, including tablets, troches/lozenges, or sublingual drops, is less commonly used. Oral testosterone is largely metabolized by the liver before reaching the bloodstream, so less testosterone is bioavailable compared to other methods. However, oral testosterone may be preferred by some patients for convenience. Doses of oral testosterone range from 40-120 mg per day.
|Testosterone pellets are implanted under the skin and provide continuous testosterone release over 3-6 months as the pellets dissolve. Pellets avoid the need for daily application but require minor surgery for implantation and removal. Around 75-150 mg of pellets are implanted every 3-6 months.
Choose The Right Testosterone Therapy For Menopause. Consult Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers Today.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy for Women
When prescribed and monitored appropriately by a medical professional, testosterone therapy can offer several benefits for women suffering from testosterone deficiency. Some of the key areas where testosterone may provide relief include:
Improving Sexual Health and Libido
One of the most common reasons women seek testosterone therapy is to treat low libido or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Testosterone plays a vital role in regulating sex drive and arousal in both men and women.
Women with low testosterone often experience reduced sexual desire, difficulty getting aroused or achieving orgasm, and less satisfaction from sexual activity. Testosterone therapy can reawaken libido and improve sexual responsiveness.
Enhancing Cognitive Function
Testosterone plays important neuroprotective roles in the brain. Research shows that testosterone can reduce the production and deposition of amyloid-beta, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It also stimulates neurogenesis.
By preserving neurological function, testosterone may protect memory, learning, focus and mood regulation in women. This could counteract declines related to menopause.
Increasing Energy Levels
Many women notice fatigue and low energy after menopause, in part due to the drop in estrogen and testosterone. Testosterone helps regulate metabolism and mitochondrial function.
Women undergoing testosterone therapy often report increased vigor, less fatigue, and greater physical and mental stamina.
Improving Body Composition
Testosterone helps build and maintain lean muscle mass while reducing fat mass in women. It also influences fat distribution patterns. Testosterone therapy can help counteract the natural shift towards increased abdominal fat deposition after menopause.
The improved body composition from testosterone can boost strength, mobility, and metabolic factors.
Strengthening Bone Health
Declining estrogen after menopause is a major risk factor for osteoporosis in women. Research indicates testosterone also plays a key role in bone health by stimulating osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone formation.
Several studies show testosterone therapy can increase bone mineral density and lower fracture risk in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
Potential Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy for Women
While research shows testosterone therapy can provide benefits for some women, potential side effects need to be considered:
|Potential Side Effect
|Testosterone increases sebum production in the sebaceous glands and can trigger hyperkeratinization of hair follicles, leading to clogged pores, bacterial overgrowth and inflammatory acne lesions.
|Facial/body hair growth
|Testosterone binds to androgen receptors on hair follicles, stimulating increased terminal hair growth on the face, chest, back and abdomen. It shifts vellus hairs to darker, thicker terminal hairs.
|Scalp hair loss
|Excess testosterone can miniaturize hair follicles and shorten the growth phase (anagen) of scalp hair, resulting in diffuse hair thinning or male pattern baldness in those genetically predisposed. The mechanism is not fully understood.
|Testosterone can increase renin levels which retains sodium and water. Estrogen increases angiotensinogen which constricts blood vessels. Both lead to plasma volume expansion.
|Aromatization of testosterone to estradiol and estrone in fat cells leads to estrogen accumulation which can promote fat storage, particularly gynoid fat around the hips and thighs.
|Supraphysiologic testosterone can act like an anabolic steroid, impacting limbic system receptors and neurotransmitters implicated in aggression like serotonin and GABA.
|Oral alkylated testosterone is metabolized by the liver and can cause cholestatic jaundice, peliosis hepatis, adenomas and hepatocellular carcinoma in rare cases.
|Exogenous testosterone can virilize the female fetus by crossing the placenta. It may also inhibit gonadotropin secretion and impair fertility.
Proper dosing and monitoring can help minimize risks. However, extended testosterone use may also increase health risks like cardiovascular disease and polycythemia.
Consult Physician’s Rejuvenation Experts To Manage Testosterone Side Effects
How Can Women Manage Potential Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy?
Be sure to discuss all potential risks and benefits with the experts of Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers before starting therapy. Ongoing monitoring and reporting of side effects is key to successful management:
- Carefully track symptoms and promptly report side effects so we can adjust the dosage or delivery method if needed.
- Medications like spironolactone can help counteract androgenic side effects like acne and excess hair growth.
- Options like laser hair removal or voice therapy may alleviate unwanted cosmetic changes.
- Routine health screening during treatment can identify emerging issues like cardiovascular or hematologic risks.
The Bottom Line on Testosterone and Women
While research on testosterone therapy for women is still evolving, it may provide relief from disruptive menopausal and hormonal imbalance symptoms when prescribed and monitored appropriately under a doctor’s care.
Discuss your specific risk and benefit profile thoroughly with one of our healthcare providers to determine if a cautious trial may be warranted.
At Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers, our expert staff can evaluate your hormone levels and help determine if bioidentical testosterone therapy could help you feel healthy, vibrant and your best.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our cutting edge therapies can help you look and feel younger than you have in years!