Women also need a minimal amount of testosterone in their bodies. The hormone plays an important role in women’s sexual health. However, too much of it can cause adverse effects for women.
It is for this very reason that women should learn how to identify when female testosterone levels are high: signs and symptoms. But before we dwell into the signs and symptoms, let us first tackle what the role of testosterone is exactly, and what it does to a woman’s body.
Testosterone in Women: A Balancing Act
Testosterone is originally known to be a male hormone, which primary role is the development of distinctive male characteristics. But not everybody knows that minimal amounts of testosterones are also beneficial in a woman’s body.
Testosterone in women is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. Meanwhile, women might produce either too much or too little of these hormones. Disorders of testosterone excess and deficiencies are the most common hormonal disorders in women.
One of the main purposes of testosterone in women is the production of estrogens. At puberty, the key role of testosterone is the stimulation of hair growth in the pubic and underarm areas.
Moreover, testosterone regulates the functions of various organs in the body, including the musculoskeletal, hepatic, reproductive and urinary systems.
Furthermore, adult women need testosterone for estrogen synthesis and the prevention of bone loss. On the other hand, women in their menopause years especially need testosterone for normal regulation of bodily functions.
When Female Testosterone Levels Are High: Diagnosing
Testosterone levels should be kept within normal. This is because extremely low or high testosterone levels may cause a woman to develop side effects that may jeopardize her health. Thus, it is important to identify whether testosterone levels are too high or too low. There are several ways to determine testosterone range, including:
- Blood Tests. A blood test can be used to measure hormone levels; however, the results from blood tests can be oftentimes misleading and may even be inconclusive. Furthermore, there are no established normal testosterone levels for women. Thus, there is no range to compare laboratory results.
- Physical Examinations. A medical professional may also conduct a physical examination by looking for signs and symptoms that predisposes a woman to extremely high testosterone. Some of these are excessive hair growth and too much facial acne.
When Female Testosterone Levels Are High: Signs and Symptoms
Physical examination and history extraction may reveal one or more of the signs and symptoms indicative of extremely high testosterone levels. When female testosterone levels are high: signs and symptoms include one or more of the following:
1. Hirsutism: This is a condition where a woman develops coarse facial or body hair like that of men. This specifically grows on the face, chin, chest and abdomen. Treatment of hirsutism may include laser hair removal and electrolysis. Furthermore, prescription medications for this condition are oral contraceptives that may counteract excessive hair growth.
2. Oily Skin and Tenacious Acne. This is a common and early side effect of excessive testosterone levels. This happens because high levels of testosterone stimulates production of more sebum, viscous substance causing the pores to clog. Furthermore, presence of the bacteria on the face causes inflammation, which may lead to the formation of acne on different parts of the body, specifically on the face, back and chest.
3. Alopecia: This is a common physical effect of excessive testosterone levels among women. Alopecia is defined as a condition characterized by the thinning or loss of the hair on the head. It is also sometimes referred to as “male pattern baldness” because, like in men, it begins at the scalp’s vertex and continues to its temples.
4. Acanthosis Nigricans: These manifestations are characterized by the development of raisin-like skin tags.
5. Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
6. Low HDL and high LDL: HDL is what doctors refer to as good cholesterol, while LDL is bad cholesterol.
7. Menstrual Problems: Women with extremely high testosterone levels may experience an alteration in their menstrual cycles. This may occur in the form of amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea. Amenorrhea is a condition characterized by the absence of menstruation.
On the other hand, oligomenorrhea is a condition when a women experiences infrequent and irregular menstrual cycles. Both these conditions, when left untreated, may cause infertility.
8. Feelings of Excessive Sexual Tension: This happens due to low libido, where a woman wants to be intimate with her partner, but just can’t bring herself to follow through with her feelings, due to lack of sexual desire.
9. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is the common condition associated with excessive testosterone levels. PCOS is a medical problem where a woman’s hormones are out of balance. If untreated, PCOS may lead to infertility.
10. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): This is a genetic condition associated with high testosterone levels. Severe cases of CAH may result in extreme effects such as genital malformation and virilization. People with CAH are often more vulnerable to infections, too.
11. Virilization: This is a set of physical changes that occur at puberty and distinguishes a man from a woman. A woman undergoing virilization may be indicative of extremely high levels of testosterone levels in the body. Symptoms include enlargement of the clitoris, breast atrophy and deepening and hoarseness of voice.
Furthermore, if left untreated, it may cause male-pattern muscle mass and could predispose a woman to heart disease and stroke. This condition in women is often associated with tumors, specifically in the adrenal glands and ovaries.
Having diminished testosterone in the blood stream is a problem, but having too much of it can also be detrimental to a woman’s health. Thus, it is important to be watchful and cautious, especially when taking female enhancement products to escalate your sex drive. Knowing when female testosterone levels are high: signs and symptoms will help you detect early side effects and prevent further health problems.