The norm of testosterone in women
What does testosterone do for a woman?
The norm of testosterone in women
The main functions of the hormone Clinical manifestations Diagnostic methods and testosterone norms Why does the concentration of the hormone change? How to return testosterone back to normal
Sex hormones are divided into male and female. Normally, they are present in both sexes, but their concentration is different. For example, the main male sex hormone - testosterone - is also produced in a small amount in the female body. It is synthesized by the ovaries and adrenal cortex. The most important is the concentration in the blood. If it is within the normal range, then no changes are noted. If the level of testosterone in a woman rises, it affects the state of all organs and systems, especially reproductive.
The main functions of the hormone
Testosterone plays an important role in many physiological processes in the female body. It affects:
- strengthen bones;
- fat metabolism;
- muscle tone;
- emotional background;
- sexual desire;
- the work of the sebaceous glands, etc.
Testosterone in women is a precursor of estrogens, which in turn are responsible for the development of secondary and primary sexual characteristics, the functioning of the reproductive system, and pregnancy. That is, sex hormones are closely related and can influence each other. Accordingly, if testosterone in women goes beyond the norm, then the processes in which it participates may change.
If the testosterone level goes beyond the upper or lower limits of the norm, then the woman develops specific symptoms.
- increase in the work of the sebaceous glands of the skin;
- severe acne;
- active hair growth on the face, chest, and abdomen;
- delayed menstruation;
- increased appetite;
- increase in libido;
- irritability and aggression;
- change in voice tone.
The level of testosterone in women above the norm leads to a violation of metabolic processes and reproductive function. First of all, the ovaries suffer, and the maturation of the eggs is disrupted, up to the absence of ovulation. As a result, there are failures in the menstrual cycle, infertility may develop. With successful conception, there are often problems with carrying a pregnancy, there is a high risk of complications during childbirth. In addition, these women have an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, in connection with this, hyperandrogenism of adrenal, ovarian, and mixed origin is distinguished. It can also be absolute or relative. In the absolute form, an increase in the level of testosterone in the blood is detected. A relative amount of the hormone remains normal, but there is an increased metabolism in the target organs - the ovaries, skin, etc. This option is more common.
If the level of testosterone in women goes beyond the lower limit of the norm, then the symptomatic manifestations may be as follows:
- lethargy, weakness, apathy;
- memory loss;
- decrease in sexual desire;
- bad mood, and depression.
These symptoms do not always indicate a change in testosterone levels. They can also develop in other diseases. In order to accurately determine the cause of certain deviations, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
Diagnostic methods and testosterone norms
The concentration of the hormone is determined using a blood test. In order for it to be reliable, it is necessary to give up physical activity the day before, exclude smoking, and not have breakfast on the day of the study. In women, testosterone levels are determined on the 2-5th day of the menstrual cycle.
There are several methods. Each of them is characterized by certain norms and units of measurement. If the analysis is carried out by the method of solid-phase immunoassay, the results will look like this:
- Norm, nmol/l
- Up to 9 years
- No more than 2.15
- 9 to 13 years old
- Not more than 0.98
- 13 to 15 years old
- 0.36 to 1.54
- 15 to 18 years old
- 0.49 to 1.70
- 18 to 50 years old
- 0.52 to 1.72
- After 50 years
- 0.46 to 1.18
The norm of testosterone differs during pregnancy and can increase by 3-4 times.
Why does the concentration of the hormone change?
The reasons that lead to an increase or decrease in testosterone levels can be varied. The greatest influence is the use of certain medications (in particular, birth control pills), the pathology of the female reproductive system (polycystic ovary syndrome), and the pituitary gland or adrenal glands.
How to return testosterone in women back to normal
This problem should be solved strictly under the supervision of a doctor. He will identify the causes of its development and give adequate recommendations.
In mild cases, lifestyle changes can help:
Normalization of weight is a decrease in its excess and, conversely, the rejection of an exhausting diet with a lack of body weight.
- Sufficient sleep - at least 8 hours a day.
- Normalization of the regime of work and rest, the development of relaxation techniques.
- Sufficient physical activity of moderate intensity.
- General strengthening procedures - massages, swimming pool, acupuncture, etc.
However, in most cases, drug therapy or even surgical treatment is necessary. The choice of treatment method is approached differentially, taking into account the causes of the development of pathology.
In the case of ovarian pathology, hormonal contraceptives are usually prescribed as part of drug therapy, which must be taken for long courses. They not only inhibit the hormonal activity of the ovaries but can also block testosterone receptors in tissues. If the problem is in the adrenal glands, corticosteroids are prescribed.
With hormone-producing tumors of the ovaries and adrenal glands, their surgical removal is necessary. Other measures in this case have a temporary effect and have only a symptomatic effect.
In any case, if there is evidence of a deviation in testosterone levels from the norm, a woman should consult with a gynecologist-endocrinologist.