What are the functions of testosterone in women?
In women, part of the testosterone is created by the conversion of androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone in peripheral tissues. It is also produced in the ovaries. 2
Testosterone is primarily important for the synthesis of estradiol in women. An aromatase converts testosterone into estradiol. A high activity of the aromatase can be demonstrated especially in the ovaries, but also in the breast tissue, the liver and in subcutaneous adipose tissue. 1
However, some research results suggest that testosterone itself also plays an important role in the female body. In this way, androgen receptors can be detected in a large number of organs. These include u. a. Breast, brain, bones, muscles, adipose tissue, liver and skin. 3
Testosterone stimulates the development of the muscles in a gender-nonspecific manner by stimulating pluripotent stem cells, satellite cells and myoblasts.4 In addition, testosterone promotes the formation of erythrocytes and their iron absorption as well as the build-up of bones.5,6 A libido-increasing effect of testosterone has been demonstrated in ovariectomized women. 2nd
In contrast to estradiol, testosterone may have an anti-proliferative effect by binding to the androgen receptor by reducing the estrogen receptor activity. Testosterone in the form of subcutaneous implants may reduce the risk of breast cancer. 7
After menopause, the ovaries decrease testosterone and estrogen production. This is associated with a variety of symptoms that can be caused by an interaction of both hormones. In women in particular, the drop in estrogens goes hand in hand with a reduced bone density and thus an increased risk of osteoporosis. 6
Treatment of women with testosterone
There is no fundamental medical-scientific consensus regarding the diagnosis and therapy of a female androgen deficiency, however a test attempt with testosterone is recommended for ovariectomized or postmenopausal women with pathologically reduced sexual interest. 8
The use of testosterone via the skin in particular has shown positive effects on sexual function and libido in women with androgen deficiency after hysterectomy and ovariectomy or after natural menopause, the women already using conventional hormone replacement therapy with estrogen and – in women with uterus – progestogen It was considered important for the treatment that the testosterone concentrations remain in the normal range for women of approximately 0.6 ng / ml (corresponding to 2 nmol / l) and are not permanently raised to supraphysiological values. There are currently no testosterone medicines approved for the treatment of women.
In this context, it should be noted that pregnancy must be excluded, since testosterone can have harmful virilizing effects on the fetus.
My full list of stories