The biological differences between men and women can be attributed in large part to hormones. Everyone produces both testosterone and oestrogen, regardless of sex. Men produce a high ratio of testosterone to oestrogen, while the opposite is true for women. Although primarily thought of as the “male” hormone, testosterone also plays an important role in women’s health. Chronically low testosterone in women can be linked to several negative effects.
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Decreased Sex Drive
Loss of Muscle
Testosterone in the primary reason men tend to be stronger and more muscular than women. The muscle building effects of testosterone however are not limited to men. Women with chronically low testosterone often have trouble maintaining lean body mass.
Increased Body Fat
The fat gain women tend to experience with age can often be attributed to low testosterone levels, according to Life Extension Magazine. Low testosterone may also be a hidden culprit when women experience fat gain while taking birth control pills.
Women who do not produce enough testosterone often experience increased incidence of fatigue and lethargy. Unfortunately, low testosterone levels are easily overlooked as the cause. Since women most often see a dip in their natural testosterone around menopause, these symptoms are often dismissed as a natural part of ageing and ignored.
Depression and Mood Swings
Depression and mood swings are often attributed to hormone imbalances. Women often experience changes in mood in coloration with birth control use, around their period, and throughout menopause. Low testosterone may also contribute to extreme changes in mood, including depression. Low doses of testosterone replacement therapy have been shown to improve mood and restore a sense of well being.
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