Myth #1 Testosterone is a ‘male’ hormone
Fact. Testosterone is the most abundant biologically active hormone in women. Men do have higher circulating levels of T than women however, quantitatively, T is the most abundant active sex steroid in women throughout the female lifespan.
Myth #2 Testosterone causes hair loss
Fact. Hair loss is a complicated, multifactorial, genetically determined process that is poorly understood. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), not Testosterone is thought to be the active androgen in hair loss. Other factors such as insulin resistance, PCOS, Obesity, medications can cause hair loss. Lab work and genetic testing should be done to determine the route cause if experiencing.
Myth #3 Testosterone causes aggression
Fact. Testosterone can aromatize to estrogen (E2). There is considerable evidence in a wide variety of species, that estrogens, not Testosterone play a major role in aggression. Trying different modalities (pellet therapy, subcutaneous testosterone therapy, cream), can make a difference to the patient individually.
Myth #4 Testosterone’s only role in women is sex drive and libido
Fact. Testosterone and the pro-androgens decline gradually with aging in both sexes. Pre and post-menopausal women, and aging men, may experience symptoms of androgen deficiency including (mood, anxiety, irritability, depression), lack of wellbeing, physical fatigue, bone loss, muscle loss, changes in condition, memory loss, insomnia, hot flashes to name a few. Testosterone is essential for women’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Myth #5 Testosterone masculinizes females
Fact. It has been recognized for over 65 years, that T effect is dose dependent and that in lower doses, unwanted androgenic side effects are not common. Seeing a medical provider for testosterone and other hormone therapy is necessary for optimal treatment.
Glaser R, York AE, Dimitrakakis C. Beneficial effects of testosterone therapy in women measured by the validated Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). Matruitas 2011;68:355-61
Dimitrakakis C, Zhou J, Bondy CA Androgens and mammary growth and neoplasia, Fertility and Sterility 2002;77:26-33
Davey DA. Androgens in women before and after the menopause and post bilateral oophorectomy: clinical effects and indications for testosterone therapy. Women’s Health 2012;8:437-46