What Are Normal Testosterone Levels in Women?
Women have both estrogen and testosterone in their bodies. But what are the normal testosterone levels in women? Here’s everything you need to know!
Testosterone is primarily a male hormone affecting men’s behavior, muscle mass, sex drive and sperm production. Though healthy levels of this hormone are crucial for men’s health, testosterone levels in women shouldn’t be ignored.
For example, high testosterone levels can cause polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is the leading cause of infertility in women. Other symptoms of increased testosterone include irregular or no menstrual periods, a deeper voice, acne outbreak and weight gain.
On the other hand, women with low testosterone can suffer from low energy or fatigue, low libido, sleep disruptions and mood swings.
Read on to find out how to balance out your testosterone levels using the simple methods below.
Why Testosterone Levels in Women Are Important
Testosterone levels are the highest in your early 20s and naturally decrease with age. For example, women in perimenopause and menopause typically have the lowest testosterone levels. This often leads to mood swings, low sex drive, and vaginal dryness.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, normal testosterone levels in women are 15-70 ng/dL.
Although testosterone amount in women is low compared to men, this hormone is still essential to the normal functioning of your body.
In fact, having your testosterone balanced contributes to:
- A healthy libido
- Normal brain function
- Healthy bone density
- Good mood
- Regular menstrual cycles
- Clear skin
- Normal weight maintenance
You can easily check your testosterone levels by taking a simple blood test. If you find any abnormalities in your testosterone ranges, keep reading to learn how to normalize them.
High Testosterone Levels in Women
A woman’s body produces testosterone through the ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone levels in women are significantly lower compared to men, but this hormone is still essential to female health.
Often, hormonal imbalances have physical manifestations. For instance, some of the main symptoms of high testosterone in women include:
- Acne-prone or oily skin
- Increased growth of facial and bodily hair
- Hair loss or frontal balding
- Voice deepening
- Increase in muscle mass
- Irregular or absent period
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Infertility issues
- High blood pressure
- Increased triglyceride levels
- Abnormal cholesterol levels (low HDL and high LDL)
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
If you have high testosterone level, consult your doctor about available treatments. You can also try natural ways to decrease it by exercising regularly, reducing your sugar intake, drinking mint tea and taking nutritional supplements like DIM (Diindolylmethane).
Low Testosterone Levels in Women
Testosterone levels in women are at their lowest during and after menopause.
This is because the drop in estrogen causes a decrease of testosterone levels, usually manifested by low libido and vaginal dryness.
However, low testosterone can be also a result of ovarian failure or surgical removal of the ovaries.
The most common symptoms of low testosterone levels in women are:
- Weight gain
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low energy and stamina
- Brain fog and memory issues
- Mood changes or depression
- Hot flashes
- Insomnia or poor-quality sleep
How to Boost Testosterone in Women
There are many ways to boost your testosterone levels. For example, you can go the natural route and get supplements like ginseng, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D.
Ginseng is a herb that can naturally stimulate testosterone production. It can also reduce symptoms related to low testosterone like low libido, lack of energy and fatigue, and improve bone density.
Vitamin D is also known to increase testosterone levels, so soak up the sun whenever you can.
Often, a change in diet will quickly increase your testosterone.
Eating protein-rich foods like nuts and legumes, fish, lean meat, fish, and poultry can do wonders for your stamina, mood and bone density.
Add healthy fats to your diet. You can find these in high-energy foods like flax seed, avocados, nuts, butter and coconut oil. Top it up with some greens like broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts and chard and eat lots of fruits.
In addition to a healthy diet, low testosterone levels can be increased by exercising regularly. The best types of workouts for testosterone imbalance are strength training and weight lifting. Exercises that engage the largest muscles in the body such as lunges, squats, step-ups and sprints can greatly increase testosterone levels in women.
Did you know that alcohol can cause hormonal stirs in the body, including testosterone levels? Limit your intake to one drink per day, or ideally, avoid it altogether.
Finally, reduce stress in your life. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol (the stress hormone) that can wreak havoc on your hormone levels (testosterone included).
Find ways to relax every day. Take a long walk at the park, do yoga and meditation, read a good book or listen to music. Find what makes you happy and your good mood hormones will soon outdo the stress hormones.
If your testosterone numbers are very low and your symptoms are intense, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy or a special testosterone cream.
Testosterone is a typical male hormone that maintains some of the most important bodily functions. It directly influences men’s sexual drive, behavior patterns, cognitive functions and physical stamina. Testosterone is present in women, but it’s produced at much lower levels.
An imbalanced amount of testosterone in women can lead to an array of health problems.
For example, women with higher testosterone levels are at greater risk of fertility problems, polycystic ovaries, weight gain, acne and irregular periods.
On the other hand, if you have lower levels of this hormone, you’re probably moody, irritable, tired and have low sexual drive.
There are several ways to combat the symptoms of high and low testosterone levels in women. Some people try to do so naturally by eating a healthier diet and taking vitamins and minerals. Others take up the gym to add more activity in their day and reduce stress.
In some cases though, you may need medical treatment to even out your testosterone levels. The most common methods are hormone replacement therapy and specialized testosterone creams.
To find out if your testosterone levels are normal, ask your doctor about taking a physical exam and a blood test.