Women and Testosterone

​As women age, there are many things that affect their health and how they feel.  Women know that as they approach menopause their estrogen level drops.  What they may not realize is that as they age, there is another hormone they lose.  That hormone is testosterone.  Yes Ladies, as females you also make and need testosterone to regulate many of your basic biological functions.

Testosterone is typically thought of as a male hormone.   It is the hormone that you think of when you think of masculine traits of strength and virility.  But it is not just men who produce testosterone, women also produce small amounts of the hormone.  Testosterone is plentiful when woman are in their late teens and twenties, but begins to deplete after the age of 30 leading to unwelcome consequences like loss of muscle, flabbiness, cellulite, depression, anxiety, lack of intimacy, dry skin, and an increased risk of some disease processes like heart disease and dementia.  Testosterone is absolutely necessary to build and maintain muscle mass, reduce fat, strengthen bones, reduce fatigue  and boost energy levels.  This effect becomes obvious as soon as woman reach their thirties and notice they have to work out harder just to maintain the muscles they do have and
to get rid the fat that has now found its way to  waistlines and thighs. It’s like fighting a losing battle so a lot of women just quit working out all together because it becomes a frustrating endeavor that no longer gives the desired outcome.

 Lack of testosterone also contributes to the “flatness” of mood, depression and even anxiety that many women experience during and after menopause.  What does this important hormone do for a woman's emotional state?  Think about it.  Testosterone is the hormone that gives us our ability to deal with life’s ups and downs.  It is what helps us overcome everyday problems and without it we become quivering bowls of gelatin.  A large percentage of woman that suffer from anxiety, panic attacks and depression that have their testosterone levels restored to normal have found that they may be able to go off of or greatly decrease their dependence on anti-depressants and anxiety medications.  Testosterone also restores our confidence.

Low levels of testosterone in women also results in low or no libido.  This is a great concern to many women.  Low testosterone levels kill the passion in your life, and it is one of the main reasons that women lose interest in sex before and after menopause and withdraw from their husbands and partners.  You don’t have to go frumpily into your golden years.  It is possible to reignite the flame of passion and bring back those feelings of intimacy that made your life enjoyable and exciting when you were younger.

Several studies have been conducted on the link between low testosterone levels and Alzheimer’s disease.  During the study, those with lower levels of testosterone were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with normal levels of the hormone.  On average, depending on the study you can decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 30-50%.  That’s huge.  Testosterone helps with mental clarity, increases the ability to concentrate and reduces brain fog.  Testosterone has also been shown to promote bone growth, stimulate red blood cell production, lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good.  It also reduces insulin resistance which helps reduce your risk of diabetes.  It definitely improves mood and sex drive. It has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system with some studies showing a 50% reduction in the risk of heart disease and strokes. 

Is there a down side Ladies?  Sure testosterone replacement can lead to increased facial hair and acne, but these conditions can be managed by adjusting your dosage and regulating other hormone levels.

Why don’t family doctors or even gynecologists check testosterone levels in women let alone address this issue?  The main reason is that they just don’t know.  Treatment therapies always lag behind the current scientific studies and discoveries.  Most physicians don’t get extensive education in hormone replacement for aging adults in medical school and don’t keep up with advances in their fields of medicine.  They also forget that women are not just estrogen based beings. Almost all doctors agree that hormone replacement therapy should be approached on a case by case basis.  There is no one size fits all solution.  Dosages should be determined on an individual basis and need be balanced out with other hormones as well.  If you are suffering from mental fogginess, depression, anxiety, muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, low energy, low libido, heart disease, etc., it is worth taking the time to see if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.  

“What do women want? Shoes.” 
― Mimi Pond

There multiple studies that demonstrate that a lack of estrogen and testosterone can cause pain. The loss of estrogen in women can have a harmful effect on their joints and muscles that can result in pain. Both men and women need a certain amount of testosterone in their systems in order to feel well. Testosterone can have a profound effect on our muscles and joints. During puberty, testosterone levels rise in young men and women and it instructs these cells to build up and to strengthen their tissues. This results in more muscle mass, increased energy and vitality. 

Without these higher levels, the cells lose the stimulus to continue keeping these tissues strong and viable. Sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass and strength can have many adverse effects. Without testosterone, both men and women will experience weakened muscles, bone loss, and over time can become frail. Frailty increases the chances of falling which may result in trauma to the head and severe fractures of bones. These injuries can lead to disability and even death.

Pain occurs from the loss of direction from these hormones which are lacking in later life. Loss of strength puts undue stress on the joints because the muscles are not functioning normally. Weakened muscles don’t hold our joints in proper alignment and the joints becomes stressed causing degeneration of the joint surfaces which result in osteoarthritis and pain. Also, the joints themselves degrade form the loss of hormones which sets them up for degradation.
Replacing the sex hormones, estrogen in women and testosterone in both men and women can slow and sometimes even stop this process from continuing. In many cases if caught early you can reverse damage to the joints by repairing and strengthening the tissues around it.

Fibromyalgia and chronic pain issues can also be improved in many instances with hormone replacement. I have had several patients come into my office complaining of these types of problems along with fatigue and depression. Depression is a common result of pain and it can have an escalating effect on the amounts of pain that patients experience. This can result in a vicious cycle that can lead to decreased socialization and  a feeling of hopelessness.

Replacement of these missing hormones is famous for restoring energy and feelings of well being which can help to stop this frustrating cycle of events.  It is also known that
testosterone replacement by itself can restore patients’ feelings of self confidence and the ability to again look forward to living their lives.

Through several mechanisms of action, hormone replacement therapy can help patients with different types of pain get better. It can slow down, stop and even reverse many of these degenerational changes that are routinely accepted as normal. With the information now available through many anti aging studies, “normal aging” will soon become a thing of the past. With the technology we now have, it is possible for anyone to live a longer and healthier life. A healthy body and brain throughout life is now not only possible but is more probable as physicians become trained in these regenerative techniques.


“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 
― Nora Ephron

Is Estrogen Important?

Estrogen includes three kinds of hormones - estriol, estradiol, and estrone. Estriol is made from the placenta and is made during pregnancy. Estradiol is formed from developing ovarian follicles and
is the main sex hormone produced before menopause. Estradiol is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Estrone is found throughout a woman's body and is the only hormone present after menopause.

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Once the last egg reaches maturity and is ejected from the ovaries, a woman enters menopause and will barely produce estriol or estradiol. Menopause is not the only reason women expeirence estrogen changes. Levels of estrogen also drop after childbirth and during breast feeding. Other disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), anorexia nervosa, extreme exercise or training and some medications like clomiphene may reduce hormone levels as well. Since estrogen is also produced from fat cells, those individuals with low body fat may not produce sufficient amounts of estrogen.

Estrogen is the main "player" in reproduction, but after menopause it really does very little to rejuvenate aging tissues like muscle and bone. After menopause, the only reason to consider taking an estrogen replacement would be if a woman is experiencing hot flashes or night sweats.  Estrogen replacement can help alleviate or reduce these symptoms.  

If you have questions, please contact our office, Dr. Motazedi is more than happy to address your concerns.

Estrogen, Testosterone and Pain

1985 Dominion Way

Colorado Springs  CO  80918