health

7 Symptoms Of Low Female Testosterone No Woman Should Ignore

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

If you thought testosterone was just for boys, think again.

Testosterone can be found in every body, and it serves important functions in female bodies just as it does in male ones.

For women in their late 40s and early 50s, it plays a role in regulating the body, especially during and after menopause.

However, many women experience a drop in testosterone around this time in their lives, which can manifest in various physical and emotional ways.

Unfortunately, though, a testosterone drop isn’t something many people think of. Typically with women, the hormones that first come to mind are estrogen and progesterone.

Lowered testosterone levels affect women in very specific ways, but the symptoms are often mistaken for menopause symptoms or for symptoms of thyroid issues.

As we age, 0ur testosterone levels decrease naturally. Normally, this is fine for women and men, but some people’s levels drop too quickly, or too much, and it affects them negatively. Various other factors include stress and insulin resistance.

If you think that recent changes may be due to your testosterone levels dropping, talk to your doctor. They can measure your hormone levels and see what’s really going on. For some, but not for all, testosterone replacement therapy is an option. Your doctor can work with you to decide if it’s an option for you.

Read on to see what dropping testosterone levels look like, and see if you’ve experienced any yourself.

What Does Testosterone Do For Women, And Why Does It Decrease?

What Does Testosterone Do For Women, And Why Does It Decrease?
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Testosterone plays a role in the development and maturation of both men and women.

It’s basically responsible for a lot of what happens during puberty, and also plays a role in your adult life.

Testosterone decreases in later years in both men and women. Some women might not notice it, but others may. We all experience aging differently.

Typically, testosterone levels in women will begin to decrease in their late 40s through the 50s, usually around the same time as menopause.

But how can you tell if it’s a testosterone decrease?

Symptom #1: Decreased Libido

Symptom #1: Decreased Libido
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you suddenly find that you’re never “in the mood” anymore, lowered testosterone levels may be to blame, as women do experience a spike in testosterone levels both before and after sex.

But this, coupled with pain during sex, can also be a symptom of menopause.

Symptom #2: Weight Gain

Symptom #2: Weight Gain
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

While weight gain is also a symptom of menopause, a drop in testosterone can also affect your weight.

It’s especially apparent if you’ve been trying to lose weight, and it seems like the weight loss suddenly plateaus.

Weight changes can also be indicative of thyroid issues. And because it’s a symptom of so many things, the underlying reason is often overlooked.

Symptom #3: Depression

Symptom #3: Depression
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Any change in hormones can make you feel sad, listless, and troubled, even if nothing else in your life is going wrong. Remember your teenage years? Yep, like that.

Like with menopause, your body’s changing hormone levels can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.

Symptom #4: Low Energy And Fatigue

Symptom #4: Low Energy And Fatigue
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Testosterone is generally known as a sort of “get up and go” hormone, so it makes sense that less of it will make you feel more sluggish.

However, this can be indicative of a thyroid issue, too.

Symptom #5: Inability To Gain Muscle Mass

Symptom #5: Inability To Gain Muscle Mass
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Testosterone is also what makes larger muscles develop in men, and it does play a role in muscle development in women, too.

If you’ve been exercising but don’t see any development or toning of the muscles, a low level of testosterone may be to blame.

Some women also experience their muscles softening and sagging, and many notice it especially in the upper arms.

Symptom #6: Irritability

Symptom #6: Irritability
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Just like a change in hormones can make you feel sad, it can also make you cranky (see again, your teenage years.)

While some people may experience hormonal change as a feeling of sadness, others may notice that they feel more easily annoyed or angered.

Depression, anxiety, and irritability can happen from menopause, too.

Symptom #7: Slowed Metabolism

Symptom #7: Slowed Metabolism
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

A decrease in muscle mass also means a slowed metabolism, which can lead to weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and a sluggish overall feeling.

Of course, these symptoms also come with menopause and thyroid issues.

It’s precisely because the symptoms of low testosterone, hypothyroidism, and menopause are so similar that they many times get confused for one another.

So What Can You Do?
Talk To Your Doctor About Your Options

<u>So What Can You Do?</u><br>Talk To Your Doctor About Your Options
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you think testosterone might be at the root of your problems, get your levels tested by your doctor. They can determine what exactly is going on, and help create a treatment plan that works best for you.

While some women may benefit from testosterone replacement, it’s not for everyone. It also requires making sure that estrogen levels are correct, too — lest your hormonal balance shift too far in the other direction.

Is this something you’ve ever experienced, or even heard of? SHARE to see if anyone else has considered this!