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- Bio-identical hormones are safe and effective
- Documented benefits for both men and women
- Provides a steady hormone level for months
What Women Should Know
Although testosterone is a hormone that is generally associated with men and giving men their masculinity, women’s bodies produce testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. In fact, the body makes all the intracellular estrogen it needs from testosterone.
The level of testosterone in women is certainly lower than it is in men, but it is present. Women are more sensitive to testosterone than men and this sensitivity diminishes with age, as does testosterone levels. Women’s testosterone levels peak in their 20s and then decline to around half those peak levels by their 40s. When this happens, she can start experiencing the same symptoms as men with low testosterone—and many women are beginning to improve their
Women with low testosterone frequently experience:
- Loss of bone density
- Changes in cognition and memory
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Mood swings and dysphoric mood (sadness, depression, anxiety, irritability)
- Diminished sense of well-being
- Decreased muscle strength and exercise tolerance
- Excessive sweating, hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Joint pain and muscular pain
- Increase in body fat not related to change in diet or exercise
- Vaginal dryness
- Decreased libido and sexual function
If some or many of these symptoms apply to you, schedule an appointment with our physicians to see if you might benefit from hormone therapy.
Treating Low Testosterone
If you are an appropriate candidate for testosterone therapy (determined after baseline blood work and appropriate consultation), you will have a small area of skin over your buttock numbed with a local anesthetic. A small cut in the skin of about a 16th of an inch (2 millimeters) is made in the numb area. A tiny metal tube with a plunger then painlessly inserts the testosterone pellet into the deep fat where you won’t be able to feel it. A steri-strip skin tape is used to cover the small skin opening, which falls off in 4 or 5 days after the skin heals closed. After the insertion of the implants, vigorous physical activity is avoided for 48 hours. Early physical activity is a cause of “extrusion,” which is a pellet working its way out.
You can expect to feel some improvements with in the first week and almost everyone feels the difference within the first three months of therapy. Four weeks after your first insertion, you will be asked to get another blood test and then come in to discuss what you have experienced in symptom relief. We will decide whether any adjustment needs to be done to your future dosage based on your blood test and symptoms.
Typically, women require pellet insertion every three months, so you can expect to have 3 or 4 insertions in your first year of treatment. You can stop treatment at any time, which will cause your hormone levels to drift back to your pre-treatment levels and your pre-treatment symptoms to return.
Possible Side Effects
Testosterone may cause a slight increase in facial hair in some women. This issue resolves as the dosage is decreased. Voice lowering occurs only at extremely high levels and returns to normal as the levels decline. Acne occurs in up to five percent of women, which is the most common side effect to occur and resolves in most instances with a lower dose at the next insertion.
The most common side effects are bruising and bleeding which are usually infrequent and minor. Rare complications include: hematoma formation, extrusion of the pellets, and infection.