In this post, we’ll talk about one of the most misunderstood of the sex hormones, testosterone. Testosterone often gets a bad rap. In the media, it seems like men either always have too much of it or too little of it. But when testosterone levels are normal, testosterone does some pretty amazing things to keep the human body – both male and female – healthy. So our focus today is on both male and female testosterone.
In addition, if you thought that women only have the estrogen hormones (yes, there are three!) and men only have testosterone, we’re also going to bust a big myth for you!
Why? Because women’s and men’s bodies produce both testosterone and estrogen. The difference is that women have more estrogen in their system than men, and men have more testosterone in their system than women.
And while we’re mentioning it, we’ll add that sex hormones and androgens don’t stop there.
Female sex hormones include:
- testosterone and other androgens
And male sex hormones include:
- estradiol and other estrogens
So now you know. Let’s move straight on to talk about male and female testosterone.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is an androgen. An “androgen” is defined as a “male” sex hormone because it promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.
Is There a Difference Between Male and Female Testosterone?
No. Men and women produce the same kind of testosterone hormone. Interestingly, though, female bodies convert testosterone and other androgens into female sex hormones.
However, the differences between male and female testosterone are
- the part of the body that produces it,
- what normal levels of testosterone are for males and females, and
- the job of testosterone.
For instance, men’s bodies mainly produce testosterone in the testes. But women’s bodies produce testosterone in the ovaries, adrenal glands, fat cells, and skin cells.
Why Do Men Have Higher Testosterone Levels Than Women?
To answer that question, here’s an interesting fact: Prior to puberty, there’s a difference in circulating testosterone concentrations between males and females.
The reason that men eventually have higher testosterone levels than women is because the testes in males produce 30 times more testosterone than they did pre-puberty.
And men have 15 times the amount of circulating testosterone than women at any age.
What Are the Optimal Testosterone Level Ranges in Males and Females?
At Nava, we aim for optimizing testosterone levels in both males and females. Ideally, adult male testosterone levels should range between 800-1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), and adult women’s testosterone levels should range between 100-200 ng/dL.
What Does Male and Female Testosterone Do?
So – if the role of testosterone isn’t just to act as the male sex hormone, what else does testosterone do for men and women?
In puberty, the production of sex hormones contributes to the development of secondary sex characteristics. For example, this would be deep voices and facial hair for men, and higher voices and breast development for women.
In addition, as an adult, optimizing testosterone in males and females can lead to improved energy, sharper mental agility, a much stronger sex drive, better sleep, increased muscle tone, emotional stability, and more.
In the long run, as well, optimizing your hormones can be beneficial towards preventing illness and disease, particularly for your heart, brain, and bone health. Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been shown to improve the quality of life while also increasing bone density and muscle mass.
Other Roles of Male and Female Testosterone
In men, testosterone plays a role in:
- bone density
- body fat distribution
- facial and body hair
- red blood cell production
- muscle growth and strength
- production of sperm
- sex drive
Whereas in women testosterone plays a role in:
- breast health
- bone health
- menstrual health
- sex drive
- vaginal health
What About Low-T levels in Men and Women?
Testosterone levels in men and women naturally fluctuate within a certain range. However, if levels drop consistently below that range, the symptoms of low testosterone will occur.
Firstly, these are the low testosterone symptoms in women
Testosterone levels lower than 100 ng/dL in women may cause:
- fertility problems
- changes in breast tissue
- low sex drive
- missed or irregular menstrual periods
- vaginal dryness
- muscle weakness
- sleep disturbances
- decreased sexual satisfaction
- weight gain
- loss of bone density
Secondly, these are the low testosterone symptoms in men
Symptoms of Low-T in adult men include:
- reduced body and facial hair
- hot flashes
- low libido
- small testicles
- reduced sperm count and infertility
- increased breast size
- irritability, poor concentration, and depression
- brittle bones
- increased risk of fracture
- weight gain
- muscle loss
- difficulty sleeping
- erectile dysfunction
But in addition, it’s worth noting that there are other causes of Low-T in men besides lack of testosterone production, and these include:
- Changes in the testes – such as from a direct injury, castration, infection, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or tumors
- Tumors in the body
- Medications like steroids, morphine, or related drugs, and major tranquilizers, such as haloperidol
- Certain infections and autoimmune conditions
- Genetic diseases
On the other hand, causes of low testosterone in women can include
- diseases of the pituitary, hypothalamus, or adrenal glands,
- removal of the ovaries, and
- estrogen therapy.
A hormone imbalance of any kind can affect the entire body. The good news is that treatment for both male and female testosterone imbalance is readily available.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
BHRT is the best treatment for testosterone imbalance. That’s because bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) helps men and women regain hormonal balance through treatment with hormones that are identical in structure to the hormones your body produces naturally. BHRT can come in many forms including:
BHRT doctors will work with you to find the delivery method that is best suited to your specific needs.
In addition, it doesn’t matter whether you experience insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, low sex drive, weight gain, or a combination of these symptoms. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctors may be able to help determine exactly which hormones need balancing overall. They will then make a customized solution for you.
At Nava Health, we offer BHRT for both men and women
With Nava’s bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), you have the opportunity to rejuvenate your body and reframe your expectations for getting older – you don’t need to live with these symptoms. Are you ready to live your best life? Contact us for a consultation today!