Signs of High Testosterone in Women

While testosterone is typically associated as being a ‘man’s’ hormone, women also have it, just in much lower quantities. The average testosterone level for men varies between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter, depending on the man’s age. However, normal levels for women are between 15 and 70 nanograms per deciliter. It is possible for women to have higher levels than the average. In this case, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of too much testosterone because it can lead to several health issues if left untreated.

Causes of Excessive Testosterone

High testosterone in females is generally a result of an underlying health issue. Polycystic ovary syndrome results in enlarged ovaries that do not release eggs, excessive body hair, and infrequent menstrual periods. It can also lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, infertility, and depression.

Hirsutism which is a hormonal condition linked to genetics that results in unwanted hair growth. It usually impacts the face, chest, and back. In the event a woman with hirsutism has excessively high testosterone, then it could result in a deepened voice, balding and acne.

Finally, high testosterone could occur due to congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a category of inherited disorders that impact the adrenal glands. There is no cure for congenital adrenal hyperplasia, but with treatment, it is possible to avoid facial hair and irregular menstrual periods.

Symptoms of Too Much Testosterone

In the majority of cases, testosterone imbalances will impact the woman’s physical appearance. The woman may develop excess hair, acne, increased muscle mass, and reduced breast sizes. However, it can also impact a woman’s overall health.

Some women report experiencing mood swings as well as a loss of libido. It can also result in infertility and obesity. Any of these signs is an excellent reason to schedule an appointment with your doctor to seek high testosterone in female treatment.

Diagnosis of High Testosterone

First, the doctor will perform a physical examination. They will look for patterns of facial hair, body hair, and acne. The doctor will also need to ask personal questions related to the woman?s mood changes, menstrual cycle, and libido. From this initial exam, the doctor should be able to narrow down the cause to one of the above medical conditions.

In the event the doctor suspects Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), they may examine the pelvic area to search for any abnormalities. From there, the doctor will require a blood test. Hormone levels can be tested, and the lab will also check your cholesterol and glucose levels. For PCOS, an ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries will be necessary.

Treatment for High Testosterone

The best treatment will ultimately depend on the underlying cause. Most women will need to go through lifestyle changes, and it is possible the doctor will prescribe something. Some common medications that help with too much testosterone include:

  • Spironolactone
  • Progestin
  • Metformin

In the event, the woman is unhappy with excess body hair; then the doctor may recommend laser therapy. Removing the hair permanently, will not resolve the underlying hormone issue, but it can at least manage the woman’s outward appearance and sense of well being. You should talk to a doctor first before pursuing any hair removal treatment.

It is also recommended for women with high testosterone to manage their weight. A reduction of even 5 to 10 percent in body weight can help with PCOS symptoms.

Treatment of acne and oily skin issues

Elevation in the male hormones can also cause acne and the oiliness of the skin. We recommend a regular Hydrafacial and Epionce skincare products that make a huge difference in skin health and appearance.

Contact Dr. Vanderloos

You do not have to let your hormones get the best of you. Dr. Vanderloos offers hormone management to help women live their best lives. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Albina Glisic