Testosterone therapy is important for both men and women to treat symptoms of menopause and andropause (male menopause). Although frequently though of to increase libido, testosterone’s role in sexual function is only a small part of its physiologic effect
Testosterone declines gradually with age in both sexes. Pre and post-menopausal women, and aging men may experience symptoms of androgen deficiency including anxiety, irritability, depression, fatigue, bone loss, muscle loss, memory loss as well as sexual dysfunction.
Testosterone therapy in women is not masculinizing and does not increase aggression or cause hoarseness. Testosterone does increase scalp hair growth, is mood stabilizing, and is cardiac and breast protective.
Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenals in young women in small amounts and has been coined “The Hormone of Desire”. Both testosterone and DHEA are androgens and offer many benefits in addition to enhancing libido in aging women. The addition of testosterone to estrogen results in an increase in fat-free body mass and mitigates the central fat deposit associated with menopause.
Testosterone supplementation provides an improvement in muscle mass, mood, and libido.
The Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institutes of Health, has shown that the addition of bio identical testosterone (not oral methyltestosterone) to hormone therapy for postmenopausal women does not increase and may indeed reduce the risk of breast cancer.