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Why Women Need Testosterone

The Role of Testosterone in Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Mia West
January 22, 2024
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

Testosterone, a natural and essential hormone found in both men and women, often sparks unwarranted negative reactions merely at its mention. Cultural narratives have skewed perceptions, linking this vital chemical messenger to toxic masculinity and sports-related controversies. Beyond these societal misconceptions, testosterone plays a crucial role in numerous bodily processes, serving as a fundamental component for a woman's overall health and vitality.

As hormone replacement therapy (HRT) continues to be adopted as a safe and effective treatment for women experiencing menopausal symptoms that enhances overall well-being, Ryan Lester, Wellcore Physician Assistant, explains testosterone’s important role. 

Testosterone and Women

Testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, and is one of several androgens (male sex hormones) in women. In fact, women actually produce three times as much testosterone as estrogen before menopause.  Lester explains that testosterone plays a vital role in various aspects of women's health, including sex drive, sexual function, bone strength, maintenance of lean muscle mass, strength, mood as well as motivation. These factors are crucial not only for reproductive health but also for overall well-being and longevity.

Women experiencing low sex drive, reduced or inability to orgasm, diminished muscle mass and strength, and decreased motivation may find significant relief through the incorporation of testosterone in their HRT program. 

Common Misconceptions and Concerns

When it comes to testosterone, women tend to unfairly link it to male attributes and worry that it will lead to gaining too much muscle mass, acne, hair loss, and increased aggression. These concerns are often based on misunderstandings and outdated stereotypes. The goal of HRT is not to masculinize women but rather to restore hormonal balance. Medical studies support this perspective, indicating that when administered under proper supervision, testosterone does not typically lead to excessive muscle mass or undesirable side effects.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

In HRT, the goal is to harmonize the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to create a balanced hormonal environment. When these hormones work together in synergy, women often experience improved energy levels, better sleep, mood stability, enhanced quality of life, and a reduction in future chronic disease risk.

To gauge the effectiveness of testosterone in HRT, the key lies in personalized and carefully monitored treatment plans. Lester elaborates on the indicators he looks for in patient outcomes. Firstly, he examines whether the symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency show improvement over time. These symptoms may include sleep disturbances, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, fat gain, brain fog, and decreased libido.

Secondly, he monitors serum testosterone levels in patients undergoing HRT through recurring hormone tests. An increase in these levels within the physiologic range indicates a positive response to the treatment. Regular check-ups and adjustments to the treatment plan ensure that each patient's unique hormonal needs are met.

It is essential for individuals considering HRT to consult with qualified healthcare professionals for personalized advice and treatment.


Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

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About the Author

Mia West

A former journalist, Mia brings a high energy approach to communications rooted in insights, culture and brand DNA. She is driven by helping brands crystalize their story and foster meaningful, emotional connections with audiences. Over the years she has collaborated with prominent brands such as Petco, Keurig Dr Pepper, Jaguar Land Rover, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble Beauty, as well as many others in the retail, health & wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and sustainability realms. A California native, she lives in San Diego with her family at the beach.

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