High Testosterone In Women: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, And More

Date
June
17
2022
Compiled By Otella Ritzy
Medically Reviewed By M Lieberman, [MD] FACT CHECKED

Testosterone is primarily thought of as a male hormone. But it is also generated in modest amounts in the adrenal glands of women and their ovaries.

There is a lot of talk regarding testosterone levels in women these days. Normally, the female body secretes substantially less testosterone than the male body.

The normal range for female levels is 16-75 nanograms per deciliter, whereas male levels are approximately 300-1000 ng/dL.

Hormone levels in the body fluctuate during the day, and also from day to day.

Small amounts of testosterone are produced into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands and ovaries in females.

Testosterone aids in the regulation of mood, production of new blood cells, maintenance of bone mass, and maintenance of libido.

The combined effect of estrogen and testosterone assists with the maintenance, growth, and repair of female reproductive tissues.

In this article, we will be looking at the various symptoms, causes, diagnoses, and treatments of high testosterone in women.

Symptoms Of High Testosterone In Women

Excessive testosterone might have a variety of negative symptoms[1] and impacts in women, including:

  • Hair growth on the upper lip or chin is known as hirsutism.
  • Absence of periods or menstrual irregularity.
  • Acne.
  • Balding, especially around the hairline.
  • Excessive body hair.
  • Enlargement of the clitoris.
  • Decrease in breast size.
  • Changes in body shape.
  • Increase in muscle mass.
  • Hoarseness or deepening of the voice.
  • Oily skin.

The chance of acquiring[2] uterine fibroids, which are benign tumors of the uterus, has been linked to high levels of both estrogen and testosterone in midlife women, according to research.

High testosterone levels could be a symptom of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It might lead to infertility. PCOS affects about 15% of women having elevated testosterone levels.

If you suspect elevated testosterone levels, go to your doctor, who could confirm your suspicions with laboratory tests, and a physical exam, depending on your symptoms.

A woman having high testosterone levels might choose to treat the symptoms on their own, such as using a serum to boost hair growth or an anti-acne medication for the removal of acne.

Medical therapies include oral contraceptives alone or in combination with antiandrogens, various hormone therapy combinations, or surgery depending on the reason for the excessive androgen production.

Causes Of High Testosterone In Women

Some of the main causes of high testosterone in women are:

  1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

    It is a hormonal condition that mostly affects women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS have prolonged or irregular menstrual cycles.

    They also have high levels of the male hormone androgen.

    The ovaries produce several little collections of follicles (fluid) and will be unable to release eggs regularly for women having PCOS.

    PCOS has symptoms that are comparable to those associated with high testosterone levels, such as abundant body and facial hair and acne.

    PCOS is a highly emerging disease that is faced by 2 out of 5 women in today’s era. This matter is also acknowledged in the governmental study[3].

  2. Thyroid Issues

    An underactive thyroid disorder, known as hypothyroidism and testosterone levels have been linked in studies.

    Hypothyroidism[4] reduces the production of sex hormone-binding globulin. It is a protein that is essential for regulating sex hormones in the blood.

    If the SHBG level falls very low, testosterone levels could rise, and symptoms such as irregular periods might appear.

  3. Hirsutism

    Research[5] shows that it entails having a lot of hair on your body and face.

    High testosterone levels in women could cause acne, hair loss, and breast shrinkage, in addition to hirsutism.

  4. High Blood Sugar

    Women with type 2 diabetes have an increased probability of having elevated testosterone levels.

    Insulin might encourage the ovaries to create testosterone, which is especially important in women having PCOS.

    So, if you want to naturally lower your testosterone levels, always keep your blood sugar in balance.

  5. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a collection of hereditary illnesses which might damage the adrenal glands.

    This often results in excessive androgen or testosterone production.

Diagnosing High Testosterone

The following procedures are commonly used by doctors to diagnose excessive testosterone in females and males:

  1. An Examination Of The Body

    Increased muscle mass, excessive body hair, and acne are symptoms and signs of elevated testosterone, which a doctor could examine for.

    They might also inquire about the individual’s mood and libido. The doctor might inquire about the person’s menstrual cycle if it is relevant.

  2. Ultrasound

    An ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries could be used to check for PCOS.

  3. Blood tests

    Blood tests to examine[5] a person’s testosterone hormone levels might be ordered by a doctor.

    They might also evaluate cholesterol and glucose readings, as they are frequently elevated in persons having high testosterone levels.

    As testosterone secretion is highest in the early hours of the morning, the doctor usually draws blood for the testing early in the morning.

Treatment Option Of Testosterone In Women

Treatment for high testosterone varies depending on the reason. It usually involves a change in lifestyle and medication.

The following medications are used to treat elevated testosterone levels:

  • Oral contraceptives.
  • Glucocorticosteroids.
  • Spironolactone.
  • Metformin.

Oral contraceptives are an effective treatment for blocking testosterone. They might also interfere with your plans to become pregnant right away.

Low-dose birth control medications having low amounts of desogestrel, norgestimate, and gestodene, according to studies from the American Academy of Family Physicians[6], is the best option.

These medications could only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. You will need to see your gynecologist or doctor get one.

Changes in one’s lifestyle might also have an impact on testosterone levels. Losing weight might improve symptoms, so starting a weight loss and exercise program could assist.

Some women choose to only treat their symptoms, such as bleaching or shaving their hair and using oily skin or acne face cleaners.

Conclusion

Consult your doctor if you are suffering from symptoms of elevated testosterone levels.

They might be able to determine the problem and devise a treatment strategy that is unique to you.

Infertility to excessive facial hair are signs of high testosterone in women. It is usually caused by an underlying medical problem.

When the underlying condition is treated, symptoms are often reduced, and a person’s quality of life improves.

Women who are suffering or suspect they are experiencing elevated testosterone symptoms should see a doctor determine the reason and obtain treatment options.

+6 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Susan R Davis, Sarah Wahlin-Jacobsen. Testosterone in women–the clinical significance. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Dec;3(12):980-92. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00284-3. Epub 2015 Sep 7. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26358173/.
  2. Jason Y. Y. Wong, Ellen B. Gold, Wesley O. Johnson, Jennifer S. Lee. Circulating Sex Hormones and Risk of Uterine Fibroids: Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jan; 101(1): 123–130. Published online 2015 Dec 15. doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2935.
  3. Violanda Grigorescu, Torie Comeaux Plowden, Lubna Pal. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Page last updated: February 22, 2021. Available from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome
  4. Katica Bajuk Studen, Ajda Biček, Adrijana Oblak, Katja Zaletel, Simona Gaberšček. Hypothyroidism is associated with higher testosterone levels in postmenopausal women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Endokrynol Pol. 2020;71(1):73-75. doi: 10.5603/EP.a2019.0055. Epub 2019 Nov 4.
  5. Silonie Sachdeva. HIRSUTISM: EVALUATION AND TREATMENT. Indian J Dermatol. 2010 Jan-Mar; 55(1): 3–7. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.60342.
  6. Testosterone Levels Test. Last updated December 3, 2020. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/testosterone-levels-test/.

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