Excerpts from a scientific paper and literature review in the publication Maturitas by Rebecca Glaser, M.D. and Constantine Dimitrakakis, M.D. – December 2012
INTRODUCTION: Testosterone (T) therapy is being increasingly used to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in pre and postmenopausal women. Recently, additional research has been, and is currently, being conducted on the safety and efficacy of T therapy. However, and particularly in the United States, there still exist many misconceptions about T and T therapy in women.
Myth:Testosterone is a “male” hormone.
Fact:Testosterone is the most abundant biologically active hormone in women.
Myth:Testosterone’s only role in women is sex drive and libido.
Fact:Testosterone is essential for women’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Myth:Testosterone masculinizes females.
Fact:Outside of supra-pharmacologic doses of synthetic androgens, testosterone does not have a masculinizing effect on females.
Myth:Testosterone causes hoarseness and voice changes.
Fact:There is no conclusive evidence that testosterone therapy causes hoarseness or irreversible vocal cord changes in women.
Myth:Testosterone causes hairloss.
Fact:Testosterone therapy increases scalp hair growth in women.
Myth:Testosterone has adverse effects on the heart.
Fact:There is substantial evidence that testosterone is cardiac protective and that adequate levels decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Myth:Testosterone causes liver damage.
Fact:Non-oral testosterone does not adversely affect the liver or increase clotting factors.
Myth:Testosterone causes aggression.
Fact:Testosterone therapy decreases anxiety, irritabilityand aggression.
Myth:Testosterone may increase the risk of breastcancer.
Fact:Testosterone is breast protective and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
Myth:The safety of testosterone use in women has not beenestablished.
Fact:The study of non-oral testosterone therapy in women is well established, including long-term follow up.
CONCLUSION: Adequate T is essential for physical, mental and emotional health in both sexes. Abandoning myths, misconceptions and unfounded concerns about T and T therapy in women will enable physicians to provide evidence based recommendations and appropriate therapy.
The entirety of this article can be found at: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/maturitas