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    What is Testosterone?

    Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones called androgens. The ovaries produce both testosterone and estrogen. The adrenal glands also produce testosterone. Relatively small quantities of testosterone are released into your bloodstream by the ovaries and adrenal glands. In addition to being produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands, estrogen is also produced by the body’s fat tissue. These sex hormones are involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of reproductive tissues. They also influence other body tissues and bone mass. Starting at about age 30, women experience a decline in testosterone which may correlate to reduced libido, poor quality sleep, fatigue, irritability, and other symptoms.

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women

    Testosterone therapy is used for women who are deficient and/or have symptoms of low testosterone. It is associated with the relief of symptoms of night sweats, low libido, fatigue, irritability, insomnia depressed mood, mental “fog”, muscle weakness, and loss of motivation.
    Testosterone therapy has been shown in some instances to increase bone density, decrease body fat and cellulite, and increase lean muscle mass. Some studies associate testosterone therapy with reduced cardiac risk, and breast-protection, particularly for patients on estrogen therapy.
    When a drug is approved for medical use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the manufacturer produces a “label” to explain its use. Once a medication is approved by the FDA, physicians may use it “off-label” for other purposes if they are 1) well-informed about the product, 2) can base its use on firm scientific principles and sound medical evidence, and 3) maintain records of its use and effects. Testosterone is approved by the FDA only for use in men. This means that physician directed low-dose testosterone therapy in women is “off-label.” Because testosterone therapy is “off label” your health insurance may not provide coverage for testosterone therapy, and if so, this portion of your therapy would be self-pay.

    Side Effects

    Patients using testosterone should seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of a heart attack or stroke are present, such as:

    • -Chest pain
    • -Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
    • -Weakness in one part or one side of the body
    • -Slurred speech
    • -Swelling or pain in extremities