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How High Testosterone Affects Women

How High Testosterone Affects Women

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: March 15, 2024
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone is a sex hormone produced in a woman’s ovaries in small quantities. Testosterone scientifically belongs to the group of hormones commonly known as androgens. Most people believe that it is a male sex hormone but this is not the case. Both men and women produce testosterone but men typically have it in higher quantities. This is because both the female adrenal glands and ovaries produce small amounts of this hormone. Most studies across the globe reveal that high levels of testosterone may trigger different health problems mostly in women.

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    Causes of high testosterone in women

    Most diseases associated with hormonal disorders can cause hormonal changes in women. Some of the common causes of high testosterone levels in women include:

    1. Hirsutism

      is a hormonal disorder in women which results in the growth of unwanted hair, especially on the chin, chest, and back of the neck. The rate of hair growth in these parts of the body the influenced by genes. This health condition in most instances is caused by an imbalance of the androgen hormones.

    2. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

      Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a syndrome that affects the production of the body’s hormones. The hormones affected by this disorder are the adrenal glands. They end up overproducing androgen as required in the body. Some of the symptoms of this disease include severe acne, growth of pubic hair at an early age, infertility, and even masculine characteristics.

    3. Polycystic ovary syndrome  

      Polycystic ovary syndrome is caused by the overproduction of androgen hormones in women. This disorder results in enlarged ovaries. The enlarged ovaries in many cases do not function properly as required in the body.

    4. Stress

      Stress can trigger the adrenal glands functioning. Stress also leads to insulin resistance hence increased cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) production. This leads to the production of testosterone in high quantities.

    5. Alcohol consumption

      High consumption of alcohol by women can trigger high levels of testosterone hormone.

    6. Insulin resistance

      In the case of insulin resistance, the body’s tissues become resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and its major role in the body is to control blood sugar. A high level of insulin causes the ovaries to produce excess testosterone. This situation interferes with follicle development and can sometimes inhibit ovulation.


    Signs of high testosterone in a woman

    Below are some of the common signs of high testosterone in a woman:


    It is scientifically proven that high testosterone in women can cause infertility. Women with high testosterone hormone find it challenging to conceive because anabolic steroids during pregnancy interfere with fetus development by initiating the development of male features in the female fetus and versa.

    Lack of menstruation  

    Both progesterone and testosterone is the major hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle. High testosterone can result in an absence. A high level of testosterone can stop the menstruation cycle since the ovulation process has already been interfered with.

    Increase libido or sex drive

    High testosterone increases libido thus increasing the intensity of orgasm. The combination of testosterone and estrogen can increase a woman’s sex drive. If a woman’s libido has a pattern it can be linked to the fluctuations of these hormones. The rise of testosterone causes an increase in cervical fluid. The increased density of the pelvis and the natural lubrication that is associated with menses contributes to feeling more sexually aroused.


    Hormonal acne is associated with the rise of testosterone. A high level of testosterone in the bloodstream can cause acne. Hormonal birth control is the most recommended way to reduce these types of acne.

    Hormonal balances

    Testosterone takes part in balancing the hormones during the menstrual cycle by working alongside both progesterone and estrogen. Both the progesterone and estrogen hormone affects one’s mood and sometimes food cravings. One of the remedies to balance moods is testosterone replacement therapy.

    Excess hair growth

    High testosterone can lead to excess hair growth in some of the body parts. These body parts include the neck, back, and even the chest for some. This occurs when the receptors on these body parts are sensitive to any higher amount of testosterone. This eventually stimulates the growth of the hair faster than other parts of the body.


    Testosterone plays a key role in the pathology of metabolic diseases. Low testosterone levels are mostly linked with high levels of fat mass and reduced lean muscle in women’s bodies. The burning of calories in the body due to increased levels of testosterone causes an increase in body mass or weight.

    Obesity and PCOS

    One of the female conditions associated with weight gain due to high testosterone is pre-menstrual syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a common disorder affecting many women. Some of the symptoms of this disorder include bloating, carbohydrates, or even sugar cravings. This eventually increases body weight hence obesity. To avoid body gain due to PCOS, one should adopt a dietary change to less caloric meals and reduce the intake of salty snacks. Avoidance of both alcohol and caffeine consumption is also another remedy to avoid body gain during PCOS. Frequent exercise can also help to control PCOS symptoms.

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    What treatments are available for high testosterone in women?

    There are a range of treatments that address hormonal imbalances for women struggling with high testosterone levels. The chosen approach to treatment depends on the underlying cause and the specific symptoms presented.


    Medications for Hormone Regulation

    Commonly prescribed medications include oral contraceptives, which aid in regulating hormone levels and mitigating symptoms like acne and irregular menstrual cycles. Additionally, anti-androgen medications such as spironolactone can be effective in reducing testosterone levels, particularly in managing symptoms like hirsutism and hair loss.

    Lifestyle Changes

    In conjunction with pharmaceutical interventions, lifestyle plays a pivotal role in hormone regulation. Adopting a healthy diet, incorporating regular exercise, and implementing stress management techniques are integral components of a holistic approach to treatment.

    Targeted Therapies for Specific Conditions

    For cases associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), healthcare professionals may recommend insulin-sensitising medications and other targeted therapies.

    These personalised treatment plans, often developed in collaboration with endocrinologists or reproductive specialists, aim to restore hormonal balance and enhance overall well-being for women facing elevated testosterone levels.


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    Wrapping up

    In conclusion, high testosterone in women can cause a variety of unwanted symptoms if left untreated. If you feel as though you’re suffering from high testosterone symptoms we urge you to get in contact with our specialised doctors (by clicking the button above) to discuss your options today.


    References/Further reading/Bibliography/Scientific Studies 


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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: March 15th, 2024
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