TRT in the UK

The Truth about TRT for Women

The Truth about TRT for Women

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: April 16, 2024
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    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has long been associated with men trying to restore hormonal balance and combat the effects of ageing. However, the use of TRT is not limited to men alone. More and more women are now turning to this therapy to treat different medical conditions and improve their quality of life.

    Despite the growing interest, many women are still unaware of the benefits, effects, and uses of TRT. If you are one of them, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will explore TRT benefits, potential risks, and the conditions it can effectively treat. 

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    Testosterone and its role in women’s health

    Testosterone, often associated with masculinity, is a sex hormone found in both men and women. While men have higher testosterone levels, women also produce it but in smaller amounts. It is synthesised by gonads and adrenal glands.

    Traditionally, it has been viewed as a hormone associated with male characteristics such as facial hair growth and voice deepening. However, recent studies emphasised its effects on women’s health and overall well-being.

    Testosterone is important for women’s health in various ways, such as:


    Natural testosterone levels in women

    On average, testosterone levels in adult women range from 15 to 70 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). They reach their peak during adolescence and early adulthood. They naturally decline after menopause.

    Although testosterone levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s life, a significant drop or increase in it can lead to various problems, such as low sex drive and poor bone density. In such cases, doctors usually prescribe testosterone to restore hormonal balance.

    TRT is an effective treatment that involves the administration of exogenous testosterone to increase serum testosterone levels. It has various forms based on the method of testosterone administration. It is mainly prescribed to treat certain medical conditions, such as:

    • Menopause-related symptoms
    • Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)
    • Ovarian insufficiency
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)


    Benefits of TRT for women

    TRT can offer various benefits when it is administered under the supervision of a qualified professional. Some of its possible advantages are:

    Increased energy and vitality

    Women with testosterone deficiency often complain about low energy and fatigue. Taking testosterone can help them feel energetic and lively again. Testosterone is involved in the regulation of metabolism and the improvement of mitochondrial function. Both these roles allow it to combat fatigue and optimise energy levels.

    Improved mood and mental health

    Studies indicate that the risk of depression and decreased quality of life is higher in women with low T. It means restoring testosterone levels in these women can positively impact their mood. It may reduce their depression symptoms and improve emotional stability. Women who undergo TRT often report having a greater sense of contentment.

    Increased sex drive

    One of the most important roles of testosterone is increasing libido and sexual satisfaction. It does this in many ways, such as by promoting blood flow to the genital area and enhancing the sensitivity of sexual receptors in the brain.

    Low T women experience a decreased sex drive. However, they can reverse this effect by restoring healthy testosterone levels.

    Enhanced muscle strength and mass

    Testosterone promotes muscle protein synthesis and muscle fibre growth. Additionally, it reduces muscle damage and supports tissue repair. In short, it maintains muscle mass and strength.

    When women do not have sufficient testosterone, they may experience loss of muscle strength, causing functional limitations and reduced physical performance.

    With TRT, they can promote muscle development to counteract all these effects. It will increase their endurance and physical abilities.  

    Improved bone density and bone health

    Testosterone stimulates bone formation and reduces bone resorption, helping maintain bone density. It also facilitates the incorporation of minerals into the bone, preventing bone fractures and improving overall bone health.

    Low T women report having weaker bones, which increases their risk of osteoporosis development and bone fractures. Through TRT, women can restore their testosterone levels and prevent bone-related complications.


    The process of TRT for women

    TRT involves a systematic process that starts with diagnosis of the problem followed by the formation of a customised treatment plan and regular monitoring. It typically consists of four basic steps:

    • Initial evaluation and diagnosis

    An initial evaluation by a hormone specialist is done to identify the problem. Your healthcare provider will check your symptoms and conduct a thorough physical examination to look for the signs of low T.

    They will order total testosterone blood tests to find your serum testosterone levels. Once you have been diagnosed with low T, they will conduct a few other tests, such as a luteinising hormone (LH) test and prolactin blood test, to identify the cause of low T.  

    • Customised treatment plans

    Based on the diagnostic results, your healthcare provider will design a tailored treatment plan to improve your testosterone levels and overall health. While developing this plan, they will consider different factors, including the severity of your symptoms and current health condition.

    A TRT treatment plan usually outlines the following:

    • The mode of testosterone administration
    • The recommended dosage (based on how low your current testosterone level is)
    • Frequency of administration
    • Administration of testosterone

    Testosterone can be administered into the blood in different ways, such as injections, topical gels, implants, patches, and pills. Transdermal methods like patches and gels are the most common administration modes. Your doctor will provide instructions and guide you on the application techniques.

    • Monitoring and adjustments

    In follow-up appointments, your doctor will evaluate how your body is responding to therapy and whether you are experiencing treatment side effects. They may adjust your dosage or administration method to ensure you get the best possible results.

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    Debunking myths and addressing concerns about TRT for women

    Myth 1: Testosterone is only for men

    Reality: As mentioned earlier, both men and women produce testosterone, but in varying amounts. It plays many important roles in women. Its imbalance can disturb a woman’s health in various ways. TRT can restore testosterone in women suffering from testosterone deficiency.

    Myth 2: TRT leads to masculinisation

    Reality: TRT aims to increase testosterone levels within the healthy physiological range for women. So, when TRT is performed under the supervision of a hormone specialist and appropriate testosterone doses are given, women do not experience masculinisation. 

    Myth 3: TRT is dangerous for women’s health

    Reality: TRT is generally a safe and effective procedure when it is closely monitored. Like any other medical product, it has some side effects. However, you can avoid them through proper management.


    Potential side effects and risks

    If you are planning to have TRT, it is important to be aware of its potential risks. Some of the common TRT side effects are:

    • Acne
    • Body and facial hair growth
    • Deepening of voice
    • Enlargement of clitoris
    • Weight gain
    • Fluid retention
    • Hair loss on the head
    • Mood changes


    Importance of working with a qualified healthcare professional

    To ensure the safety of this procedure, you must work with a healthcare provider who specialises in hormone therapy. They have the knowledge and experience required to access individual circumstances to diagnose problems, administer testosterone and monitor side effects. They provide authentic information to ensure you understand what this process is and what you can expect out of it.

    To avoid potential complications, it is advised not to rely on unregulated sources and avoid self-administration (unless your doctor allows you to do so).


    Empowering women to make informed decisions about TRT

    • Seeking professional guidance and expertise: You should reach out to a qualified professional who can provide the appropriate care and support you need throughout your TRT journey.
    • Understanding individual needs and goals: Every woman has different health-related goals. You should identify your goals for TRT and discuss them with your healthcare provider to help them design a more suitable treatment plan.
    • Considering lifestyle factors and overall health: You should consider various factors, including your age, diet, exercise, and daily routine, as they can affect your well-being.  
    • Open communication: You should be able to openly discuss your goals, preferences, and concerns about the treatment with your healthcare provider.

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    TRT for women has become a potential treatment for various hormone-related problems. By restoring testosterone levels, women can improve their sexual, bone, muscle, and mental health in various ways. However, you should reach out to hormone therapy specialists to have this procedure to avoid complications and potential side effects.


    References/Scientific studies/Bibliography/Further reading 

    Glaser, R. and Dimitrakakis, C., 2013. Testosterone therapy in women: Myths and misconceptions. Maturitas74(3), pp.230-234.

    Donovitz, G.S., 2022. A Personal Prospective on Testosterone Therapy in Women—What We Know in 2022. Journal of Personalized Medicine12(8), p.1194.

    Davis, S.R. and Wahlin-Jacobsen, S., 2015. Testosterone in women—the clinical significance. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology3(12), pp.980-992.

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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.

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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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