Testosterone is the dominant hormone in males but is also produced in females in small amounts. In females, the hormone helps maintain, grow, and repair bone mass, behaviour, and reproductive tissues. However, the hormone level in females must be very low in order not to cause male characteristics.
An imbalance in females can cause a damaging impact on their sex drive and overall health. Women who are 50 years and beyond experience frequent hormonal imbalances, including testosterone. Therefore, they witness various bodily changes.
The following is a guide on dealing with high testosterone for women over 50 years:
Causes of High Testosterone
The normal testosterone level in women should range from 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter of blood. However, this level declines when a woman hits the menopause stage, mostly between 45 to 55 years. Women who are over 50 years old may experience different health issues, including diseases that cause hormonal changes. In women, high male hormone levels result from congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hirsutism, etc.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is another disorder that affects the production of hormones in the body. It interferes with the adrenal glands that are responsible for the production of these hormones. Therefore, the body produces a lot of androgens, leading to masculine traits, infertility, and severe acne.
This hormonal condition causes hair growth in unwanted areas like the chest, face, and back. Hair growth depends on genetics and is mostly because of hormonal imbalance.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
This disorder results from too much androgen hormone in a woman. When you have this disorder, you experience symptoms like unwanted hair on the body and complications like endometrial cancer, type 2 diabetes, infertility, and obesity. Your ovaries might also enlarge, causing various issues.
When you notice male characteristics, you must talk to your doctor. Understandably, many things will change in your body when you hit 50. However, if you notice some of the symptoms mentioned below, seeing a doctor will help.
The doctor will need a physical examination based on your symptoms. Testosterone tests for men and women are vital to measuring the level of this hormone in the blood. They involve drawing blood to be examined. The blood is taken in the morning when hormone levels are high.
Symptoms of High Testosterone in Women
When a woman has high masculine hormone levels, they start to experience changes in their physical appearance. Such changes include:
- Decreased breast size
- Excess hair on the body, including the face
- Enlarged clitoris
- Increasing muscle mass and deepening voice
When the hormone is at extreme levels, it causes low libido, mood changes, and irregular menstrual cycles for those still below the menopause stage.
Best Treatment for High Testosterone
High testosterone levels might indicate a tumor on the adrenal glands or ovaries. In most cases, the treatment you get for hormone imbalances will depend on what is causing the high levels. However, it generally included therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Some medications for treating high hormone levels include oral contraceptives, metformin, spironolactone, and glucocorticosteroids. Before administering these medications, doctors must evaluate a patient’s medical history and other conditions.
Even though oral contraceptives have effectively treated high testosterone, they harm women who plan to get children. Therefore, this method is most preferred for women past the menopause stage.
Lifestyle changes are another effective treatment option that can help lower hormone levels. You can start losing weight to improve the symptoms. Some women will choose to shave their facial hair or use facial cleansers for acne.
A woman can also incorporate certain foods in her diet to help reduce the high hormone levels that are causing masculine traits. Such foods and herbs include:
- Black cohosh
- Green tea
- Licorice root
- White peony
- Vegetable oil
- Saw palmetto
You should speak with your doctor before adding any food or herbs to your diet. The doctor will evaluate their interaction with other drugs you might be taking and advise you on the way ahead. Therefore, seek medical advice before starting a diet to reduce hormone levels.
Testosterone is a dominant hormone in men and is only required in low levels in women. Normally, the level peaks when a woman is in their 20s and declines when a woman hits 45. Therefore, the main issue could be an underlying problem if you are a woman over 50 years and experiencing high hormone levels. Therefore, it is advisable to take a hormone test to measure its level in the blood and get the right treatment.