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High Testosterone in Women: Everything You Need to Know

Gina Walters


high testosterone in women

Testosterone is mainly a male hormone but also plays an important role in women’s health as well. 

However, women may sometimes experience an unwanted increase in testosterone levels due to hormonal imbalance.

High testosterone levels or Hyperandrogenism in women can lead to various health problems. 

Let us explore high testosterone in women, its causes, symptoms, and possible treatment options.

What is considered high testosterone in women

Hyperandrogenism in women may lead to problems like low libido, acne, fertility issues, and more.

One can check the testosterone levels through a blood test, and the results are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). 

The normal testosterone levels in women are 15 to 70 ng/dL.

Anything above this testosterone level is considered high testosterone in women.

The ovaries and adrenal glands are responsible for producing small amounts of testosterone in women.

High testosterone levels in women may lead to type-2 Diabetes. See a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms of high testosterone in women

Acne (symptom of high testosterone)Source: AndreyPopov_from_Getty_Images
Acne (symptom of high testosterone)

Women may experience some common symptoms and signs of high testosterone levels. 

The common symptoms of high testosterone include:

  • Hirsutism (abnormal hair growth on the face or body)
  • Alopecia (excessive hair loss)
  • Irregular periods
  • Acne
  • Deepening of voice
  • Loss of libido
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Mood changes

However, not everyone may experience the above symptoms.

Always talk to a doctor if you notice signs or have concerns about high testosterone.

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Causes of high testosterone in women

Testosterone is an important hormone for women, even if their bodies produce it in small amounts.

The causes of high testosterone in a woman include:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): It is a common condition that causes small cysts on the ovaries, irregular periods, and high testosterone. PCOS may also cause hormonal imbalance by increasing the insulin hormone.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH): It is a genetic disorder that affects the adrenal glands. The condition causes a shortage of important enzymes that produce female hormones. This shortage can lead to the overproduction of the testosterone hormone.
  • Medications: Some medications may also lead to high testosterone levels in women. These include anabolic steroids, synthetic progestins, and antiepileptics.

Synthetic progestins: The medication is used for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in women but may cause uterine changes.

Antiepileptics: The medicine helps prevent seizures.

However, some women may genetically produce high testosterone hormones.

Consult a doctor if you experience these causes of high testosterone.

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How to treat high testosterone in a women

Medicine is the main treatment option for high testosterone in women.

The doctors may prescribe medicines like glucocorticosteroids, Metformin, oral contraceptives, and Spironolactone to help treat the problem.

However, women may also explore natural remedies for high testosterone.

These include a balanced diet, regular exercise, supplements, and proper sleep to help maintain the hormonal balance.

Women may also consult a fertility expert if they have any fertility concerns due to PCOS-related high testosterone.

However, talk to a doctor before starting any treatment plan.

Do not take oral contraceptives to help with high testosterone if you are trying to get pregnant.

Key takeaways

High testosterone in women is a medical condition caused due to hormonal imbalance in one’s body.

The symptoms of high testosterone include Hirsutism, irregular periods, acne, deep voice, loss of libido, and more.

High testosterone is a common problem that may lead to many health issues in women.

Various factors like PCOS, medicine interaction, and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia can cause high testosterone in women.

Fortunately, treatment options like medicines and lifestyle changes can help with the medical condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does high testosterone do to a woman?

High testosterone levels can lead to some common symptoms in women. These include Hirsutism (excessive facial and body hair), acne, deep voice, and more. High testosterone may also impact emotional well-being and may cause mood swings.

What causes high testosterone in a woman?

High testosterone in women can be caused by factors like PCOS, medicine interaction, and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Talk to a doctor if you experience any of the above causes.

Is high testosterone in women always PCOS?

No, high testosterone levels in women are not always caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is the most common cause of high testosterone in women, but other factors can also lead to the problem.

Can high testosterone levels affect a woman’s fertility?

Yes, high testosterone levels in women can affect fertility. High testosterone can cause problems with the menstrual cycle. 
This may lead to irregular periods and anovulation (lack of ovulation). Talk to a fertility expert if you face any fertility issues due to high testosterone.

Can birth control pills help with high testosterone in women?

Yes, birth control pills can help manage high testosterone levels in women. They contain synthetic hormones that can control the menstrual cycle and reduce testosterone. 
However, it may not be effective for everyone and should not be taken if you are trying to get pregnant.

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