Are you witnessing a spike in acne, body hair growth – specifically facial hair – and thinning or shedding of hair? If so, these symptoms are common among women with a high level of testosterone in their bodies. But did you know what causes high testosterone levels in women? If not, let’s find out.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone or androgen. However, it is also an important hormone in women’s health and well-being. From maintaining muscle mass, stabilizing mood to improving sex drive and fertility – testosterone plays a key role in women’s health. There are many reasons for high testosterone in women’s bodies and there are many symptoms as well.
* Weight gain or obesity
* Mood swings
* Fertility issues
* Excess body and facial hair growth (hirsutism)
* Menstrual irregularities or absence of periods
* Decrease in breast size
* Low sex drive
* Deepening of the voice or hoarseness
* Increased muscles mass
* Enlarged clitoris
These are some of the common signs of high testosterone that one needs to watch out for.
Dr. Pratima Thamke, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai spoke to HealthShots about the causes of high testosterone in women.
Here they are:
“It is a hormonal disorder commonly seen in women of reproductive age. Women diagnosed with PCOS tend to have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries will develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and won’t be able to release eggs on a regular basis. But those with PCOS have symptoms similar to other high testosterone symptoms like acne and excessive facial and body hair,” says Dr Thamke.
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According to the journal Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews, women with high blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes have higher chances of high testosterone. When insulin increases it can stimulate the ovaries to produce testosterone, especially in women with PCOS. So, to lower your testosterone level naturally, keep your blood sugar level in check.
Studies indicate a connection between hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid condition) and testosterone levels. Dr Thamke says, “Hypothyroidism can lower the production of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is integral for balancing the sex hormones in a person’s blood. If SHBG levels fall too low, testosterone levels may go up, and one may notice symptoms like irregular periods.”
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a group of genetic disorders which affect the adrenal glands and this can result in excessive production of testosterone or androgen.
It means having excessive facial and body hair. High testosterone in women can many times go beyond simple hirsutism leading to hair fall, reduction in breast size, and acne.
If you are overweight, you are prone to experience hormonal imbalance and this can result in high levels of testosterone in your body. Maintaining a healthy weight can help you to balance your hormones, reducing the risk of high testosterone.
Regular exercise helps control insulin levels and helps with weight management. However, not exercising can lead to high blood sugar levels and weight gain which can lead to high testosterone levels in the body.
If you’re noticing symptoms of high testosterone then visit the doctor for better treatment!