Increased testosterone in women. Causes and consequences of hormonal failure
Testosterone is conventionally called the male sex hormone. Due to the fact that his production in the body of men is increased, they are strong and hardy physically, are active in sexual relations. In women, testosterone is produced much less, but the functions of this hormone are also important. Its content affects, first of all, the work of the reproductive system. The production of testosterone in excess amounts means that an endocrine failure has occurred. This affects the appearance, functioning of various organs, the woman's fertility ability.
- Functions of testosterone in the female body
- Norms of testosterone maintenance
- The more dangerous is the excess of testosterone content
- How is testosterone level determined?
- Testosterone level in pregnancy
Functions of testosterone in the female body
Testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. It is involved in the metabolism, promotes the absorption of calcium, which is necessary for the normal formation of bones and muscle tissue, preventing the development of osteoporosis. This hormone regulates the work of the sebaceous and sweat glands, affects the state of the heart muscle.
The presence of a small amount of male sex hormone in the body affects the formation of character. Due to the presence of testosterone, they show a desire for self-affirmation of the person, emotionality, vigor, sexuality. But the ability to empathize, maternal instinct, suspiciousness and anxiety are explained by the effect of estrogens .
An important biological role of the male hormone in the body of a woman is also in the fact that this substance stimulates the maturation of eggs in the follicles , that is, it is impossible to perform reproductive function without it. When the development of testosterone in women, hormonal infertility occurs, due to the lack of ovulation.
Testosterone begins to be produced already in the body of the embryo. After the birth of a child, it plays an important role in the formation of the skeleton and muscles, is necessary for the normal development of a growing organism.
During puberty under the influence of testosterone, the girl has the characteristic features of the figure, the growth of hair on the pubic and under the arms begins. Its character and state of mind are changing.
The level of the hormone remains the highest in women of reproductive age. After the climax begins , there is a steady decline in the content of this substance.
Norms of testosterone maintenance
In the body, there are 2 types of testosterone: a free and protein-bound protein. Indicators of the norm correspond to the content of the hormone, which is in the blood in a free form, directly stimulating the work of various organs.
The content of testosterone in the human body, in addition to its sex, is also affected by age, the degree of physical activity, the nature of nutrition, lifestyle, heredity. For women, the following indices are considered as the levels of free testosterone in the blood:
- at the age of up to 9 years - not more than 1.7 pg / ml;
- after 10 years and before the onset of menopause - from 0.5 to 4.1 pg / ml;
- in the postmenopausal period - from 0.1 to 1.7 pg / ml.
For men of reproductive age, the norm is 4.3-30 pg / ml.
The level of testosterone may fluctuate during the day, it rises during ovulation, during pregnancy, with increased physical exertion, and also under the influence of ultraviolet irradiation.
Video: Consequences, Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperandrogenism in Women
The more dangerous is the excess of testosterone content
Excess of the male hormone contributes to the occurrence of serious violations of physical and mental development, it causes a significant deterioration in the state of female reproductive health. If the level of testosterone is increased, it can lead to a hormonal shift - a decrease in the content of female sex hormones in the blood and, accordingly, to the inability of the normal course of the menstrual cycle.
The consequences of an abnormal increase in testosterone levels in the body of a woman is infertility, obesity, the onset of diabetes.
Symptoms of increased testosterone
If the level of the hormone in the blood significantly exceeds the norm, it manifests itself as follows:
- A teenage girl has a delay in sexual development. Monthly appear after 15 years, there are significant fluctuations in the timing of menstruation, they may be absent for six months or more.
- Weakly developed external sexual characteristics. There is a formation of the figure according to the male type (the hips are narrow, the waist is smoothed, the shoulders are wide, the mammary glands are not developed).
- An adult woman has unusual physical strength, she has sharp, angular movements.
- The skin is fat, with acne and acne.
- The voice is low and rough.
- There are "masculine" traits of character (it is more aggressive, aggressive, less shy, differs increased libido). Often there is a predilection for smoking, alcohol abuse.
An indication of the appearance of endocrine pathology, due to which the woman has elevated testosterone, is a combination of symptoms such as delay (disappearance) of menstrual changes, male pattern changes, the formation of bald spots on the head, the appearance of hair in uncharacteristic areas of the body, sudden sexual enhancement, aggressive behavior (irritability, roughness), increased physical endurance. The appearance of the external genitalia can change (the clitoris increases).
The reasons why testosterone rises
In women, pathology occurs much more often than in men. The reasons for exceeding the norm can be:
- a dysfunction of the ovaries due to the formation of tumors in them or a malfunction in the pituitary-hypothalamus;
- hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex;
- malnutrition (starvation, vegetarianism, or, conversely, excessive consumption of animal fats);
- use of hormonal contraceptives and drugs;
- diseases of the liver, thyroid and pancreas;
- genetic predisposition.
With menopause due to an uneven decrease in hormone production, a temporary hyperandrogenism is formed, which does not require medical correction.
Video: Causes and treatment of hyperandrogenism in women
How is testosterone level determined?
The analysis for the content of the hormone in the blood is usually performed on the 6-10th day of the regular menstrual cycle. If the monthly ones come chaotically, the day of the test is prescribed by a doctor (gynecologist or endocrinologist) individually.
Blood is taken in the morning before meals or any drinks other than water. On the eve of the procedure, the patient should refrain from drinking alcohol, smoking, taking medication, physical exertion. It is necessary to avoid nervous stresses and to refrain from sexual intercourse.
The result of the analysis, as a rule, is ready in a few hours.
If the analysis shows that the level of the male hormone is increased, then, first of all, an ultrasound, CT or MRI examination to exclude malignant diseases of the endocrine organs and polycystic ovaries .
When a tumor is detected, surgical treatment is performed.
Drug therapy is carried out with the help of drugs that increase the level of female sex hormones in the body (synthetic analogues of estrogens and progesterone), such as cyproterone, proginova.
In addition, Siofor, Veroshpiron, Glucophage are used, which contain components that inhibit the production of testosterone. In some cases, oral contraceptives may be sufficient to restore the hormonal background to diane 35, jarina or janin.
Warning: Therapy is performed only as directed by the doctor. The type of preparation and its dose are selected individually. Incorrect use of the medication leads to serious side effects. After treatment, repeated tests should be performed, as testosterone levels may rise again.
Change in the nature of nutrition. It is recommended to eat products with high estrogen content (soy, apples, cherries, wheat, rice, vegetable oil.) It is useful to drink sweet coffee with cream.
Folk remedies. They are used only after establishing the cause of the violation and with the permission of the doctor, like any other medicine. As a means of reducing the level of testosterone, medicinal herbs (angelica, licorice, root marinas) are used.
Pilates and yoga are related to effective ancillary therapies. They contribute to improving the work of the organs, strengthening the nervous system, which is necessary to restore the hormonal balance.
Note: With an increased level of testosterone, it is recommended to abandon sports exercises that stimulate the build-up of muscle mass.
Testosterone level in pregnancy
During pregnancy, the physiological increase in testosterone content is 3-4 times higher than in the usual one, since it begins to produce the placenta. This becomes especially noticeable, beginning with the 2nd trimester. After 30 weeks the level reaches a maximum, remains high until the moment of birth.
If pregnancy is normal, then there is no need for testing for testosterone. Monitor the level of the hormone is necessary in the case when before pregnancy a woman had hyperandrogenia. It is especially important to do this at 4-8 and 13-23 weeks, because with an increased level of male hormone, miscarriage can occur. If the risk is high enough, then hormonal therapy is performed.