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12 Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women (Backed by Science)

Christiana Mikesch
Published by Christiana Mikesch
Last updated: November 28, 2022

Many women who are experiencing low energy levels, mood swings, and fatigue blame their hectic schedules, not realizing that hormones may be at play.

Some of the female athletes I’m training showed symptoms of low testosterone levels, so I spent a few days researching the subject, and I spoke with an endocrinologist to review the relevant literature.

If you have noticed unexplained behavioral or performance changes, read on to learn if they're hormone-related, why they occur, and what to do about them.

Quick Summary

  • Symptoms of low testosterone levels in women include weight gain, loss of muscle mass, and changes in bone density.
  • Causes of low testosterone levels in females are associated with aging and early menopause, but limited studies support these theories.
  • To alleviate symptoms, you can boost testosterone levels in the body by following a healthy regimen and taking natural supplements.

12 Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels in Women

A woman with low testosterone, tired on a sofa

The symptoms of low testosterone in women can differ from person to person. Knowing them may help you understand how you're feeling right now and why.

Based on my research and consultation, I have compiled the following twelve symptoms:

1. Low Energy Levels

Research shows that free testosterone is one of the hormones responsible for motivation and alertness [1].

Having low levels of free testosterone may leave you feeling tired and weak most of the day, preventing you from accomplishing basic tasks.

2. Mood Swings

Research shows that testosterone plays a role in maintaining a positive mood [2].

It is for this reason that having unstable emotions for an extended period may indicate low levels.

Feelings can be difficult to explain, discouraging you from pursuing your goals.

3. Depression and Anxiety

When you have prolonged low testosterone levels, you run the risk of developing anxiety and depression [3].

These conditions can cause uncontrollable fears and worries, which can obstruct your daily goals and may worsen over time.

4. Short-Term Memory Loss

A woman with low testosterone lost in thought in bed

Forgetting recent events could indicate low testosterone levels [4].

This is also linked to difficulty focusing on a specific task. Even familiar tasks can take longer to complete when you have poor recall and mental clarity.

5. Exhaustion and Fatigue

Postmenopausal women may experience persistent tiredness, either physically or mentally, likely due to adrenal insufficiency [5].

In such cases, testosterone levels may be low, which limits them from performing daily tasks at their best.

6. Loss of Muscle Mass

Researchers found that testosterone increases muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis [6].

For this reason, having low T-levels can decrease muscle tone, reducing your physical strength in making complex movements.

7. Changes in Bone Density

A woman with low testosterone having a headache

Research suggests that normal male hormone levels can promote bone health [7].

Due to this, low testosterone in women could mean developing weaker bones, leading to osteoporosis.

Less dense bones are more susceptible to fractures, which can result in severe medical conditions.

8. Decreased Sexual Desire

Researchers found that women with low testosterone may have fewer sexual fantasies and activities [8].

While it is common for everyone to lose sexual interest sometimes, having it for an extended period may lead to hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

9. Low Genital Arousal and Orgasmic Response

According to research, women with healthy levels of testosterone have good sexual function [9].

Due to this, low testosterone in women could probably lead to difficulty climaxing during intercourse.

10. Weight Gain

A woman measuring her weight on a weighing scale

Low testosterone can cause weight gain and it does not include muscle build up.

There is only an increase in body fat and fluid retention due to issues in the adrenal glands, making it difficult for some people to lose weight [10].

11. Hair Loss or Thinning Hair

Thin hair is often associated with testosterone deficiency when a large portion of it converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

An excess amount of this hormone derivative can shrink hair follicles making hair more difficult to grow back [11].

12. Dry Skin

Skin problems such as dry skin might be indications that your T-levels are low [12].

"With low testosterone, skin can become dry, and those with skin conditions such as psoriasis get worse."

- Mike Butcher, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine

Dry skin patches can make your skin look flaky and feel itchy, diminishing your confidence in dealing with other people.

To further understand why you have one or more of these symptoms, let's look at what's causing them.

What Causes Low T in Women?

A doctor telling a patient what causes low testosterone in women

Issues in the pituitary and adrenal glands are considered possible causes of low testosterone in females.

Additionally, aging, early menopause, premature ovarian failure, and oophorectomy, or removing the ovaries, have been linked to low T-levels, as women produce testosterone in their ovaries.

Oral estrogen therapy, which is used to counteract the effects of menopause, has been found to disrupt hormonal balance, meaning it lowers testosterone levels [13] [14].

When symptoms become apparent and start affecting you in a personal, career, and family life, you may need to look for ways to increase testosterone naturally in the following ways.

Natural Ways to Boost It

Before resorting to treatments like testosterone replacement therapy, women can boost their testosterone naturally in many ways, including sleeping well for at least seven hours per night.

Other lifestyle changes you can do are the following: 

  • Eat healthily and limit your sugar intake
  • Do light to moderate exercise
  • Reduce stress by meditating
  • Consume vitamins and minerals
  • Take natural testosterone boosters

Although exercise and diet can help improve hormone imbalance, adding natural testosterone supplements can help you lessen everyday stress.

They include vitamins, minerals, nootropics, and herbs that can boost physical and mental performance.

FAQs

Does Low Testosterone Always Have Symptoms?

Having low testosterone doesn't always mean you will have symptoms [15]. If you suspect a deficient level of the male sex hormone, you should consult a doctor and request a blood test.

Your doctor should be able to give you the right advice based on the results of your lab test.

Which Foods Increase T-Levels in Women?

Some foods that increase T-levels in women are fatty fish, dark leafy greens, and nuts because they contain many vitamins and minerals. Seafood like oysters, crabs, and lobsters also help to increase testosterone significantly [16].

What Causes Too Much Testosterone in Women?

Several hormonal disorders, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), and hirsutism, cause too much testosterone in women [17].

Having excess testosterone is characterized by symptoms such as frontal balding, deepening of the voice, and increased muscle mass.

What Should I Do if I Have Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

The presence of physical and mental distress doesn't always indicate testosterone insufficiency.

However, if you have persistent symptoms and your blood test shows lower-than-normal levels, you likely have a deficiency.

I’ve seen how low testosterone levels affect my clients’ training performance, so before considering testosterone therapy, I advise them to first improve their eating habits, reduce stress, and then take the recommended natural testosterone boosters for women to safely improve their levels.

We have tested these testosterone supplements, and my clients have found them effective and safe for reducing symptoms and regaining athletic performance.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6765788/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/medications/testosterone--what-it-does-and-doesnt-do
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/low-testosterone-and-mental-health/
  4. https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/memory/low-testosterone-can-raise-risk-of-dementia-symptoms-and-alzheimers/
  5. https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2005/12050/The_role_of_testosterone_therapy_in_postmenopausal.6.aspx
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867125/
  8. https://www.webmd.com/men/how-low-testosterone-can-affect-your-sex-drive
  9. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-menopause-sex-idUSKCN1UP2JP
  10. https://www.adrenal.com/blog/weight-gain-and-adrenal-tumors\
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557634/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24505054/
  13. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322663#diagnosis
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11304877/
  15. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/treating-low-testosterone-levels
  16. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323759
  17. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321292
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