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What Happens When A Woman Takes A Testosterone Booster?

Tracy Thompson
Published by Tracy Thompson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: March 1, 2022

Increasing free testosterone can be beneficial on multiple levels, not only for building muscle and increasing sex drive.

For that reason, testosterone boosters have long been a mainstay for many health-conscious males. However, I would argue that in certain circumstances women can also reap the benefits of these supplements.

Working as a trainer, I have seen first-hand what T-boosters can do for women’s health when it comes to losing weight and gaining muscle mass, though it’s crucial to know when it’s safe to include these supplements.

To better understand the science behind this, I asked my dietitian to give us a rundown of what happens if a woman starts taking testosterone booster supplements.

Quick Summary

  • Optimal levels of testosterone in women have key functions: maintaining sex drive, fertility, producing red blood cells, and fat distribution.
  • Low testosterone can lead to sleep issues, poor sex drive, fertility issues, and muscle weakness, whereas the symptoms of high T levels include balding, deepening of the voice, acne, and reduced breast size.
  • Although T-boosters are generally safe for women, they main contain certain unsuitable ingredients

How Do Testosterone Boosters Affect Women?

woman at the gym

Testosterone, sometimes called the male hormone, is primarily associated with the male body, but it’s also present in women’s ovaries and adrenal glands, although in smaller amounts.

The optimal testosterone balance is critical for both genders’ vitality, body composition (muscle growth and fat distribution), sexual function, disease prevention, bone, and general health [1].

That said, testosterone boosters for women are natural supplements that can do a fantastic job for women adjusting their blood testosterone, contributing to faster muscle gain, better mood, sex drive, and better sleep [2].

However, it’s important to note that an excess of testosterone in women can cause more harm than good. Therefore, it’s essential to consult a professional before taking these supplements.

“Once a woman decides to add a testosterone booster to the supplement regime, she can start noticing better sleep, energy, strength gains, and muscle gains. And, it is also possible that you may notice recovery in the gym to improve. I would suggest cutting the men’s dose by one-half or a third to start out. Increase in the course of a 12-week cycle. And, I would also add in a support for the liver, such as milk thistle.”  -Tammy Patnode, Head coach and founder of Team Tammy Fitness Background

Normal Testosterone Levels For Women

Testosterone in the female body can vary over time, depending on various circumstances.

Below you can see the normal total testosterone range for women depending on their age [3].

Age

  • 6 months–9 years
  • 10–11 years
  • 12–16 years
  • 17–18 years
  • 19+ years        
Testosterone Range

  • <7–20 ng/dL
  • <7–44 ng/dL
  • <7–75 ng/dL
  • < 20–75 ng/dL
  • < 8–60 ng/dL

Signs Of Low And High Testosterone Levels For Women

woman with insomnia and another squeezing in her jeans

Both low and high T-levels can have uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms.

Symptoms of low testosterone include [4]:

  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Lowered Bone Density
  • Sleep Issues
  • Poor Sex Drive
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Fertility Issues
  • Irregularities In The Menstrual Cycle
  • Weight Gain

Low T-levels in women can occur as a consequence of chronic stress, aging and menopause or as a result of problems with the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or ovaries.

On the other hand, more testosterone isn’t always better. High levels in women can be just as problematic as the lower ones.

That’s why it’s vital for women taking T-boosters to understand what might happen when there’s too much testosterone in the blood.

The most common symptoms include [5]:

  • Excess Body Hair (usually facial hair)
  • Balding
  • Deepening Of The Voice
  • Acne
  • Reduced Breast Size
  • Muscle Mass Gain
  • Enlarged Clitoris
  • Lower Libido
  • Mood Changes
  • Menstrual Cycle Irregularities
  • Obesity
  • Infertility

You should always consult your health care provider if you notice any of these side effects.

Is It Safe For Women To Take Testosterone Boosters?

woman taking a capsule

Many people mix up testosterone boosters and prohormones, but they are not the same.

When testosterone production is low, prohormones are a type of drug sometimes used in testosterone therapy.

They are not the same as anabolic steroids but are synthetic chemicals that structurally resemble this hormone. [6].

While some early clinical trials of these drugs were promising, later studies threw some doubts on how effective they are, especially for long-term use [7].

Unlike some invasive interventions like testosterone injections, these boosters are health and dietary supplements that contain natural ingredients like herbs, minerals, and vitamin D. Therefore, they are safe for women to take.

That said, like any supplement, it’s easy to run into T-boosters that are of poor quality and contain ineffective ingredients.

The key to ensuring safety when using a testosterone supplement is always to check and read the label. Make sure the manufacturer disclosed the complete list of ingredients and the individual doses. Also, choose products that your doctor or the FDA approves.

FAQs

How Long Does It Take for Testosterone to Work in Females?

It can sometimes take a few months for the full effects of testosterone to work in females; a 3-6 month trial is often recommended [9].

Do Squats Increase Testosterone Levels Long Term?

Yes, performing squats can increase testosterone levels long term. A study showed that post-exercise levels of testosterone were significantly increased following six sets of 10 squats [10].

Testosterone levels naturally start to decline as women age, and it’s vital to bring them back to normal because low testosterone has been linked to increased disease risk, depression, obesity, and other health issues.

For women with symptoms of low testosterone, T-boosters can do an excellent job for their energy levels and well-being. Ingredients of these supplements can differ, which is why doing your research and picking a trusted brand is key.

And if you need some help with choosing the right product, we have tested and reviewed some of the best T-boosters for women.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26358173/.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329173/ 
  3. https://livhealth.com/testosterone-in-women-and-men/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322663
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321292
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16888459/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12671199/
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322508
  9. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/testosterone-for-women/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739287/

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