Increased free testosterone in women: causes, norm, treatment methods

Testosterone is considered exclusively a male hormone, but is normally present in the female body. The substance affects sexuality, is responsible for the formation of mammary glands and the maturation of the follicle, that is, it is an important part of the normal functioning of the reproductive system.

Testosterone functions in women

Testosterone is extremely important for ensuring normal women's health, including the biologically active substance involved in the formation of the follicle. With its insufficient amount, the muscles will not be elastic even under the condition of regular physical exertion. A woman’s sexual desire and mood, bone marrow function and activity of the sebaceous glands to some extent depend on the level of testosterone in the blood.

female free testosterone index increased

Female hormones, unlike men, are subject to fluctuations, but if deviations do not go beyond the norm, then there is no threat to health. But the level of the hormone in the blood wags the age and state of pregnancy: during gestation, the content of testosterone goes beyond the norm: it rises two to three (or more) times.

The active form of the hormone is the free form of testosterone, the complex of which does not include sex hormones, albumin and hemoglobin (proteins). Unbound testosterone accounts for two percent of the total. This active hormone is considered exclusively male, but without its content, the work of all organs and systems of the female body is impossible.

The main function is to regulate sexual desire, improve or worsen mood. In addition, the hormone regulates the processes of protein synthesis, muscle growth, calcium absorption and mineral deposition in the bones, the full development of the mammary glands.

free testosterone increased in women causes

The rate of total and free testosterone

The level of testosterone varies slightly from the norm during the day, depending on the phase of the cycle (by the beginning the hormone content decreases, and immediately before the release of a mature egg into the fallopian tube), the age and characteristics of the woman's condition (in the last three months of pregnancy the amount of substance in the blood reaches maximum). Standards may vary between laboratories and depend on the method of analysis.

In the general case, for women from eighteen years of age, the norm is total testosterone from 0.24 to 2.7 nmol / L. In most medical laboratories of the Helix network, the value from 0.29 to 1.67 nmol / L is accepted as the norm, and in Invitro it is from 0.38 to 1.97 nmol / L. The normal value of free testosterone for women in the period of reproductive activity is 0.5-4.1 pg / ml, during menopause - 0.1-1.7 pg / ml.

In girls of the first year of life, the upper limit of the testosterone norm (total) is set to 2.31 nmol / L, the lower - 0. At the age of six years, the level decreases slightly - the content of the substance in the blood to 1.22 nmol / L is the norm. From six to eleven years, total testosterone should be in the range from 0.49 to 1.82 nmol / L, from eleven to fifteen - from 0.84 to 4.46 nmol / L, until adulthood - from 1.36 to 4, 73 nmol / L.

increased free testosterone in women

When protected by oral contraceptives, the hormone level normally decreases and ranges from 0.45 to 2.88 nmol / L. Estimated free testosterone in women may be during ovulation. So you need to determine not only total testosterone, but also free, because in some cases the total substance is normal, and there is little unbound hormone.

Testosterone levels during pregnancy

During gestation, increased free testosterone in women is a normal option. Three to four times higher normal values ​​are allowed. Going beyond these standards is already considered a deviation and can cause serious problems with the health of the mother and fetus.

The amount of the hormone increases, because in the body of a pregnant testosterone begins to produce the placenta and the fetus. The hormone content in the blood can increase especially strongly if a woman expects the birth of a male infant.

Strong fluctuations in testosterone levels in the fourth and eighth weeks of pregnancy, thirteenth and twentieth weeks are especially dangerous. At this time, the hanged level of free testosterone in women poses a risk of miscarriage.

free testosterone in women is increased which means

If at any other time the indicators are higher than the norm for women of childbearing age, but at the same time they feel normal and there is no other threat of abortion, then there is nothing to worry about.

In the third trimester, increased free testosterone in women is normal. Some experts even find it difficult to specifically outline the upper limit of the norm. And in some patients, an increase in the hormone content can be caused not only by the onset of pregnancy, but also by ovulation.

Testosterone level analysis: indications

Fatigue, lack of sexual desire and frequent mood changes should alert the woman. A hormone test should also be taken if there is a noticeable deterioration in the condition of the skin and hair. Most often, such a diagnostic method is prescribed by a gynecologist or endocrinologist.

increased free testosterone in women

A specialist can suspect a violation of hormone production in case of a violation of the cyclic period. Increased free testosterone in women can cause a late onset of menstruation or the absence of critical days with a negative pregnancy test. An analysis is also prescribed at the onset of pregnancy or during preparation for conception (as part of a comprehensive diagnosis of health status).

When diagnosing infertility due to hormonal disorders, a hormone test is indicated. After all, if a woman has free testosterone, what does this situation mean? In this case, it does not work to conceive a child. Testosterone analysis is performed for various gynecological diseases.

The analysis is shown during the formation of male sexual characteristics. In this case, the number of blackheads on the skin significantly increases, hair begins to grow on parts of the body that are unusual for women, baldness is possible, sebaceous and sweat glands work too intensely.

Preparing for a blood test for hormones

The free testosterone index in women is elevated (reasons) may not be due to various deviations, but due to improper preparation for analysis. That it was possible to objectively interpret the results, it is necessary to inform the doctor if the woman adheres to an unconventional diet (raw food diet or vegetarianism, for example), constantly takes any medications (especially hormonal ones).

increased free testosterone

The result may be affected by adverse heredity, obesity, the presence of concomitant diseases, or the phase of the menstrual cycle. For the test, blood is used, which is taken from a vein. Therefore, no food should be taken twelve hours before the diagnosis, only water without gas is allowed.

On the eve you need to abandon smoked, fatty, fried and sweet. It is not recommended to drink sparkling water. If possible, drugs are excluded one day prior to blood sampling. Also, you can not drink alcohol and smoke, engage in physical activity (exclude sports and sex).

On which day of the cycle to take an analysis

The optimal time for diagnosis depends on the length of the woman’s menstrual cycle. The "right" day will be calculated by the gynecologist. With a standard 28-day cycle, the test is prescribed on the 2nd-5th day of the cycle. If the cycle is 32 days, then you need to donate blood for 5-7 days. With a short menstrual cycle (21 days), the doctor will prescribe an analysis for 2-3 days of menstruation. When pregnancy occurs, the day of blood sampling does not matter.

free testosterone boost in women

Causes of High Testosterone

The reasons for the increased index of free testosterone in women were precisely identified by the doctor. The same thing applies when the hormone level is below normal. The main reasons for increasing the content of a substance in the blood are:

  • hereditary factor (high probability of hormonal disorders with a burdened family history);
  • diseases that disrupt the reproductive system (tumor processes, endometriosis, polycystic, myoma);
  • disorders related to the functioning of the adrenal glands;
  • pathology of the pituitary gland;
  • pregnancy (especially late).

Improving free testosterone in women can be caused by malnutrition and hormonal contraceptives. An increase in the level of the hormone causes infertility, rashes, excessive sexual desire, disruptions in the cycle.

Causes of Low Blood Testosterone

The reasons for the low level of testosterone in the blood can be:

  • the onset of menopause;
  • intense weight loss;
  • breast cancers;
  • Down syndrome;
  • diabetes;
  • vascular and heart diseases;
  • osteoporosis;
  • alcoholism;
  • lack of carbohydrates in the diet in sufficient quantities;
  • low fat diet; fasting;
  • endometriosis.

In this case, it is possible to reduce the ability to burn fats and build muscle, the development of renal failure and various disorders in the functioning of the sex glands. Women with low testosterone levels are often depressed, get tired quickly, do not feel sex drive, and suffer from increased oily hair and excessive sweating. It is necessary to increase free testosterone in a woman as soon as possible, because this is a hormonal failure.

free testosterone calculated increased in women

Symptoms of High Testosterone

Elevated free testosterone in women can be suspected by characteristic external signs. This is evidence of serious health problems, so when the first symptoms appear, you should consult a doctor. For any hormonal malfunction, it is necessary to find out and eliminate the cause as soon as possible.

Symptoms may include:

  • dry and cracked skin, acne and blackheads on the face;
  • the voice becomes like a man, coarsens;
  • hair appears over the upper lip and in other parts of the body, on the chest;
  • the hairs on the arms and legs become thicker and darker;
  • hair on the head quickly becomes oily, possibly falling out;
  • causeless aggression;
  • weight increases, intensive muscle mass gain occurs;
  • physical and sexual activity increases.

How to lower free testosterone

If free testosterone is elevated, measures must be taken to eliminate this violation. Experts advise to evaluate the diet and, if necessary, change the diet. You will have to refuse a diet for a while. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates in sufficient quantities should be present in the diet. In addition to vegetables, the menu should include fish, seafood, meat, which include calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins.

free testosterone index in women increased causes

Elevated levels of free testosterone in women need to be adjusted. To normalize the level of hormones, doctors recommend doing fitness, which is especially necessary when refusing a diet. The movement will get rid of excess calories without compromising the body. Hormonal balance is normalized by licorice root, black cohosh, evening primrose and some other medicinal herbs.

Is hormone-free treatment possible?

If free testosterone is elevated in women, treatment may involve the use of hormonal drugs. But hormones are necessary if the disorders are not caused by alcoholism, inadequate or excessive nutrition, and strict dietary restrictions. Sometimes it’s enough just to start normalizing the diet or start taking plant-based pills to eliminate the imbalance.

But hormonal drugs cannot be dispensed with in cases where deviations from the norm are caused by a violation of the adrenal glands, gynecological problems or other diseases affecting the functioning of various organs and systems of the body. These are serious reasons. Free testosterone in women is increased in this case due to abnormalities, and not due to medication or an unhealthy diet.


All Articles