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Post-menopausal women often complain of decrease in sexual desire or libido which may be a result of low testosterone levels.  They also may notice a lack of energy and fatigue.  These are the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in women, a common condition for which treatment is available for most women with these complaints.

The causes of low testosterone in women include increased age, surgical removal of the ovaries which are the source of testosterone production, estrogen replacement therapy, and use of certain drugs such as steroids.  Most of the women with low are post-menopausal as the testosterone production (as well as estrogen production) declines within 2-4 years of menopause.

The diagnosis is easily made by obtaining a blood test that measures testosterone.  The normal value for women is 15-70ng\dL and women with values less than 20-25 ng\dL may become symptomatic for low T.

Women only require 5-10% of a man’s daily testosterone dose or about 2.5 to 5mg per day.  Testosterone can be given to women through an injection every 2-3 weeks, a topical gel applied to the upper arm, or a testosterone pellet which is inserted under the skin every 4-6 months.

DHEA, which is available in health food stores without a prescription, can be taken by mouth as the DHEA is converted to testosterone and will often improve a woman’s libido and sexual function.

Bottom Line:  Low T is a condition that impacts both men and women.  In women it may manifest itself as a decrease in sexual drive or libido.  The good news is that it can be easily treated with testosterone replacement therapy.