Testosterone Affects Women Too

Testosterone Affects Women Too 1

Everyone knows that testosterone has a significant effect on men, but many people don’t realize that T levels affect women also. Most women have probably never had their testosterone measured during a routine blood test.

As the primary male sex hormone, it plays a leading role in the sexual development of guys. But folks often overlook the role it plays in female sexuality. Yes, women have testosterone, too, though much less of it — and it exerts a far different pull, new research suggests.

“It was quite surprising that the link with masturbation was stronger among women than men,” said study leader Wendy Macdowall of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in the United Kingdom. “And that among women we saw no link with aspects of partnered sex.”

[Women] with high testosterone were more likely to have had a same-sex relationship at some point. They also masturbated more often — and more recently.

High T was also linked to more solo sex for guys. But the masturbation connection was notably stronger among women, the study found.

Do high T levels cause a woman to masturbate, or vice versa? Unknown. The researchers suggest that masturbation is a “truer” measure measure of sexual desire than sex with a partner, because it’s less likely to be initiated by someone else. This suggests that higher T levels can increase a woman’s libido.

The Mayo Clinic says that the evidence in favor of testosterone supplementation for women for the purpose of increasing libido is limited, so it’s not clear if there’s any clear way to act on the research findings above. For women, it might be worth getting your testosterone checked when you have your next routine blood test.

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4 comments

  1. I think it’s unreasonable to ask for a test to be done if nothing is going to change with the treatment. If current evidence does not support testosterone treatment, then a medical provider is going to rightly be hesitant to prescribe a controlled substance (testosterone) to a woman. Nevermind the side effects of testosterone and effect on fertility, etc that it might have for a woman… Plus to say that a woman who masturbates has more testosterone than a woman who does not does not establish a cause—what if masturbation and the hormones surrounding that cause a higher testosterone level instead of the other way around? The human body is mysterious, and hormones always work on a feedback loop. I hope more research is done, though I think exploring ways to increase libido non-medically will ultimately be more fruitful for women.

    1. I agree that there doesn’t seem to be enough data to know. However, *if* a woman has a lower libido than she wants then it would probably be worth getting testosterone tested.

    2. Once attended a marriage conference where one of the psychologists told the story of talking her doctor into giving her some testosterone. She said that beforehand if she had sex on Christmas, Easter, and her husbands birthday it was enough for her. She said his always wanting it was his problem! After the shot she claimed she could hear the wind blow and now she wanted to make love. She said she finally realized what her husband was going through. As a result she became more accommodating. Don’t know if it would work for others, but, that was her story.

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