Want the perfect workout program?Take Quiz
Fact checked by Andrew Lenau, ISSA CPT & Sports NutritionistFACT CHECKED
Even though the symptoms are common, low testosterone in women is rarely, if ever, thought about. A lack of energy, low sex drive, and poor mental health can be pretty debilitating, yet women experiencing these symptoms often don't consider it's due to low T.
As such, it continues to go undiagnosed, often causing symptoms to worsen. To change that, education about how the "man hormone" affects women's bodies is crucial.
In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about low testosterone in women, how to identify it, and how to fix it.
Table of Contents:
Even compared to other sex hormones, testosterone is a potent androgen hormone generally associated with men. As this primary sex hormone rises during male puberty, it creates male sex characteristics, such as:
In men, the testes are the main site for testosterone production. Women produce testosterone instead in the ovaries and adrenal glands.
Although it's generally associated with being the primary male sex hormone, testosterone still plays a significant role in women's health.
Normal testosterone levels in women come to about 15-70 ng/dL, or 1/20 or 1/40 of that in men1.
But just because women's testosterone levels are much smaller than men, doesn't make them useless. Testosterone in women is responsible for the following:
As you can see, properly regulating testosterone and other hormones is vital2. Not only are testosterone levels important for women, but their ratio with other hormones is critical as well. Major issues can arise if a woman experiences too little or too much testosterone.
Simply put, testosterone is the compound that gives us a zest for life. It makes us feel young and healthy while giving us energy and improved mental wellness.
Low testosterone in women is a concern and can affect anyone - from post-menopausal women to young, active adults. Similar to low testosterone in men, signs generally take a while to appear. As time goes on, the severity and amount of symptoms will increase.
Symptoms of low testosterone in women include:
Unfortunately, many of those signs can be chalked up to things like poor sleep or stress, as many women may not even be aware that low testosterone could be to blame.
From experience with friends with low T and stories on Reddit and other forums, a woman with low testosterone will slowly experience worse and worse symptoms, making life increasingly less enjoyable.
Many women will report that their first sign is usually just not feeling like themselves. Almost like depression, things that used to be fun seem to no longer have the same enjoyment factor. Many women also report that their sleep begins to deteriorate, which only amplifies other conditions.
They then begin to notice their desire for sex is extremely low, which is currently the only symptom for which exogenous testosterone may be prescribed. Finally, there are the physical effects. These might manifest as increased soreness or longer muscle recovery from training, which evolves into muscle weakness and even loss.
It's important to remember that every woman can experience different symptoms to different degrees. As mentioned, low testosterone in women generally shows up as a loss of enjoyment in life, since testosterone plays a role in regulating many things that make us who we are.
Luckily, there are many ways for women to raise their testosterone levels.
Many are simple lifestyle changes, while a few supplemental remedies also exist. After you go through these, we encourage you to visit our article that dives into 5 Ways Women Can Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels.
In addition, our comprehensive guide on How to Increase Testosterone has even more information we're certain you'll find helpful.
Testosterone boosters are a form of nutritional supplement formulated from various herbs, plants, vitamins, and minerals to boost testosterone levels.
How the testosterone booster works is dependent on its ingredients list, but most test boosters, particularly those including vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium, work to replenish vitamin deficiencies.
And to be clear, testosterone boosters are not testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is another form of testosterone therapy in which synthetic testosterone is injected. Treating low testosterone in this way requires more medical supervision, so it's important to consult with a doctor.
TRT Clinics can be an awesome option if you're looking for 1-on-1 guidance and a regimen that goes beyond over-the-counter products. And it's now even easier to do this, as we've vetted 8 Online TRT Clinics that will meet with and treat you virtually.
If you're looking for an online TRT clinic recommendation, I highly recommend Fountain TRT, which begins with a free personalized TRT evaluation that consists of a testosterone test and 1-on-1 video call with a Fountain provider to discuss your test results.
Learn more about TRT in our Ultimate Guide to Using TRT For Bodybuilding.
As mentioned, testosterone boosters are supplement blends that increase testosterone levels naturally. Their effectiveness varies depending on the exact supplement, so we want to give you our top two picks.
TestoPrime is one of the top testosterone boosters on the market. It is a multi-ingredient, top-rated supplement formulated with some of the best ingredients, such as ashwagandha.
Hunter Test is another great option. We love it because it contains two of the most effective ingredients for testosterone production: ashwagandha and D-aspartic acid.
To learn more about these products along with five other great options, check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements.
Before we close out, let's answer some of the more frequently asked questions about testosterone levels in women.
Low testosterone in women could result from several things, but here is a quick list of the most common causes: adrenal insufficiency, poor lifestyle habits, excessive cardio, and a poor diet of chronically eating too few calories.
No. Estrogen is a woman's primary sex hormone.
Women's average range for testosterone is 15-70 ng/dL.
The list of symptoms of testosterone insufficiency in women is huge. That said, the general effects are: loss of muscle tone and strength, lack of sexual desire or function, decrease in mental well-being, and fatigue and low energy levels.
Low testosterone levels in ladies is rarely talked about, often to the detriment of women. However, now that you understand the symptoms, you can see the impact it can have on your life.
If you have these symptoms but haven't been able to pinpoint the cause, visit a doctor or consult with an online TRT clinic for a proper blood test to check your testosterone levels. And even without a blood test, you can start taking the necessary lifestyle steps to treat low testosterone today.
I promise exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet won't hurt you.
Pairing a testosterone booster with a healthy lifestyle is a great way to increase your T levels. Check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements to find your perfect fit. And for those interested in our top T-boosting recommendation, head to our TestoPrime Review for more information on this effective product.
At SET FOR SET, we strive to equip you with the tools and knowledge needed for your fitness journey. Our team of experts, including certified trainers, dietitians, and athletes, brings over a decade of industry expertise. Our goal is to be your primary resource for all fitness inquiries, guiding you toward a stronger and healthier life. Sign up to stay up-to-date!