An article published online on November 25, 2013 in the journal Menopausedescribes a study of hysterectomized women that compared the effects of varying doses of testosterone on sexual function, lean body mass and muscle performance.
“Recently, there has been a lot of interest in testosterone treatment in postmenopausal women for sexual dysfunction and other various health conditions,” commented lead author Grace Huang, MD, who is a research physician in the department of endocrinology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “However, no previous studies have evaluated the benefits and negative effects of testosterone replacement over a wide range of doses.”
The study included 71 postmenopausal women who had undergone hysterectomy with or without ovary removal. The women were divided to receive weekly injections of a placebo or 3, 6.25, 12.5 or 25 milligrams testosterone enanthate for 24 weeks. Blood samples were analyzed for testosterone levels, and sexual function, lean and fat body mass, muscle strength and power, and physical function were assessed before and after treatment.
Improvements in sexual function, desire, arousal and sexual frequency were associated with increases in free testosterone, as were increases in lean body mass and measures of muscle power, with those who received 25 milligrams experiencing a significant effect. Dr Huang noted that “A primary concern with testosterone therapy is that it can cause symptoms of masculinization among women. These symptoms include unwanted hair growth, acne and lower voice tone. It’s important to note that very few of these side effects were seen in our study.”
While testosterone was not associated with adverse effects in this trial, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the hormone for women. The authors suggest the initiation of long-term clinical trials to further evaluate testosterone’s risks versus benefits.
Source : Life Extension