Doctors say giving women testosterone could give them an energy boost and a new lease of life
I have suffered from Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) since my early twenties. It is what it sounds like – my ovaries have packed in too early and it goes alongside the obvious physical side affects of infertility and low oestrogen levels. I only recently started HRT having had a bad reaction to the pill in my 20’s, and just giving up on it. I was put on oestrogen patches and progesterone tablets, which have suited me well.
Given that there are no POF specialists in Ireland, I flew over to London recently for a consultation with Dr. Nick Panay to discuss long term care. Dr. Panay is a Consultant Gynaecologist, Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine & Surgery, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London and Chair of the British Menopause Society. In essence, he knows his stuff! He took a look at my recently hormone blood screen results and said the holy grail of words – “your oestrogen levels are pretty normal”. But he then pointed out that my testosterone was low. I sort of looked at him blankly, and he said women need this for energy, stamina and mood as well as the positive affects on libido, all of which can fall off the face of the planet in menopause.
Dr. Panay was recently featured in an article on BBC.co.uk regarding testosterone for women:
Mr Panay said: “They go from feeling drained to being able to run marathons again.”
Since there are no licensed products available for women, he had to prescribe it “off-label” which he found “frustrating”.
All licensed testosterone medications are designed for men and have to be measured down for women, he said.
So back in Ireland, I trudged into my pharmacy with my testosterone prescription in hand, with advice from Dr. Panay to just hand it to them and if they question it, to call his office. Thankfully my local pharmacy didn’t bat an eyelid and I went home with a box of individual testosterone gels, each one lasts 7-10 days. So far I’ve noticed my mood has improved, and most importantly, my dry eyes which appeared when I started HRT have gone back to normal. I also don’t feel the need to eat the entire contents of the fridge quite so much, which comes in handy at Christmas…
If you’re hitting the menopause, or if your energy levels are cruddy and you feel like you’re not running on a full tank, I would suggest getting your hormone levels checked out. If your testosterone is low, a good gynae will recommend testosterone and will prescribe it for you.