Nov. 23, 2004 A recently published dissertation from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that testosterone has both a physiological and a psychological impact on women's sexuality.
In her dissertation, gynecologist Angelique Flöter Rådestad has studied the effects of combined testosterone and estrogen on sexuality, well-being, and the consistency of bones and the body in women who have had their uterus and ovaries removed.
Several previous studies have shown that hormones like estrogen and progesterone have beneficial effects on the quality of life after menopause. But very little is known about the role of testosterone and what effect testosterone deficiency has on women. When both ovaries have been removed, the production of testosterone is reduced by half, which can affect the sexual function and well-being.
The dissertation demonstrates that women who received a combination treatment of estrogen and testosterone for 6 months experienced a significant improvement in certain aspects of their sexual function. The work also shows that endogenous testosterone plays a role in sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction. A testosterone supplement increased women's interest and joy in sex and their satisfaction with the extent of their sex life.
Combined testosterone/estrogen treatment and placebo/estrogen improved psychological well-being just as much.
The studies show further that supplemental testosterone has a beneficial effect on musculature and bone metabolism. On the other hand, a certain negative effect was observed on blood fats. Side effects in the form of hair growth and acne were rare.
In sum the dissertation indicates that testosterone is important in women's sexuality. The positive effects of bones and body structure may also be of significance for women who have had their ovaries removed.
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