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Normal Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Women

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What happens when testosterone levels rise or fall? continued...

PCOS is associated with:

  • Higher levels of circulating male hormones
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate intolerance -- conditions that make you prone to gaining weight
  • Low levels of HDL -- ''good'' -- cholesterol
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • High LDL -- ''bad'' -- cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

As women with PCOS age, the presence of these risk factors increases their risk for heart disease.

At menopause, women experience a decline in testosterone. That decline may be correlated to a reduced libido. Some findings indicate that testosterone replacement therapy may benefit sexual function in certain perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Testosterone replacement is unadvised in women with breast or uterine cancer. It also may increase the chances of cardiovascular disease or liver disease. So, experts are cautious about recommendations.

 

How do I know if my hormone levels are too high or too low?

Your doctor can do a physical examination and assess your health situation and symptoms to determine if further laboratory tests are needed to check hormone levels. Those tests may be important if you have a health condition such as PCOS or have stopped menstruating because of excessive athletic training or anorexia nervosa. If the tests show abnormal levels of hormones, your doctor can prescribe effective treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on November 21, 2014
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