What is the Importance of Testosterone and DHEA Replacement Therapy in Females?

Testosterone and its hormone relative DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) are androgen or male-like hormones, which aren't only important to men but have an important role in the female body as well. Androgens are important prohormones or precursors, for other steroid hormones, including estrogen. Androgens work on multiple organ systems and receptors in women, thus influencing sexual desire, bone density, muscle strength and mass, mood, energy, and psychological well-being. In women, approximately 40% of androgens are produced in the ovaries, 25% in the adrenal glands, and the remainder in peripheral tissues.

Reducing Hot Flashes for Women in Perimenopause and Post Menopause

Since androgens are estrogen prohormones and, as such, may influence hot flashes through the estrogenic pathway and affect serotonin levels. Testosterone increases serotonin, which decreases sweating. Preparations that include both an estrogen and an androgen may help with decreasing the hot flashes and sweating that occur in the perimenopausal/postmenopausal woman.

Testosterone can increase bone strength. Observational studies have correlated testosterone to greater bone mineral densities in women. There is even a suggestion the DHEA may influence bone mineral density as well.

Improving Women's Libido for Improving Intimacy

Female sexual dysfunction or low libido tends to be very common with prevalence as high as 42%. Androgens may have a role in treating female sexual dysfunction. However, female sexual dysfunction tends to be multifactorial and all contributing factors must be explored not just testosterone and DHEA levels.

Saliva Testing Measures Bio-Available Levels of Hormones

Hence the importance of testing for testosterone and DHEA levels. Saliva testing is preferred over blood or serum testing because the saliva measures bioavailable, active hormone levels. Therefore saliva allows the measurement of hormones, which can be utilized by the cells. It gives the most accurate picture of what the body is able to utilize. Saliva testing is also painless (no needles). Testing hormone levels is important because it correlates symptoms with exactly what is occurring hormonally. Once hormone therapy is initiated, follow-up testing tracks progress and allows for the adjustment of hormone therapy doses.

Prescription Compounding Provides Delivery Methods for Best Results

Prescription compounding allows many novel methods of delivery of androgens to women who are symptomatic and have low levels of androgens. Different delivery methods are available with the most common being oral capsules or topical creams/gels, however troches, sublingual drops, suppositories, and injections are available as well. Most importantly prescription compounding allows the pharmacist, physician, and patient to work together to make a customized dosage form specific to the unique needs of the individual.