Testosterone, an essential precursor of estrogen in women, is made in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There is a steady decline in testosterone levels from the 20s through menopause. With surgical menopause, the level of testosterone drops precipitously. No clear lower limit of testosterone has been established; however 15 ng per dL ( nmol per L) commonly is used. One study 38 found that women with 0 to 10 ng per dL (0 to nmol per L) had markedly decreased sexual desire in all situations and absent or markedly decreased orgasms. Because of studies like this, supplemented with anecdotal evidence, many women have been started on testosterone therapy.
My husband is now 50. His low-t set in about 3-3 1/2 years ago while he was deployed to Afghanistan. The doctors at the VA assumed it was just depression so they put him on an SSRI when he returned and also prescribed Viagra. They also checked his t-levels at that time and said they were “normal”. His libido tanked. Not good for me at all. I’m 9 years younger. When I found out that the SSRI could be to blame for his low libido he went back to the VA and switched meds. A year later it had not returned and he had also developed sleep apnea and was gaining weight. His mood was also very different and low. He was basically a completely different person. They checked his t-levels again, at my insistence, and again said they were “normal”. He retired in Jan 2014. By Jan 2015 the problem had not changed at all and he decided to see a GP. She had his numbers checked and said he was low, a 250. It frustrates me that the VA did not catch this. February 2015, he started using Androgel. At the end of June 2015 there was still no change and his numbers had actually dropped to a 235. He and the doctor decided to switch to injections. He gets a shot every 2 weeks. He had his third injection yesterday and still feels no different. My question… how long before he starts feeling different? Does the length of time we’ve been dealing with this matter? He is frustrated, wants to just give up on it. That breaks my heart because we aren’t as close as we were before.
Jay Campbell has many excellent podcasts on testosterone and TRT. The podcasts he did a few years ago with Cernovich led me to get tested and as a 30 year old found 480ng/dl. Under the old labcorp values thats ~17%th percentile and what I’d expect if I was in my late 50’s or 60’s. That’s less than optimal for me. Urologist said, of course, that I was too young for TRT and my values were “fine”. The anti aging clinics near me in the north east cost around $3k a year but if you are enterprising and can figure out bitcoin you can devise your own course of treatment via online sources and it might only cost say $600/year. Do your own research, learn how to use a needle, and get your bloodwork done regularly. As Mangan always tells us, you are in charge of your own health, not your doctor, and if your hormones are out of whack you need to get that fixed!