Androgen supplementation in women has received enormous attention in both the scientific and lay community. That it enhances some aspect of cognitive function, sexual function, muscle mass, strength and sense of well-being is not in question. What is not known is whether physiologic testosterone replacement can improve health-related outcome in older women without its virilizing side effects.
It is assumed that testosterone dose-response relationship is different in women than in men and that clinically relevant outcomes on the above-mentioned effects can be achieved at lower testosterone doses. These assumptions, however, have not been tested rigorously. Androgen deficiency has no clear-cut definition.
Clinical features may include impaired sexual function, low energy and depression and a total testosterone level of <15ng/dL (nanograms/deciliter), the lower end of normal range in our laboratory. Measurement of free testosterone is ideal, as it provides a better estimate of the biologically relevant fraction. It is not widely used in clinical practice, as some methods for measuring free testosterone assay are hampered by methodological difficulties.
In marked contrast to the abrupt decline in estrogen and progesterone production at menopause, serum testosterone is lower in older women than in menstruating women, with the decline becoming apparent a decade prior to menopause. The article reviews testosterone’s effects on sexual function, cognitive function, muscle mass, body composition and immune function in postmenopausal women.
Link to article: http://www.goodhormonehealth.com/symptoms/androgen.pdf