The debate continues as to whether or not women should be prescribed testosterone.
On one side, the Endocrine Society recently published a guideline recommending that healthy menopausal women not be prescribed testosterone, nor should they be diagnosed with testosterone deficiency, reported HealthDay News.
The Society claimed that there is no evidence supporting the use of testosterone or the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) by women who have low levels of these hormones, according to Medscape.com.
Testosterone is usually found naturally in women. It’s in androgens which are sex hormones that include testosterone.
DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands which are also converted into testosterone or a form of estrogen.
"Although limited research suggests testosterone therapy in menopausal women may be linked to improved sexual function, there are too many unanswered questions to justify prescribing testosterone therapy to otherwise healthy women," said Dr. Margaret Wierman of the University of Colorado, in a Society news release that was reported by HealthDay News. Wierman is the Endocrine Society’s guideline chair.
The Endocrine Society guideline specifically detailed that testosterone therapy should not be recommended to treat infertility or cognitive, cardiovascular, metabolic, or sexual dysfunction. And it is also not recommended to treat bone health or general well-being in women.
The guideline pointed out the possible risks that are linked with women using testosterone therapy:
- Changes in cholesterol
- Excessive hair growth on the face, back and chest
Furthermore, the risks associated with long-term breast and cardiovascular problems are unknown.
The guideline did say that there is one time when doctors should consider prescribing testosterone therapy to women. That’s when women are diagnosed with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
HSDD is defined as when a woman has no interest in sex and is distressed by that lack of interest, wrote HealthDay News.