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Testosterone Therapy in Women: Myths and Misconceptions Series

Great info from Rebecca Glaser

Testosterone (T) therapy is being increasingly used to treat symptoms of hormone deficiency in pre and postmenopausal women. Recently, especially with the advent of the T patch, additional research has been, and is currently being conducted on the safety and efficacy of T therapy. However, particularly in the United States (U.S.), there still exist many misconceptions about T and T therapy in women. This review addresses, and provides evidence to refute, some of the most common myths.

A major source of misconceptions regarding T therapy in women arises from epidemiological studies implicating elevated (endogenous) T levels with certain diseases. This data is misleadingly delivered to produce a pathogenic model of these diseases without enough evidence or plausibility to support a causative role. False conclusions repeated often enough, especially when supported with anecdotal observations, create ‘myths’ that become widely accepted, even in the absence of any biological or physiological rationale.

Another source of confusion concerning the safety of T therapy in both men and women is the extrapolation of adverse events (e.g., mental status changes, aggression, cardiac and liver problems, endocrine disturbances, abuse potential) from high doses of oral and injectable anabolic-androgenic steroids to T therapy, despite a lack of evidence. In this review, testosterone (T) refers only to bio-identical (human identical molecule) testosterone, not to oral, synthetic androgens or anabolic steroids.

In England and Australia, T is licensed and has been used in women for over 60 years. However, as of 2013, in the U.S., there is no licensed T product for women and human/bio identical T is regulated as a ‘schedule 3’ drug and included as a ‘class X’ teratogen.