Testosterone supplementation for women
May 17, 2012 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Testosterone supplementation for women - looking for research or information to share with my doctor.

I'm a mid-40's woman with a low libido. I have a doctor's appointment coming up soon in which I plan to discuss the possibility of using testosterone supplementation to help with this. I have used compounded DHEA in the past with minimal results. Other ideas are welcome but I am especially interested in what the hive might know or point me to with regard to testosterone for use in women with low (OK, non-existant) libido. I am otherwise healthy and in a happy relationship.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Suzanne Somers has a new book out called "Bombshell" with a lot of info about women and hormone supplementation.
posted by zagyzebra at 7:45 PM on May 17, 2012

I have seen Dr. Leonetti for similar issues. She is a little woo-woo, but got me patched right up. She has links to articles and studies on her website and she has offices in FL and PA. She's very open minded and might even be willing to Skype and send you for tests. Anyway, her website might give you some ammo. BTW, for me, progesterone supplementation was what got me kickstarted, so maybe be open to getting your hormones in balance and your libido in gear rather than having the goal being just testosterone supplementation.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:53 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

My nurse practitioner prescribed a lovely little cocktail of Estradiol/Progesterone/Testosterone and it's amazing! I get it compounded at a mail-order pharmacy in Colorado, they have a short but good page about HRT.

Belmar Pharmacy

It's no woo-woo, it's science. Have your doc draw blood for hormone levels. When your testo comes out at zero, you can suggest a compounded pill.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:41 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

OP, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this! A decrease in libido in women is very common. The American Medical Association estimates that several million US women suffer from (FSAD) or Female Sexual Arousal Disorder.

It's so common that you shouldn't have to research this yourself. But you are right to do so, because often doctors will tell women the problem is with their relationship, or just in their heads. If you were a man and had issues with libido? Any doctor would be all over that, testing your testosterone and, if necessary, happily pouring Viagra samples into your open hands. You could even print up a page provided by Pfizer to take to your doctor instead of asking this question.

But some doctors won't accept that women's libido issues might be physical unless they have surgically had their ovaries removed (like me). They should make something available for women then, right? Well, I'm sorry to say that Ruthless Bunny is wrong on just this one thing: you can't take a pill, here in the U.S. , if you are a woman, even if your testosterone IS zero. There was once a pill with Methyltestosterone called Estratest, but it is no longer sold in the U.S.

Now, In the U.K., there's a testosterone gel patch, called Intrinsa, that can be prescribed to post-menopausal women. But even though Procter and Gamble tried to fast-track it, the FDA nixed it here, despite the fact that, "A P&G blinded exit interview of 132 patients from the two pivotal trials found a 52% to 31% meaningful response rate among the women treated." AND even though the FDA advisory committee voted, and agreed, 14 to 3, that this effect was "clinically meaningful." Why? Because they were worried that the patch might be prescribed "off label". So rather than regulating that, or leaving it up to the doctors or the women to decide how to prescribe it? They just said no.

But! As Ruthless Bunny says, you can go the bioidentical route!

The bioidentical form of testosterone is Methyltestosterone. Generally, it is used by women who have undergone either surgical or natural menopause, and it is compounded along with estrogen and progesterone in a cream or a gel form. The one I have is a cream that I rub on my thighs every day. It is (I'm reading the actual Rx here): BI-EST(50:50)-PROG-TEST 1.25-20-2MG/ML.

Contrary to popular belief, you can get some bioidentical hormones from your pharmacy without having to have them compounded. If you want either DHEA or testosterone, though, as you probably already know, you do, because of the FDA issue. I know that Suzanne Sommers made this look like hooey, and I'm really sorry for that, because there is a scientific basis for using bioidentical hormones. Suzanne Sommers' mistake is claiming she can cure cancer this way, or 'turn back the clock' and be youthful again by taking estrogen, which is of course nonsense.

Feel free to print up my comment in full, use the links in it, etc. to take to your doctor.

Bear in mind that you may not qualify for testosterone supplementation for sound medical reasons. But If your doctor does not take the fact that your libido is non-existent seriously and offer concrete suggestions for help, I strongly urge you, if at all possible, to get another doctor.
posted by misha at 11:51 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

To clarify, I meant that Dr. Leonetti is a little woo-woo/new agey. I am a big fan of BHRT - I experience the results for myself!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:24 PM on May 18, 2012

« Older Got Trouble finding River City   |   Finding Summer Research Opportunities Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.