Although testosterone is considered a male hormone, it is also present (albeit in small amounts) in women. However, 4-7% of American women produce too much testosterone in their ovaries and this very often leads to the condition known as polycystic ovary. Too high testosterone levels in women could be the basis of infertility due to anovulation (lack of ovulation) and a number of bothersome symptoms such as acne, a deeper voice, and pain. appearance of hair on the face. Often a woman's testosterone level drops only when she is on medication, although a change in diet can also have a noticeable influence.
Method 1 of 2: Lower Testosterone Levels Using Medication
Step 1. See your family doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any problem with your hormones. Blood tests can help identify hormonal imbalances. Hot flashes and outbursts of anger are classic signs of excess estrogen in women. However, the symptoms of high testosterone levels may be less obvious and take time to develop. Genetic predispositions and certain unknown exogenous factors are all elements capable of causing the dysfunction of certain glands (such as the ovaries, the pituitary and adrenal glands) and consequently an excessive secretion of testosterone.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often the result of too much testosterone in women. This condition could occur at any age after puberty.
- PCOS occurs because the overproduction of testosterone prevents the normal monthly release of an egg. Since the follicles can no longer open, both eggs and fluids collect in the ovaries, forming several small cysts.
- In addition to the absence of menstruation and PCOS, people with high testosterone levels in the body have other symptoms such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth), increased aggressiveness and hair loss. libido, increased muscle mass, clitoral growth, spread of acne, hoarseness, darkening and thickening of the skin.
Step 2. Control your blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a reduction in the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by obesity and is often the result of overproduction of insulin, which can cause the ovaries to make more testosterone. Therefore, obesity, type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance), increased testosterone levels and PCOS appear over time in women if no precautions are taken. Your doctor may give you tests to find out how much insulin and glucose you have in your blood so that you can see if you have diabetes or if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
- You can prevent yourself from type 2 diabetes and even cure it by losing weight, exercising regularly and changing your diet (for example, by consuming less hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates).
- Your doctor may prescribe certain medicines that will help you significantly reduce your body's resistance to insulin, such as metformin (Glucophage) or pioglitazone (Actos). These drugs can help regulate insulin and testosterone levels, which will help restore the menstrual cycle.
- When insulin and testosterone levels are high at the same time, your risk of developing high blood pressure, blood cholesterol imbalance (excess LDL cholesterol) and cardiovascular disease is high.
- One study has shown that 43% of people with PCOS suffer from metabolism syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is the conjunction of different risk factors and diabetes. Among these risk factors are hyperglycemia, obesity, hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
Step 3. Discuss taking birth control pills with your doctor
As soon as you get symptoms of PCOS due to too much testosterone in your blood, there is a good chance that you will have uterine cancer if the menstrual cycle has stopped (in women without menopause). Therefore, it is important to reduce your chances of developing cancer by taking necessary steps to restore your menstrual cycle. This could be done more easily by taking pills that contain only progesterones or by only taking birth control pills that contain the same level of progesterones and estrogen. Remember that taking pills during your period will not restore your fertility (ability to get pregnant).
- If you have PCOS, the benefits you can get from taking birth control pills are obvious. However, it is important that you check with your doctor about any side effects you may have, including low libido, mood swings, weight gain, headaches, breast tightness, nausea.
- Usually, the woman must take birth control pills for at least six months before seeing any change in symptoms of high testosterone in the blood, including decrease in facial hair, especially on the upper lips and acne.
Step 4. Consider taking antiandrogen medications
The second option available to women who suffer from high testosterone levels, especially those who do not have diabetes and who refuse to submit to birth control pills, is to take antiandrogen drugs. Androgens are a group of interrelated hormones comprising testosterone which is responsible for the appearance and development of male sexual characteristics. Among the most widely used antiandrogen drugs are spironolactone (Aldactone), leuprolide, Viadur, Eligard), goserelin (Zoladex) and abarelix (Plenaxis). Your doctor may prescribe low-dose antiandrogen drugs for about 6 months to assess their effectiveness and potential side effects.
- Antiandrogen drugs are also used by some transgender women (assigned male at birth) as a supplement to estrogen, in order to reduce too high a testosterone level.
- Other diseases that can cause testosterone levels to rise in women include tumors or cancer of the ovaries, Cushing's disease (disorder of the pituitary gland), and cancer of the adrenal gland.
- In healthy women, the ovaries and adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) produce up to 50% of their testosterone.
Method 2 of 2: Reduce testosterone through diet
Step 1. Eat enough soy products
Soybeans are rich in phytoestrogenic compounds still known as isoflavones (especially glycitein and genistein). These compounds mimic the effect of estrogen in the body and this could reduce the influence of progesterone. Soy also contains a compound called daidzein, which can be converted in the large intestine in some people (the process requires certain vital bacteria) into a highly antiandrogenic compound called equol. The latter can directly reduce the effects of testosterone.
- Soy products are diverse and can be found in cereals, breads, tofu and in various drinks, energy bars and meat alternatives (hotdogs and veggie burgers).
- Because of their effects on hormones, soy products are more recommended for women, despite the fact that they can still cause some side effects like gastrointestinal upset, allergies and increased risk of cancer. breasts in certain situations.
- High soy consumption can interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid glands (which is not good). It also has the effect of lowering testosterone levels.
- Soy is a phytoestrogenic product, it is also a compound that traps estrogen receptors. There is no no equivalent to estrogen produced by the human body. Estrogen from plants acts primarily on beta estrogen receptors, while estrogen produced by the human body acts on both beta and alpha receptors. Although some rumors claim otherwise, soy has been shown to be generally good for you and its consumption does not promote thyroid or breast (alpha receptor) problems.
Step 2. Consume more flax seeds
Flax seeds are very high in omega-3 fatty acids (which acts as an anti-inflammatory) and compounds called lignans which are highly estrogenic (which stimulate estrogen production). Lignans are also able to lower the level of testosterone in your body while preventing its transformation into the more active dihydrotestosterone. Remember to crush the flax seeds to make them more digestible. Sprinkle flax seeds on your breakfasts or yogurts. You can also find whole grain breads enriched with flax seeds at most reputable grocery stores.
- Lignans have the effect of increasing sex hormone levels and this could inactivate testosterone molecules by binding to androgen receptors in the body.
- Among the most consumed meals, flax seeds are by far the richest in lignans, followed by far by sesame seeds.
Step 3. Reduce your fat intake
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that needs cholesterol to be produced. Cholesterol is found only in saturated fat of animal origin (meat, cheese, butter, etc.). Some cholesterols are essential in the manufacture of steroid hormones and virtually all cell membranes in the body, but diets too high in saturated fat tend to overproduce testosterone. In addition, a diet too rich in monounsaturated fats (avocado, walnuts, canola and safflower olive oil) also increases testosterone levels. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are the only fatty acids that lower testosterone levels.
- Most vegetable oils (from rapeseed, wheat or soybeans) are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids of the omega-6 type. However, consuming them in too large a proportion could lead to other health problems. So be careful.
- The most recommended omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are most often found in fish oil, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring), flax seeds, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
- Eating a diet high in saturated fat could also significantly increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, although omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid is not highly recommended for your heart. The solution is to maintain a balance with natural fats while eliminating hydrogenated fats.
Step 4. Avoid consuming refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are high in carbohydrates and this could lower insulin levels and cause the ovaries to produce more testosterone. This process is identical to that of type 2 diabetes, although its effects are faster this time around. However, avoid consuming refined carbohydrates (any product made with high fructose corn syrup) and consume only healthy carbohydrates like whole grain products, fresh fruits and citrus fruits, high fiber vegetables, green vegetables and legumes.
- Products with a high content of refined sugar that you should avoid or consume in very small amounts include candies, cookies, cakes, pastry products, ice cream, chocolate, soft drinks and others. sugary drinks.
- A diet high in refined sugar can also increase the risk of heart problems, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
Step 5. Consider using herbal remedies
There are several herbs that may have antiandrogenic effects (according to various animal studies), although their effect on testosterone levels in women has not been studied further. Herbs most used for their anti-androgenic properties include palm kale, chaste tree, cimicaria, licorice, spearmint, peppermint tea, and lavender oil. Always consult your doctor before taking any herb that is believed to affect your hormones.
- Do not take these traditional remedies if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are looking to become a mother in the short term.
- Women who have previously suffered from cancer (breast, uterine, ovarian) or other hormonal problems should only use these herbs under the supervision of their doctor.
- Normally, women have about one-tenth of men's testosterone levels, but the older a woman gets, the more her testosterone levels can rise proportionately.
- Not all side effects caused by high testosterone in women are desired. These include increased libido (sexual appetite) and muscle mass.
- To better cope with your hirsutism, consider getting rid of facial hair or undergoing laser treatments.
- Vegetarian diets tend to lower the level of testosterone in the body, while diets high in saturated or monounsaturated fat tend to increase it.
- It is advisable to do cardiovascular exercises for weight loss, but think carefully before lifting heavy weights at the gym. This could clearly stimulate testosterone production in both men and women.