Is it wise to take a testosterone supplement?
Before answering this question we should look a little bit of the history of testosterone’s use in men and women.
The very word testosterone conjures up an image of rather power-hungry and oversexed alpha males like Russell Crowe in Gladiator and Arnold Schwarzenegger in real life. However in America it is readily available and has been dubbed “the new viagra”. You can get patches, gels, injections and implants supplementing testosterone levels, and consumers over the world can also get hold of it over the internet. The past 15 years in the UK has seen many men being prescribed testosterone replacement therapy, mainly to try an alleviate the symptoms of the male menopause, the andropause. These symptoms include night sweats, libido and tiredness.
Recently, however, awareness has grown of the benefits to women or testosterone treatment. Malcolm Whitehead is a Harley Street consultant and he hit the headlines a while ago by commenting that he had been prescribing testosterone to some female MPs in order to help them be able to successfully compete in the debating chamber with male colleagues. Other high-achieving women have also admitted taking testosterone supplements in order to help their performance in the workplace.
Scientists also announced that testosterone patches have been found to be successful in helping women who wish to regain their libido following surgically induced menopause, which had caused their testosterone levels to be very low. But these patches are being prescribed more for individual tailor-made reasons than for general sexual dysfunction problems.
Women produce testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. But when a woman hits her forties, the hormone levels drop and a woman can feel sluggish and lack energy as well as lacking in sexual desire. Women at that age who wish to feel more driven, energetic and sexually attractive would find it wise at least to consider testosterone therapy.
For men, testosterone has an effect on libido and sex drive as well as sharpening memory and mental focus, both of which are useful in a high-pressure job. Alzheimer’s sufferers also find it helps to improve their mental faculties. This is because there has been found to be a link between declining levels of testosterone and estrogen in the brain and the onset of dementia. So as men get older they may also find it wish to consider testosterone supplements.
The reason testosterone therapy is controversial is because the correct dosage is difficult to monitor. Should you see benefits from an initial dosage would you be tempted to increase your dose when you have a hot date or a day when you need an edge on your competition? There are many side-effects of testosterone overdoses which are covered elsewhere on the site.
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