Is Testosterone the New Frontier of Menopause Treatment?

Depends on who you ask.  Over in the UK, television presenter Davina McCall has been touting its benefits to her. The London Mail has some coverage in an article here.

Some excerpts:

Topping up testosterone levels can transform a woman’s flagging libido, [testosterone advocates] say, banish brain fog, and improve energy and mood. In the longer term, advocates add, it could even stave off dementia, improve bone strength and maintain muscle mass. * * *

Last week, figures revealed how powerful the so-called ‘Davina effect’ has been. NHS prescriptions for testosterone gels have rocketed ten-fold in the last seven years, with a significant uptick following the airing of Davina McCall’s documentary on the subject.

The data, from a Freedom of Information request by the Pharmaceutical Journal, revealed 4,675 women over 50 were prescribed testosterone in November 2022 alone – up from 429 in November 2015. The same pattern was true for women aged 49 and under.

But experts have pointed out these figures are only the tip of an iceberg. GPs remain cautious about prescribing the hormone – partly because there is no licensed testosterone drug specifically for women in the UK.

Far more patients are thought to get it privately, at a significant personal cost, from private doctors: the same doctors who are extolling its benefits the loudest. It means the true number of women taking it remains unknown, but it could run to more than 100,000.

***[D]octors and scientists say there is no evidence to justify most of the claims regarding testosterone.

Women are being exploited, they argue, by those who say the hormone gels are ‘the answer’ to their menopause problems.

They warn that, without appropriate supervision, patients could end up taking the hormone when they don’t need it, or taking too much – risking a wide range of side effects including acne, excess hair growth, greasy skin and even voice changes. They also warn of a condition called clitoromegaly, which causes the clitoris to become permanently enlarged.***

Hormone specialist Dr Annice Mukherjee said: ‘Women are being hood winked to some extent. Testosterone is a trend, driven by social media, which promises a one-size-fits-all approach to the menopause which is simply not the reality. When the right women get it, it’s transformational. When the wrong women get it, it can cause harm.

‘Some are struggling to feed their families during a cost-of-living crisis, and are being rightly told by their GP they don’t need testosterone. Yet they feel they’re being deceived because of what they’ve heard online. Many pay hundreds of pounds a year privately for it.

‘I’ve never seen so much confusion and distress among women because they feel they can’t get hold of what they think they need. It is so wrong.’

Read the full article here.

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  1. Pingback: A testosterona é a nova fronteira do tratamento da menopausa? - TKfriend

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