British Menopause Society Tools for Clinicians: Testosterone replacement in menopause


1) How much and where does it come from?

Testosterone is an important female hormone. Healthy young women produce approximately 100–400 mcg per day. This represents three to four times the amount of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Approximately half of endogenous testosterone and precursors are derived from the ovaries e.g. androstenedione and half from the adrenal glands e.g. dehydroepiandrosterone. Some of the effects are direct and some due to peripheral conversion to estrogen by aromatase. Testosterone levels naturally decline throughout a woman’s lifespan. Loss of testosterone is particularly profound after iatrogenic i.e. surgical and medical menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency when testosterone production decreases by more than 50%.