What Causes Women to Have High Testosterone Levels

What Causes Women to Have High Testosterone Levels?

April 9, 2024 By sexmedz Off

What Causes Women to Have High Testosterone Levels, many people think of testosterone as a “male” sex hormone, but women produce small amounts of it in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Higher levels of testosterone can increase the risk of acne, body hair, and other characteristics. They may indicate an underlying health problem.

Along with the female sex hormone estrogen, testosterone plays a role in the growth and maintenance of female reproductive tissues and bone mass. These hormones also influence behavior.

In this article, learn about the conditions that cause high testosterone levels in women, along with the symptoms and treatment.

Understanding High Testosterone Levels in Women

Although testosterone is typically associated with men, women also produce it in their ovaries and adrenal glands.

According to one study, typical testosterone levels in women are between 15 and 70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

Some women may notice higher levels than recommended due to hormonal disorders and medical issues.

Common symptoms of high testosterone in women are acne, deep voice and excessive hair growth.

It can also lead to low libido in women, irregular periods, and small breast size.

Symptoms of high testosterone in women

Symptoms of high testosterone in women can vary widely and may include:

  • Irregular or absent periods.
  • Increased hair growth in areas where men usually grow hair, such as the face, chest and back.
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Deepen the voice
  • Increased muscle mass.
  • Reduction of breast tissue.

Causes of high testosterone levels in women

Several factors are responsible for high testosterone levels in women. Let’s check in detail.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – This is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It is characterized by enlargement of the ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. PCOS often causes high levels of androgens, especially testosterone.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) – This is a genetic disorder that affects the ability of the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. CAH is usually diagnosed in infancy or early childhood.

Tumors – Certain tumors, particularly those of the ovaries or adrenal glands, can lead to overproduction of testosterone.

Insulin Resistance – Insulin resistance, often associated with conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome, can lead to increased insulin levels in the body. This, in turn, can trigger increased androgen production.

Obesity: Excess body fat can increase the conversion of other hormones to testosterone, contributing to higher levels.

Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and some contraceptives, can affect hormone levels and potentially lead to high testosterone levels.

Menopause – During menopause, there may be a relative increase in testosterone levels due to decreasing estrogen levels.

Diagnosing High Testosterone Levels in Women

Diagnosing high testosterone levels in women, a condition known as hyperandrogenism, involves several approaches.

Initial Assessments: Initial assessments typically include a complete medical history and physical examination. Symptoms such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne and irregular menstrual cycles are considered.

Blood tests: Blood tests are essential for measuring serum levels of testosterone and other hormonal markers. Additionally, imaging studies such as ultrasound may be performed to evaluate the ovaries for abnormalities such as cysts.

Diagnostic Tests: Diagnostic tests help doctors understand individual conditions and create treatment plans.

Treatment Options for High Testosterone Levels in Women

Treatment options will depend on the underlying cause. They may include:

Lifestyle changes: These may include weight control, regular exercise and a balanced diet, especially for conditions such as PCOS and insulin resistance.

Medications: Depending on the diagnosis, hormonal contraceptives, antiandrogens, and insulin-sensitizing medications may be prescribed.

Surgery or radiotherapy: In cases of tumors, surgical removal or radiotherapy may be necessary.

Insulin sensitizers – For women with insulin resistance, medications such as metformin may be prescribed to improve insulin sensitivity and help regulate hormone levels.

Advice and support – Managing the physical and emotional aspects of high testosterone can be difficult. Seeking counseling or joining support groups can be extremely helpful.


Testosterone plays an important role in the overall health of men and women.

In some cases, women may observe problems due to increased testosterone levels.

This makes people wonder, “Why would a woman have high testosterone?” »

These causes typically include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome and genetic disorders such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Both conditions are the most common cause of high testosterone levels in women, or AFAB.

Some women may also experience elevated testosterone levels due to excessive stress and anxiety.

Doctors usually prescribe antiandrogens and hormonal birth control pills as treatment.

It is always important to consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of elevated testosterone.


Why should a woman’s testosterone level be high?

A woman’s testosterone levels may be elevated due to congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What if testosterone levels are high in women?

A. High levels of testosterone in women, called hyperandrogenism, can lead to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hirsutism, acne, irregular menstrual cycles and emotional changes. It can also impact fertility and metabolic health. Treatment is available for management.

Is high testosterone in women treatable?

A. Yes, it is possible to treat high testosterone levels in women. A combination of lifestyle changes, hormone therapy, and, in more severe cases, surgical options can effectively manage the condition. Consulting a healthcare professional is essential for personalized treatment.