Androgen replacement in menopause

Curr Womens Health Rep. 2001 Dec;1(3):202-5.


Menopause and the years leading to the menopausal transition are associated with significant decline in sex steroid levels. In contrast to the abrupt decline in estrogens at the time of menopause, a fall in the circulating testosterone and the adrenal preandrogens most closely parallel increasing age. Their accelerated decrease occurs in the years preceding menopause. It is now recognized that the decline in androgens plays a significant role in affecting perimenopausal and menopausal symptomatology and quality of life. Loss of circulating levels of androgens affects libido, vasomotor symptoms, mood and well-being, bone structure, muscle mass. Also, it influences cardiovascular profile. In the menopausal female (in whom these symptoms are clearly linked to low levels of bioavailable testosterone levels), hormone replacement therapy may be of benefit. Recently, interest is increasing in the use of androgen replacement not only for women who have undergone premature or surgical menopause but also for those who experience natural menopause and premenopausal loss of libido from diminished free testosterone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / deficiency
  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Androstenedione / pharmacology
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Menopause / drug effects*
  • Menopause / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Testosterone / pharmacology


  • Androgens
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone