Testosterone therapy in women: myths and misconceptions

Maturitas. 2013 Mar;74(3):230-4. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Although testosterone therapy is being increasingly prescribed for men, there remain many questions and concerns about testosterone (T) and in particular, T therapy in women. A literature search was performed to elucidate the origin of, and scientific basis behind many of the concerns and assumptions about T and T therapy in women. This paper refutes 10 common myths and misconceptions, and provides evidence to support what is physiologically plausible and scientifically evident: T is the most abundant biologically active female hormone, T is essential for physical and mental health in women, T is not masculinizing, T does not cause hoarseness, T increases scalp hair growth, T is cardiac protective, parenteral T does not adversely affect the liver or increase clotting factors, T is mood stabilizing and does not increase aggression, T is breast protective, and the safety of T therapy in women is under research and being established. Abandoning myths, misconceptions and unfounded concerns about T and T therapy in women will enable physicians to provide evidenced based recommendations and appropriate therapy.

Keywords: Implants; Misconceptions; Safety; Testosterone; Therapy; Women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / drug effects
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hair / drug effects
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Health Status
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Mental Health
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Voice / drug effects


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Testosterone