Testosterone replacement therapy has been used since the 1940s. Injections, usually given every few weeks, are one of the oldest ways to increase testosterone. Gels are used widely in the . They are applied daily to the shoulder, abdomen, or upper arm. The general goal of treatment is to raise the blood testosterone level only into the mid-normal range -- about 400-700 ng/dL. Other methods include patches, oral adhesive tablets and TESTOPEL (testosterone pellets), which is a pellet that is injected subcutaneously and can last 3-6 months.
Extreme levels of circulating androgens, whether high or low, may have negative effects on women’s health. An excess endogenous testosterone level may be associated with unfavorable lipid profiles, insulin resistance and development of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. On the other hand, insufficient testosterone leads to impairment in sexual drive, reduced libido, and depressed mood. For optimal physiological and psychological health in women, circulating testosterone levels should be within normal ranges. Sensitivity to androgen may be different in various tissues even if the range is narrow. It may be beneficial to not only measure the levels of estradiol but also testosterone and DHEA or DHEAS in postmenopausal women to better understand underlying health-related issues.