High Testosterone In Women: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, And More

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

A woman’s ovaries produce modest testosterone, a sex hormone primarily found in the male.

When combined with estrogen, a sex hormone in females, testosterone aids in developing, preserving, and repairing a woman’s reproductive tissues, bone mass, and behavioral traits.

Normal levels of testosterone secretion by the female body are much lower than those by the male body.

Compared to male levels, which generally range from 280 to 1,100 ng/dL, normal female levels fall between 15 to 70 ng/dL. In the course of a day, as well as from day to day, the body’s hormone levels change.

Most often, congenital adrenal hyperplasia or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the underlying medical condition that causes elevated testosterone levels in females.

An intersex condition, when the person possesses hormonal, chromosomal, or physiological sex differences that don’t fit into the conventional, binary description of male or female, may in some situations, be the cause.

In extreme circumstances, excessive testosterone levels in females may signify a more severe disease in which tumors on the ovaries or adrenal gland may be present.

Having said all that, if you think that you have symptoms of high testosterone, then you might want to take professional help to access your exact levels of testosterone.

At the same time, you could take help from some of the healthy foods that lower testosterone levels naturally.

high testosterone in women

The hormone that is associated with men is testosterone. This hormone is nevertheless produced by both males and women. The body is controlled by hormones, which are molecules.

They often originate from one site in the body and go on to other organs. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and growth hormone are some hormones present in the body.

The study shows the presence and significance of testosterone in women’s bodies. Testosterone hormone is produced in the following part of the body-

  • Male testes
  • Females ovaries
  • Adrenal gland

In comparison to women, men’s bodies contain more testosterone. In either sex, negative symptoms may manifest if testosterone levels are out of balance.

Symptoms Of High Testosterone In Women

Your menstrual cycle may be erratic or nonexistent if your body generates too much testosterone. Compared to the average woman, you can have more body hair.

Frontal baldness can appear in certain females with high testosterone levels. Acne, clitoris enlargement, muscular gain, and voice deepening are some more side effects that could occur.

A typical symptom of high testosterone levels is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can also cause infertility.

When women of reproductive age have trouble getting pregnant, they may have PCOS, an endocrine disorder.

Women with PCOS experience symptoms that are comparable to those brought on by elevated testosterone levels. They comprise:

Conditions that increase your risk of gaining weight include carbohydrate intolerance.

  • “Good” cholesterol HDL levels that are too low
  • Increasing triglycerides
  • High levels of the “bad” cholesterol LDL
  • Obesity
  • Excessive blood pressure

These risk factors make older women with PCOS more likely to develop heart disease.

When women reach menopause, their testosterone levels have been declining steadily since their 20s. Reduced libido could be linked to that decline.

Some postmenopausal and perimenopausal women may experience improved sexual performance as a result of testosterone replacement therapy, according to the report.

Women who have uterine or breast cancer should not replenish their testosterone. It might also raise the risk of liver or cardiovascular disease. Thus, recommendations from specialists are cautious.

Causes Of High Testosterone In Women

Changes in the levels of female hormones are brought on by a variety of conditions. Here are a few of the major causes of elevated testosterone levels in women.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

    One in ten ovaries-containing individuals worldwide suffers from PCOS, an endocrine disorder. The menstrual cycle is disrupted by PCOS, which also makes it challenging to conceive.

    Typical signs of PCOS include these –

    • Excessive hair on the face or body
    • Ovaries that are larger and produce follicles but don’t consistently release eggs
    • Irregular, infrequent, or lengthy menstrual cycles
    • Obesity
    • Body with apple shaped appearance
    • Acne

    PCOS may also increase the risk of sleep apnea, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and a variety of reproductive issues.

    The majority of PCOS sufferers share symptoms with other men who have high testosterone levels, yet the exact origin of PCOS is unknown.

  2. Hirsutism

    The excessive growth of body and facial hair in females is referred to as hirsutism. Male-pattern hair growth, typically black and coarse, on the back, face or chest is one of the signs of hirsutism.

    When women have high testosterone levels, a process known as virilization can occur that results in the development of other symptoms in addition to hirsutism. Virilization symptoms include –

    • A smaller breast size
    • Extreme baldness
    • Bigger clitoris
    • Acne
    • Muscular mass
    • Voice getting deeper
  3. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

    As the adrenal glands generate androgens and cortisol, CAH is a term used to describe a set of genetic diseases related to them.

    Both the body’s blood pressure and metabolism are controlled by these hormones. In addition, testosterone and DHEA are produced by the adrenal glands.

    Too much testosterone and too little cortisol are produced in CAH because an enzyme required to help control the release of these hormones is missing.

    CAH can range from mild (non-classical CAH) to severe (classic CAH). The signs of CAH resemble other disorders linked to high amounts of testosterone in females, such as the following –

    • Voice becoming deeper
    • Increased clitoris
    • Acne
    • Early development of pubic hair
    • Excess hair on the face and body
    • Periods that are irregular and scarce
    • The growth that is stunted as an adult yet grows quickly as a child
  4. Thyroid Problems

    Only a few of the numerous biological processes which the thyroid gland affects include metabolism, hormone production, and hormone concentration in the body.

    Hypothyroidism can lead to decreased production of the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is necessary for preserving the balance of sex hormones in a person’s blood.

    If SHBG levels go too low, an increase in testosterone may occur along with the associated symptoms.

  5. Insulin Resistance

    When the body is unable to recognize the hormone insulin, insulin resistance develops, which in turn raises blood sugar levels.

    The bloodstream then has an excess of insulin, which encourages the ovaries to produce more testosterone.

Treatment Options Of High Testosterone In Women

Depending on the reason, excessive testosterone can be treated with both medication and dietary modifications with a little change in the lifestyle.

  1. Hormone Replacement Therapy

    Because of the lowered estrogen levels during menopause, testosterone levels may increase.

    The optimal course of treatment for these entails a combination of lifestyle modifications, natural remedies, and hormone replacement therapy.
  2. Androgen Deprivation Therapy

    In the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the focus of treatment is on managing symptoms like acne, excessive hair growth, and irregular periods.

    Low-dose birth control pills are recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    To counteract the effects of testosterone, you can utilize androgen deprivation therapy, which involves taking antiandrogens like spironolactone or drugs that boost insulin production like metformin.

  3. Glucocorticoids

    Glucocorticoids are used to treat poor cortisol production and the ensuing rise in androgen production by the adrenal glands if the excessive testosterone is the result of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) which also causes congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

  4. Lifestyle Changes

    It’s also advantageous to make some lifestyle adjustments, like starting an exercise routine for weight loss programs.

  5. Cosmetic Procedures

    Some women prefer advanced operations like electrolysis and laser therapy, while others prefer cosmetic procedures like shaving, bleaching the facial hair, managing greasy skin with medications like benzoyl peroxide, etc.

  6. Herbal Remedies

    Spearmint, saw palmetto, licorice, chaste berries, peony, and black cohosh are examples of herbs with anti-androgenic qualities that have been scientifically verified.


In addition to promoting other reproductive hormones, testosterone also aids in the production of new blood cells, bone health, and libido in women.

In comparison to men, who normally have testosterone levels between 300 and 1000 ng/dL, women typically have levels between 9 and 55 ng/dL.

An excess increase in testosterone levels in women is a result of biological factors. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a disorder in which the adrenal glands or ovaries overproduce male hormones, may be one of these causes.