Testosterone is typically viewed as a male hormone, but the reality is that women’s bodies naturally produce testosterone as well. If a woman is struggling to make the proper amount of testosterone on her own, her doctor might give her a prescription for hormone replacement therapy. Testosterone HRT can be quite helpful for certain female medical conditions, but it can lead to a few side effects.
Common Testosterone Side Effects in Females
There are many common side effects of testosterone among women who get injected with hormones. These effects are typically mild, and you may find that they fade away once your body gets used to the testosterone. However, any persistent side effects should be mentioned to your doctor.
Each time you get an injection, you may notice some pain, tingling, numbness, or swelling in the injection site. Other common side effects include swelling or pain in the breasts, headaches, and dizziness. Skin may become greasier, and acne is more common while taking testosterone.
Testosterone side effects include a variety of mental and emotional symptoms. Some people who begin taking testosterone find that they have increased anxiety or depression. People report that they react with excessive emotion to small upsets, and their moods can rapidly change. The injections may cause either an increase or a decrease of sexual drive in women.
Testosterone can cause a variety of issues with the mouth and stomach. Many people get swollen, painful, or reddened gums. They may find that their stomach cramps or feels full while eating. Some people also get diarrhea after taking testosterone.
Both young and adult women who take excessive testosterone may start to get male characteristics. This includes thinning hair on the head, hair growth on the chin and chest, a deeper voice, a larger clitoris, and impaired menstruation. These may go away if testosterone use is discontinued, but they may be irreversible if testosterone is taken for too long.
Serious Testosterone Side Effects
Though very rare, testosterone can cause an allergic reaction or other potentially dangerous side effects in both men and women. Seek medical attention immediately if you are taking testosterone injections and experience the following effects:
- Difficulty breathing
- Vomiting or persistent nausea
- Swollen, itchy, or discolored skin
- Excessive fluid retention
- Difficulty or pain during urinating
- Yellow skin, dark urine, and stomach pain due to liver problems
- Swelling, pain, and redness in a leg due to a blood clot in the legs
- Coughing, chest pain, or wheezing due to a blood clot in the lungs