All I did was walk into my treatment room and say, “Good morning Alice. How are you?”
She immediately burst into tears. “I’m miserable,” she blurted out between sobs…
She had gained 20 pounds and lost all sex drive. She feared her husband was going to leave her. She had already seen doctor after doctor but was growing more frustrated.
First, she saw her OB/GYN, who asked if she was still having her periods. She was. Many women still experience periods in perimenopause—the early stages of the big change. The doctor told Alice to come back when her menstruation stopped.
Still suffering, Alice went to her general practitioner. He diagnosed her as depressed and wrote a prescription for the anti-depressant Paxil.
Alice took the Paxil. “It seems to numb my feelings of depression some, but I still don’t feel right. My sex drive is now worse than it was. I’m eating like a bird; it’s got to be these pills making me gain weight. It’s no wonder she was at her wits end when she arrived in my office.
I measured Alice’s hormone levels with a simple blood test. I looked at her estrogen, her progesterone, her DHEA and her testosterone. I had a hunch what I would find, but I can never be sure without the tests. Alice’s estrogen was normal, but she had low progesterone and zero testosterone.
I gave her a shot of testosterone to jumpstart her recovery and a prescription for bioidentical testosterone and progesterone. That was on a Monday. On Wednesday, she called my office thanking me.
Within weeks, Alice was her old self again. We stopped the Paxil in 2 weeks. She dropped the extra weight, was sleeping soundly through the night, and her sex drive was back. Even her husband called to tell me how happy he was with his “new and improved” wife!
Ladies, your doctor probably won’t talk to you about testosterone. Even the media gives it a bad rap. But, I’ve had a lot of success in my practice boosting women’s energy, mood, motivation, strength, and sex drive with this simple treatment.
You only need about a tenth as much as a man does, but it’s still critical.
Testosterone is proven to:
- Increase your sex drive and sexual satisfaction. One study showed a 42% increase in frequency of total satisfying sexual activity with testosterone therapy.1
- Slim down your body. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that women who took low doses lost more body fat and belly fat and gained more muscle than the control group.2
- Strengthen bones and prevent bone loss.3
- Protect against breast cancer. A study in the journal Menopause found that it significantly inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells. One of the authors of this study stated simply, “androgens (testosterone) may protect against breast cancer…4
- Lower your risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis. A John Hopkins University found that testosterone therapy in women notably reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.5
Unfortunately, just as with men, your levels nosedive with age—especially after menopause.
As you can see, your testosterone levels at menopause are only about a quarter of what they were in your 20s. This severe decline makes you gain weight, feel tired and depressed, and it completely zaps your sex drive.
In today’s newsletter, I’ll show you ways you can get your testosterone to healthy levels so that you start feeling better about yourself in and out of the bedroom.
Boost Your Testosterone the Natural and Easy Way
The first thing you should do is have your hormone levels checked by your doctor. It’s a simple blood test. A woman’s testosterone ranges from about 25 to 85, but a healthy man will have about 300 to 900. The key is to support the level of a healthy woman without getting into the range for men.
In my experience in measuring hormones in over 1000 women, they often feel better with testosterones toward the higher end of the normal range.
The good news is that there are safe, effective, and natural ways you can boost your testosterone. And the results can be dramatic for you. This is a good approach because your body will not make more than it needs.
And as I said your body only needs a tenth of the testosterone that men require. This means that adding just a little boost to your daily routine will produce results. And you don’t have to worry about these supplements losing their potency over time like a man does.
Here are some of the best herbal supplements that I have found to work wonders for women.
Chaste Berry: This herb is a natural hormone balancer. It helps balance your levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. I’ve seen good results with women taking 300 mg per day.
Tribulus Terrestris: Although very effective to boost testosterone in men, this herb has also been shown to gently increase testosterone in women who have a deficiency.6 Researchers from around the world have confirmed that Tribulus increases both your sex drive and your testosterone levels.7
Horny Goat Weed: This herb not only boosts testosterone production, it also helps ramp up nitric oxide (NO) levels. Nitric oxide relaxes and expands blood vessels to increase blood flow and circulation, two things that a woman’s libido relies on. This process allows a surge of blood to flow to all the right places at the right time. I recommend taking 50 mg per day.
Tongkat Ali: This herb has been used for hundreds of years throughout Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Clinical studies support what Malaysians have known all along: Tongkat Ali boosts your libido and naturally stimulates the production of testosterone.
For instance, in one study of mice, researchers discovered that Tongkat Ali set their sex lives on fire. There were dramatic boosts in sexual activity across the board – even in mice that were middle aged.8 I recommend taking 25 mg per day.
Zinc: Zinc has been shown to boost testosterone levels. In one study, athletes who supplemented with zinc did not have the depletion that those athletes who didn’t take zinc experienced.9 I recommend taking 100 mg per day of the chelated form of zinc.
Manage Stress and Exercise: Aside from taking these effective herbal supplements, two of the best things you can do to help boost your testosterone naturally are to reduce stress and to exercise. Here’s why…
When you are stressed, you release the stress hormone cortisol. Over prolonged periods, cortisol can cause your testosterone levels to plummet. That is why you need to take steps to manage your stress effectively.
Different things work for different people – it could be yoga, tai chi, meditation, massage, a warm bath, or even a walk. Find what works for you.
I find that even simple breathing exercises work wonders.
- Take a few minutes out of every day to breathe.
- Sit in a comfortable position, in a chair or on the floor with your back against the wall, and take deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your mouth.
- Be aware of the moment.
- Focus only on your breathing, in and out.
- Do this for about three minutes at least once a day.
You might be surprised to know that exercise boosts testosterone, no matter what your age. In 2001, a study was done on women age 19 to 25 to measure the impact of exercise on testosterone levels. After six weeks of resistance training (squat exercises) researchers found significant increases in testosterone levels in women.
Try doing resistance training three to four days a week. All it takes is 10 to 20 minutes of your time, and it can be applied to my PACE program. Good old-fashioned body weight exercises like the ones you used to do back in gym class are the best kind. Try mixing it up with different exercise – lunges, squats, squat thrusts, pull-ups, push-ups, dips, crunches, etc.
Here’s how you do my favorite – the hindu squat. This works your entire body and really gets your heart rate up.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Extend your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground with your hands open and palms facing down.
- Inhale briskly and pull your hands straight back.
- As you pull back, turn the wrists up and make a fist.
- At the end of the inhalation, your elbows should be behind you with both hands in a fist, palm side up.
- From this position, exhale, bend your knees and squat.
- Let your arms fall to your sides and touch the ground with the tips of your fingers.
- Continue exhaling and let your arms swing up as you stand.
- This brings you back to the starting position. Standing straight up with your arms extended in front of you, hands open and palms facing down.
Repeat at the pace of one repetition every four seconds. Once you are comfortable with the form, you can increase your speed to one squat per second.
Repeat until you feel winded. Rest, recover and do another set.
- Davis SR. Androgens and female sexuality. J Gend Specif Med. 2000 Jan-Feb;3(1):36-40.
- Lovejoy JC, et al. “Exogenous androgens influence body composition and regional body fat distribution in obese postmenopausal women–a clinical research center study.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1996; 81(6): 2198-203
- Michael H, et al. “Estrogen and testosterone use different cellular pathways to inhibit osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption,” J Bone Miner Res 2005; 20(12): 2224-32
- Dimitrakakis C, et al. Testosterone in limiting estrogenic stimulation of the breast. Menopause. 2003 Jul-Aug;10(4):292-8
- Golden SH, et al. “Endogenous Post-menopausl Hormones and Carotid Atherosclerosis: A Case Conrol Study of Atherosclerosis risk in Communities Cohort.” Am. J. Epidemiol. 155(5): 437-445
- Brown GA, et al. “Effects of androstenedione – herbal supplementation on serum sex hormone concentrations in 30 to 59-year-old men” Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2001; 71(5):293-301
- Gautham K, et al. Aphrodisiac properties of Tribulus Terrestris extract. Life Sci. 2002 Aug 9;71(12):1385-96.
- Ang HH, et al. Eurycoma longifolia increases sexual motivation. Arch Pharm Res. 1998 Dec;21(6):779-81.
- Brown GA, et al.