Though testosterone is the dominant male hormone, women have some as well. Women who have high levels of testosterone, however, often have difficulty getting pregnant and carrying a pregnancy full-term. Complications may also arise during pregnancy if you have high testosterone levels 2. If you suspect you have a high level of testosterone, consult an endocrinologist for diagnosis and treatment.
One of the most common causes of high testosterone levels in women in polycystic ovary syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS 1. Because PCOS interferes with ovulation, this disorder is one of the most common causes of infertility, according to the National Institutes of Health 1.
Many women with high androgen levels don’t ovulate. If you don’t produce a mature egg and ovulate, you can’t get pregnant. Medications to lower testosterone, such as certain birth control pills or medications such as metformin, which improves insulin resistance, the cause of many PCOS symptoms, may induce ovulation. You may need more potent fertility medications such as Clomid or injectable medications called gonadotropins. ; June 2004'). All these factors make getting pregnant difficult.
Women with high testosterone levels also have a higher risk of miscarriage once they do get pregnant. December 2000'). Researchers from the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals also found high androgen levels in 11 percent of women with recurrent miscarriage, according to a February 2008 article published in “Human Reproduction. 4”
; August 2006').
- National Institutes of Health: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- "European Journal of Endocrinology"; Maternal Testosterone Levels During Pregnancy are Associated with Offspring Size at Birth; S. Carlsen, et al.; August 2006
- "Diabetologia Croatica"; Effect Increased Testosterone Level on Women's Fertility; Z. Seranda, et al.; June 2004
- "Human Reproduction"; Does Free Androgen Index Predict Subsequent Pregnancy Outcome in Women with Recurrent Miscarriage?; K.A. Cocksedge, et al.; February 2008
- "BJOG"; Endocrinological and Endometrial Factors In Recurrent Miscarriage; T. Li, et al. December 2000
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