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Other Menopause and testosterone

Rose White

MyPTSD Pro
Ok, first off, I know menopause isn’t a disorder but I figured this is a good sub forum for it because it is treated like one. Anyway, listened to a podcast where a woman shared her experience transitioning to male and back. I learned a lot about menopause which surprised me, but after I thought about it it made sense.

This is going to admittedly ramble (poor concentration is a symptom of menopause after all) but I will try to bring it all together. So I was listening to this other podcast hosted by the manliest man Andrew Huberman. He was talking to an Israeli scientist about the inheritance of memories across generations—that’s a thing now. Anyway, they were talking about how the germ cells (sperm/eggs) don’t just wait for reproduction, they also affect all the other cells of the body’s gene expression through hormonal interactions. And Dr. Huberman 🏋️‍♂️ said that after neutering his dog it got depressed so he put it on testosterone therapy and it became it’s old self again. It’s important to note that Huberman is stacked. So he understands testosterone in an intimate way. I am not suggesting he supplements himself with it, just that he understands it.

Anyway, when he said his dog was depressed and then became it’s old self from the Testosterone I remembered what that woman said about her hormone journey. She said that she had already started puberty and was around 13 when she started the puberty blockers. And she said that they made her feel horrible! She had tingling, burning, itching in her legs and hands. And she was lethargic. When she started testosterone it was a welcome relief.

I have tried on multiple occasions to ask women older than me what menopause was like and they just sort of shrug and say hot flashes. So when this woman mentioned the tingling and itching I looked it up and Dr. Google said that estrogen is closely connected to skin and nerve function, which is what causes tingling, burning, itching in menopausal women when it goes away.

Then I looked up lethargy and there were innumerable articles about menopausal fatigue. I’ve been feeling more fatigued lately as I approach 50 so I think that might be related but who knows.

When she started the testosterone she experienced a sharp increase in her confidence, a massive increase in sex drive, and it was super easy to build muscle.

The sex drive and muscle made sense to me but I hadn’t thought about the confidence thing. Is it possible that men, or people with higher levels of testosterone, find it easier to slip into a sense of confidence? That had never crossed my mind but it opened an avenue of thought for me. By no means am I claiming that all men are confident and no women are confident. But I wondered about the connection between testosterone and confidence.

And what does confidence even mean? Because I think that post-menopausal women are generally more confident than younger women, but is it possible that women going through menopause have lower confidence than pre or post? I learned that testosterone levels prior to menopause are three times higher than after.

So then I thought back to Huberman’s depressed dog who received testosterone therapy. And I remembered hearing the ads for men with “low-T.” And I wondered… are men with low-T experiencing what menopausal women are dealing with? So I looked up the symptoms of low-T: low libido, infertility, muscle mass loss, fat gain, balding, mood changes, poor concentration, and less energy.

That sounds a lot like menopausal symptoms. So I looked those up too: hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, anxiety, mood swings, and low self-esteem.

Hmm… low self esteem sounds like low confidence. And they didn’t mention for women the reduced muscle/bone mass and increased fat, but I know those are symptoms too. And women bald in menopause and lose ability to focus. So then I wondered… why don’t people treat menopause with testosterone? And it turns out… they do! But only in cases where estrogen replacement therapy doesn’t work.

All this is to share my journey learning about menopause and testosterone because I am a curious science-y person who wants to know what the heck might happen to me. And also I’m wondering why women can’t get low doses of testosterone to help with fatigue, poor concentration, confidence, muscle building, etc.

If you want to share your experiences with menopause or stuff you’ve learned about it please do. And if you are a person who has experienced testosterone fluctuations or learned about testosterone please do.
 
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I use soy, ginseng, flax seed oil and valerian root to treat a variety of symptoms. Like anything else, make sure none of these supplements would interfere with any medications you are taking. If you've had breast cancer stay away from the soy and soy products completely as it mimics estrogen, but is great for menopausal symptoms. I am learning more about herbal remedies and it is absolutely fascinating and am making my own (not soy but I don't use anything but organic) from the raw material. Amazing what grows in the wild and what it can be used for.
 
i haven't jumped the medical hoops to measure hormone levels, etc., but male menopause makes logical sense to me and i've talked to waaaaay more than one man who solidly believe in male menopause. the male reproductive system is far simpler and the symptoms are far more subtle, but nonetheless there and real. my favorite of the names i've heard is the name waylon jennings made famous with his song, "middle aged crazy."

as for my own menopause, i found myself completely unable to trust the science community's take on menopause, even for women who never suffered the trauma of child prostitution. i don't believe any of the doctors i talked to had ever seen, much less studied a natural menopause. what is your baseline, my masked and socially distant stranger? i'm pretty sure i've seen the glint of cultural bias in your science.

i followed the counsel of an old babysitter who treated menopause like early adolescence. stay busy with other stuff and trust the natural process. i took to calling myself, "an adolescent old lady" during my menopause.
 
So I can only speak of testosterone from a sports point of view, as that’s my background.

It’s extremely common knowledge in sport that as well as all the physical effects, testosterone massively increases motivation, confidence, self belief, will to win etc etc.
I can’t remember the exact figure but WA have banned women and will monitor high testosterone in women as it is known to give such an advantage. There’s loads of studies on it, if you interested to google for them.

So essentially yes, it’s incredibly well supported that testosterone will increase confidence, the desire to dominate, motivation to succeed.
 
Interesting. About to start HRT.
and read an article about the NHS proposing CBT for menopause symptoms…..
and it mentioned testosterone, and that women were paying privately to get that as I’m not sure it is available on the NHS.
 
my favorite of the names i've heard is the name waylon jennings made famous with his song, "middle aged crazy."
LMFAO!
it’s incredibly well supported that testosterone will increase confidence, the desire to dominate, motivation to succeed.
By all means, keep it away from women then! 😂 They do enough damage already—secretly hoarding all the real social power in their 🙀! (Loads of sarcasm—sorry)
 
By all means, keep it away from women then! 😂 They do enough damage already—secretly hoarding all the real social power in their 🙀! (Loads of sarcasm—sorry)
They always ban the good stuff 🤣 you know it works when it’s banned at all times across every sport - even the two that male/female compete in the same category.
 
It does depend on the results you're looking for, as after a certain point testosterone will result in permanent side effects that may cause gender dysphoria for cisgender women such as body and facial hair, thickening of the vocal tract resulting in deeper voice, bottom growth (the clitoris becomes a lot larger, sometimes inches larger) and can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke and cause your hairline to recede.

Testosterone is usually titrated because if you try to do it all at once, it gets de-converted back into estrogen. So with all of the positive effects T can bring, there are a lot of downsides to testosterone supplementation in cis women. After a certain point, surgeries such as hysterectomy and oopherectomy are considered. This is currently controversial but is related to cancer, increased pain/cramping, etc.

After that point, you must be on testosterone for the rest of your life because lacking a dominant sex hormone has significant orthopedic side effects like bone weakening, arthritis, etc. It is also fairly definitively known that fluctuations in hormones can impact mood, so it makes sense that during menopause women deal with lower confidence as their bodies are changing in late adulthood. My knowledge on this only comes from the perspective of being trans, so take it with a grain of salt.
 
it gets de-converted back into estrogen.
This is very interesting! I studied zoology but only limited studies of metabolism. The most I know is that hormones are related to cholesterol and stored in fat I think? I know estrogen is.

I used to think that the default sex was female but in that Huberman podcast the guest (Dr. Oded Rachavi) studies the model organism C. elegans, a nematode, microscopic round worm that mostly lives on rotting vegetation (it’s not a parasite.). They eat bacteria.

Anyway, the default is hermaphroditism and unlike snails they don’t have to mate with each other, they just self-fertilize. But in a given population there will also be males (as far as I know there are no females, only hermaphrodites and males.). So the hermaphrodites sort of function like females. While they can mate with males there is a cost because it takes energy, the males can injure them, and it dilutes their genes (only half get passed on). So why mate with males at all? Because when they get old (life span three weeks) their sperm become less fertile and so they seek the sperm of the young males by secreting a pheromone to draw them in.

Low T reduces fertility. Invertebrates do not produce testosterone though they can respond to it because they have related steroids that control their growth and sexual development.

Anyway, I’m prattling on, but it seems that the ancestral condition was hermaphroditism and then the first sex were males, probably as an evolutionary tool for rapid population diversification in unstable environments. By the time vertebrates evolved, non-hermaphroditic females already existed. I wonder why it was more adaptive to cast off self-fertilization? (Maybe there was pressure for runaway diversity.)

Anyway! @Weemie your responses tend to get me putting on my pondering hat on and taking a stroll!
 
A friend told me that anyone can get testosterone. That he got two bottles from a tv as some years ago. I looked it up and no, not that easy. But testosterone boosters yes. And one of them is nettles—which is supposed to be really good for women too—lots of minerals. One time I drank nettle tea religiously and it strengthened my hair and teeth significantly. Anyway… stuff to think about.
 
This is kind of related. Someone else posted about how sexual abuse (I think they were referring to csa) might cause early menopause.

And I was thinking about how sexual assault might affect testosterone (or other steroid) production in the body. Not sure if there’s been research on this. But my hunch says that sexual assault (at any age) alters production of steroids, maybe as a kind of stress response, the body responding to the environment.

And from what we know about epigenetics I suspect that such changes to the steroid functions *could* be expressed in the offspring of someone who experienced sexual assault.

But regardless of whether some trait related to sex steroids is passed on to offspring, I think there are likely changes (not necessarily permanent) to the hormonal systems of people who experienced sexual abuse.

I realize there’s a difference between a man taking testosterone boosters and a woman taking them, and there’s a difference between a woman taking testosterone boosters pre, during, and post menopause. I know that vaginal dryness happens with menopause and I’ve heard that trans men have to deal with vaginal dryness. I am wary in general of tipping the hormonal balances unless deemed medically necessary.
 
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