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Can females have high testosterone levels?

Answered by: Dr. Anju Virmani
Consultant Endocrinologist,
Sunder Lal Jain Hospital,
New Delhi

Q. I want to know the reasons for high testosterone levels in females and how it can be cured?

A.  You have not stated it specifically, but I presume your presenting complaint is hair growth on chin and chest, perhaps associated with irregular periods, and/ or darkish colour of skin in the neck and armpit folds (acanthosis). This is often due to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is becoming quite common in adolescent girls and young adult women. The high testosterone levels are associated with, and most of us endocrinologists feel due to, high levels of insulin. Taking Ginette 35 for several months is a good way to control the high testosterone; in addition, it is important, in order to reduce the high levels of insulin, to make several lifestyle changes like: a) Regular exercise (walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, etc.) b) Reduce the intake of oily, fried, and sugary foods, e.g. fried snacks, fast foods, cold drinks, juices, etc. Instead, take plenty of fruits, salads, whole and sprouted dals, etc. Do not miss meals; and do not starve in terms of total quantity of food.

A.  You have not stated it specifically, but I presume your presenting complaint is hair growth on chin and chest, perhaps associated with irregular periods, and/ or darkish colour of skin in the neck and armpit folds (acanthosis). This is often due to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is becoming quite common in adolescent girls and young adult women. The high testosterone levels are associated with, and most of us endocrinologists feel due to, high levels of insulin. Taking Ginette 35 for several months is a good way to control the high testosterone; in addition, it is important, in order to reduce the high levels of insulin, to make several lifestyle changes like: a) Regular exercise (walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, etc.) b) Reduce the intake of oily, fried, and sugary foods, e.g. fried snacks, fast foods, cold drinks, juices, etc. Instead, take plenty of fruits, salads, whole and sprouted dals, etc. Do not miss meals; and do not starve in terms of total quantity of food.

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