Androgens in postmenopausal women: a review
There is significant interest in the use of androgen therapy for postmenopausal women. This review provides background on endogenous androgens in women, describes factors that affect circulating androgen concentrations, and examines the relationship between low levels of androgens and sexual problems. Possible effects of androgens in postmenopausal women beyond sexual function also are discussed. Clinical trials of androgen therapy for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder are reviewed, with a discussion of potential risks. A practical approach to using androgens to treat low sexual desire with associated distress is presented, accompanied by an illustrative case.