Can testosterone help with menopause?

Samantha Wild
Clinical Lead for Women's Health and Bupa GP
31 January 2023
Next review due January 2026

Testosterone levels can lower during menopause, which can reduce your sex drive. Taking testosterone can sometimes help. It’s usually offered alongside other hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Your doctor may also offer testosterone if you’ve reached menopause early (premature menopause) or after surgery. Here, I explain how testosterone can ease menopause symptoms, and how it’s taken.

two people having fun, piggy back on a bridge

What happens to testosterone levels during menopause?

Testosterone is a hormone that everyone produces in their bodies. As we get older, we start to produce less. If you go through the menopause, either naturally or after having your ovaries removed, your testosterone levels will reduce. And, these changes to our hormones can have a big impact on how we feel.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and testosterone are hormonal treatments for menopause. They work by replacing the hormone levels that have fallen in your body.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone in menopause?

Low testosterone during menopause can cause:

  • low sex drive (reduced libido)
  • tiredness
  • difficulty concentrating

Transgender men and people who identify as non-binary may also experience menopause symptoms.

Some symptoms like low sex drive or being less aroused can also be a symptom of other things. Changes in your relationship, other health problems and depression can all affect how you feel about sex.

If you’re going through the menopause and any of these symptoms are affecting your day-to-day life, speak to your doctor.

How can I increase my testosterone during menopause?

Your doctor may prescribe testosterone as a gel or cream that you rub onto your skin to increase your levels.

There’s also an implant available that contains testosterone, which goes under the skin. But, it’s not commonly offered, and may only be available from a specialist.

It can take up to six months to feel the full effects of testosterone. But you might start to feel some benefits after three months. If you have any questions, speak to your pharmacist or doctor for advice.

Should I take testosterone for menopause?

Before trying testosterone, your doctor will usually offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) first. This can help with lots of menopause symptoms. If HRT doesn’t work for you alone, your doctor might suggest trying testosterone alongside HRT.

Some people can’t take testosterone. If you’ve had hormone sensitive breast cancer in the past or have active liver disease, testosterone might not be right for you.

At the moment, testosterone isn’t licenced to treat menopause symptoms. That means it’s called an ‘off-label’ medicine for menopause. Some medicines can be prescribed to be used ‘off-label’ to treat a different condition that they were first licensed for. Because of this, you might need to see a specialist to have it prescribed.

What are the side effects of taking testosterone?

If you take the right amount of testosterone, you’re unlikely to experience any side effects. But, they can include:

  • excess hair growth
  • acne

If you take testosterone, you’ll usually have a blood test after two or three months. This is to check the amount of testosterone you’re taking is right for you. You might need another blood test after six months. After this, you’ll usually need a blood test once a year to check your testosterone is still at the right level.

For more information on whether taking testosterone might be a beneficial treatment for you, speak to your doctor.

If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, you don’t have to face them alone. With a Bupa Menopause Plan, you can discuss symptoms with a specially trained GP, get a personalised care plan based around your needs with access to 24/7 support via Anytime HealthLine.

Samantha Wild
Dr Samantha Wild
Clinical Lead for Women's Health and Bupa GP



Lucy Kapoutsos, Health Content Editor at Bupa UK

    • Menopause: diagnosis and management. NICE guideline NG23. Last updated 5 December 2019.
    • Scenario: Managing women with menopause, perimenopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. Last revised September 2022.
    • Testosterone replacement in menopause. The British Menopause Society. Published December 2022.
    • Menopause. Summary. BMJ best practice. Last updated 13 January 2022.
    • The menopause. Women’s Health Concern. Published November 2022.
    • Glyde T. LGBTQIA+ menopause: room for improvement. Lancet. 2022 Nov 5;400(10363):1578-1579. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01935-3. Epub 2022 Oct 18.
    • Premature Ovarian Failure. Management approach. BMJ best practice. Last updated 15 October 2020.
    • Testosterone. NICE. British National Formulary (BNF). Accessed January 2023.
    • Off-label or unlicensed use of medicines: prescribers’ responsibilities. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Published 11 December 2014.
    • Testosterone for women. Women’s Health Concern. Published February 2022.

About our health information

At Bupa we produce a wealth of free health information for you and your family. This is because we believe that trustworthy information is essential in helping you make better decisions about your health and wellbeing.

Our information has been awarded the PIF TICK for trustworthy health information. It also follows the principles of the The Information Standard.

The Patient Information Forum tick

Learn more about our editorial team and principles >

Content is loading