As a woman, you may have begun to notice changes in yourself that you may have never experienced before when you were younger. These undesirable symptoms may consist of low levels of testosterone. Some of these symptoms are fatigue, definite loss of muscle strength and mass, accumulation of fat, especially around the abdomen, depression, vaginal dryness, and lack of interest in sexual activity, painful sexual intercourse, anxiety, irregular periods, mood swing, hair loss, trouble sleeping or the inability to have orgasms.
This can leave you feeling uncomfortable, self-conscious and depressed. Each woman is different and may experienced different symptoms according to their body make-up and lifestyle. The good news is if you have some of the symptoms you can do something about it to alleviate these symptoms and get back to feeling they way you use to feel.
Today we spoke with Michael Buckley. Buckley is the Founder, CEO and Medical Director of AndroFemme. AndroFeme is a testosterone cream specifically formulated for women and today he is here to tell us a little about it.
Stacey Chillemi: What is AndroFeme?
Michael Buckley: AndroFeme is a testosterone cream specifically designed for use in women. Applied to the upper thigh and lower abdomen AndroFeme is a proven pharmaceutical treatment, identical to naturally produced testosterone from the ovaries. It has been clinically tested on women to determine safety and effectiveness.
Stacey Chillemi: How do you determine whether a woman is a candidate for testosterone-replacement therapy?
Michael Buckley: If a woman experiences some of the below symptoms then she may be suffering from low testosterone and is a possible candidate for testosterone replacement therapy once a multitude of other factors have been excluded and blood levels measured.
- Unexplained fatigue and lack of motivation
- Mood swings
- Loss on concentration
- Changes to body shape
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
- Reduced muscle strength
- FSD (female sexual dysfunction)
Female Sexual Dysfunction is a big indication and covers all things sexual. Below are the main symptoms of FSD
- Loss of sexual desire,
- Vaginal dryness,
- Painful or uncomfortable sex
- Poor arousal
- Inability to orgasm
- Loss of sexual motivation
- Loss of enjoyment of sex
- Lack of sexual thoughts and fantasy
Stacey Chillemi: Is total testosterone the right thing to be measuring? Or should we be measuring something else?
Michael Buckley: Blood testing is the best way to determine how much testosterone the ovaries produce naturally. It sounds simple; however, there are a number of issues and factors that complicate interpreting the results of a blood testosterone test.
Total testosterone is made up of two parts – free testosterone and bound testosterone. It is important to take note of both these measurements, not just the total testosterone level. Bound testosterone is bound to a carrier molecule called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). This testosterone is bound to the molecule so it is busy and biologically
“Unavailable”. 1-2% of testosterone is considered free testosterone. This means it is not bound to any molecule and travels around the blood, free from molecular obligations. Free testosterone is actual testosterone that is free to be taken into body tissue where it works. Blood testing it is best way to measure both total and free testosterone levels.
Stacey Chillemi: Does time of day, diet, or other factors affect testosterone levels?
- Time of day – Testosterone levels fluctuate during the day and decrease over a 24-hour period. Testosterone levels are highest first thing in the morning so testing should be done in the morning.
- Diet & Exercise – Living a generally unhealthy lifestyle can affect testosterone levels but the main deficiency is likely due to an underlying medical condition or is simply part of the aging process. A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise regime can help to balance and maintain good testosterone levels.
- Medication – Many medications can affect your testosterone levels and sexual desire. These include antidepressants, birth control pills and oral HRT, some anti-inflammatory and antihistamines. It also extends to medication used for more serious conditions like seizure control and thyroid medication.
Stacey Chillemi: What forms of testosterone-replacement therapy are available for women?
Michael Buckley: There are no approved FDA products in the USA specifically designed for women. Custom-compounded formulas are the most common form of testosterone therapy prescribed but some women take approved men’s pharmaceutical grade treatments and reduce the dose. Testosterone therapy is available for men in the form of patches, injections, pellets, gels and creams.
In Australia, women have access to AndroFeme testosterone cream specifically designed for use in women. Applied to the upper thigh and lower abdomen AndroFeme is a proven pharmaceutical treatment, identical to naturally produced testosterone from the ovaries, clinically trialed, safe and effective.
Stacey Chillemi: Are there any drawbacks to using creams? How long does it take them to work?
Michael Buckley: It can take anything from 10 days to 6 weeks before you feel the effect of AndroFeme – it varies on the individual – everyone libido is different. It is important to undergo blood tests under the supervision of your doctor, before starting treatment and then after 4 and 12 weeks. Different people absorb testosterone to differing degrees. It is important to keep track of your blood work as raising testosterone levels too high may cause unwanted side effects if sustained for long periods of time. The idea of using testosterone replacement therapy is to supplement your existing testosterone levels so level are maintained within the mid-upper range of normal.
Stacey Chillemi: How will this product help others?
Michael Buckley: Improved quality of life is the major benefit experienced by women who are deficient in testosterone. Increased energy, clarity of thought, confidence and ability to cope often far outweigh the improvement in sexual motivation that is associated with testosterone replacement.
Stacey Chillemi: What makes it unique?
Michael Buckley: AndroFeme is unique as it is made and licensed in Australia. Australian women need a prescription to buy it, just as men need prescriptions to buy FDA approved testosterone treatments in the US. It is the only product of its type in the world.
Stacey Chillemi: Why does the public need to take seriously what testosterone products they use?
Michael Buckley: Any testosterone treatment needs to be prescribed and monitored by a medical doctor. Using male designed products are fraught with risking overdose and serious side effects when used in women.
Stacey Chillemi: If people are interested in this product, where can people go to get more information on it?
Michael Buckley: They can visit our website at www.hormonesolutions.com
About Lawley Pharmaceuticals:
Lawley Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1995. Based in Perth, Western Australia, the company has become a leader in the research and development of naturally occurring hormone creams.
Lawley Pharmaceuticals is a champion of evidence-based medical research into the application of hormone therapy in treatment of a range of issues including male and female sexual dysfunction, menopausal- and post-menopausal symptoms.
The company is committed to advancing the frontiers of clinical research into pure hormone replacement therapy. Lawley Pharmaceuticals products have been subjected to rigorous clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals including Menopause, Climacteric and The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Lawley pharmaceuticals’ androgen cream for women, AndroFeme, is currently being studied in a randomized, controlled study at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital conducted by Harvard Medical School Professor Karen K Miller, MD.
About Michael Buckley, B. Pharm MPS CD
Lawley Pharmaceuticals is the Founder, CEO and Medical Director.
Michael John Buckley founded Lawley Pharmaceuticals in 1994 after a successful sixteen-year career in the pharmaceutical retail sector. In 1992, Mr. Buckley became Australia’s first compounding pharmacy specializing in hormone creams. Frustrated with the under-regulated and poorly standardized world of compounding pharmacies and inspired by a desire to develop standardized, rigorously tested pharmaceutical hormone-replacement products, Mr. Buckley moved to Australian government approved pharmaceutical grade manufacture as Lawley Pharmaceuticals in 1995. Since then, the company has not only developed products based on Mr. Buckley’s years of experience but also invested its resources in clinical research on those products.
Michael is a member of the Australasian Menopause Society, The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. He is an educator and renowned speaker both domestically and internationally.