HRT and Me: Using Testim Testosterone Gel as a Woman

A box of Testim testosterone gel tubes

Testim testosterone gel tubes

I’ve received a comment on my post HRT and Me: The Battle for Testosterone from a reader asking how I’m getting on with my Testim testosterone gel and I realised it’s probably time for an update on my experience of using bio-identical HRT.

The answer, in a nutshell is, I’m feeling well but think I could be doing even better.

The hot flushes and night sweats disappeared within days. My mood is better, I’m calmer and I have a bit more energy.

Women and Testosterone HRT

As I said in my previous post on HRT there is no longer a female-specific form of testosterone available in the UK so women have to take testosterone that is manufactured for men.

In a press release issued by The British Menopause Society it appears that testosterone implants have also been withdrawn, because of a ‘profitability decision’ by the manufacturer.

This means that there are ‘no licensed female testosterone replacement preparations available in the UK or abroad.’

Whereas women used to be able to use Intrinsa patches which worked in a similar way to oestrogen patches and supplied a measured dose of testosterone over a period of several days, now we have to work it out for ourselves.  That’s the difficult part.

My Experience of Using Testim Testosterone Gel

The advice from my Consultant was to make one tube of Testim gel last for 8 days. I eventually worked out that the amount I needed each day was enough to cover an entire finger tip.  It’s bigger than a pea – probably the size of a 20p coin. It took me about two tubes before I had worked out the approximate amount to put on each day.

Until recently, I’ve been applying the testosterone gel to my upper arms and shoulders, alternating arms each day, as that was the advice given in the accompanying leaflet intended for men.  But I recently looked at the website of The British Menopause Society and saw that Dr Nick Panay, the Chairman, suggests rubbing it into the lower abdomen.

Positive Effects of Testosterone for Women

In a laugh-out-loud article in the New York Times, Stacia Friedman describes the effect that testosterone had on her:

Within days, I had my libido back. Though not exactly my libido. More like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. So this is what men feel all the time, I thought. Powerful. Fearless. Horny. What a drug! If women only knew, they would be dealing this stuff in back alleys behind nail salons. I was flying.

She goes on to describe ‘three torrid affairs’ and speeding in her car before stopping treatment because of health risks.

Well, no channelling Arnold Schwarzenegger for me, I’m afraid. I was hoping I would feel powerful, fearless and horny all the time. Wouldn’t that be nice! I imagined walking with a swagger and effortlessly replacing my belly flab with a six pack while oozing sex appeal at the same time.

The Benefits of Using Testosterone

But nothing dramatic happened, just a general increased sense of wellbeing. I first noticed it in December when, after returning from a long day out, I suddenly ran up the steps at the train station. Just because I felt like it and I had the extra energy.  I have NEVER done that before.

At the gym I was aware that the weight machines felt a lot easier.  I was feeling much stronger.

My partner describes me as being more confident and more outward looking.  And my slightly improved libido has definitely improved our relationship.

But, when it comes to libido, I feel that I have one good week a month and that’s it.  The rest of the time I’d rather be reading a book or catching up on sleep.

Side Effects of Progesterone – Breast Tenderness

Also, the progesterone has increased my breast tenderness so much that for two weeks of the month I can barely stand to be hugged because they’re so painful.  And that’s followed by a week of period pain, which doesn’t leave much time for the testosterone-fuelled lifestyle I still dream of.

No Bad Side Effects of Testosterone

On the positive side, I haven’t had any bad side effects.  No acne, hair falling out or deepening of my voice and I haven’t been involved in any fights.

I’m definitely not turning into a man but I am still tired, and I still have the belly fat.  In fact, I have put on weight!

So, I am certainly an improved version of myself, but as there was so much to improve upon on the hormonal front, I can’t help feeling that I could, I should be feeling even better. More energy, more libido, more joie de vivre.

It’s been just over three months since I started the HRT treatment so perhaps it’s early days yet.  I’m due to have my four month follow up appointment with the Consultant at the end of February, and I’m hoping he’ll tweak the dosage a bit so that I can reap all the benefits of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, especially the testosterone.

Watch this space and I’ll keep you posted.

If you’ve had experience of taking testosterone as part of your HRT I’d love to hear from you.  How did it help you.

This is Part 3 of my HRT and Me series.  You can read the previous two posts here:

Part 1 – HRT and Me: My Experience of Prempak-C and Weight Gain

Part 2 – HRT and Me: The Battle for Testosterone

The contents of this website, including any posts, comments and links, are subject to this Disclaimer - please read it by clicking here.

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112 Responses to HRT and Me: Using Testim Testosterone Gel as a Woman

  1. Debbie June 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

    Have you heard of any difficulties in getting Testim gel ? I have been prescribed testosterone for low libido/sexual response but have had great difficulty in getting hold of it. I originally took Testocaps capsules but was told the manufacturer had stopped making it. The same has now happened with Testim gel. My hospital consultant ang GP have pretty much said there is nothing else they can prescribe. I tried HRT (Tibilone) but it didnt do much for me. Any suggestions on where to source Testim very welcome!

    • Angie Macdonald July 1, 2017 at 10:54 am #

      Hi Debbie. I’m not aware of any difficulties obtaining Testim gel but I am no longer taking it. Testim gel is made by Ferring Pharmaceuticals in the UK. Their distributor is AAH Pharmaceuticals. Ask your pharmacist to have a look at Ferring’s customer service web page: http://www.ferring.co.uk/en/commercial/customer-service/ to contact them directly. They could also try speaking to AAH directly. Here is their website: https://www.aah.co.uk . I hope this helps and you are able to source your Testim quickly. Please let me know how you get on.

      • Debbie July 11, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

        Thank you Angie. My prescription has now been changed to Testogel as this seems to be the only testosterone available currently. The only issue with this is that it comes in sachets (which are daily for men but weekly for me), so once open can prove tricky to store. I dont know whether i should be keeping them in the fridge in case being open affects their effectiveness – i have no idea! it would be interesting to know how other have got on using Testogel 🙂
        x

        • Angie Macdonald July 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm #

          Hi Debbie. I would imagine that if the temperature is under 25 degrees it will be okay. I never kept my Testim gel in the fridge, but it was easier to store as it was in a tube with a lid. Does anyone else have any suggestions about storing Testogel?

  2. Caroline Ashworth June 10, 2017 at 10:52 pm #

    Hi Angie
    Just found this site whilst researching testosterone as my lovely tested my levels and were 0.7 ,so I’ve been prescribed test in gel,she recently put me on oestrigel and utrigestan.My worst menopause symptoms are gaining over 3 stone,dreadfully joint pain and low mood,not to mention a complete lack of motivation or energy.I’ve only been on oestrogelband protestant for a month so early days.I read professor John studd’s advice lion identical hormones.I’m not sure about the utigestran as packet saysv2 x100mg per day days 12-25,but prof studs says best taken for firstb7 days of cycle,another issue,I don’t know where my cycle is at as not had period for 2 months,I’m 50 Just wondered if thus combination is a good one.
    Thanks in advance
    Caroline

    • Angie Macdonald June 12, 2017 at 7:35 pm #

      Hi Caroline. Professor Studd is quite unusual in prescribing Utrogestan for such a short period as this can be more risky in terms of thickened endometrial lining. I think he does this so that women can avoid the symptoms of progesterone intolerance. The standard recommendation is that progesterone be taken for 12-14 days a month. This is to ensure that you have a proper bleed and all the endometrial lining is shed. If you take Utrogestan for only 7 days a month you will need to be closely monitored for thickening of your endometrial lining by having more frequent vaginal ultrasounds. Professor Studd usually advises women to start taking Utrogestan on the 1st day of the calendar month as this is the simplest procedure, so you could try that. You could try and work out your cycle based on the date of your last period or if you have already started taking the EstroGel, opt for any day. If you haven’t already started, start the EstroGel and count day one of EstroGel as day one of your cycle and then start the Utrogestan on day 12. I hope that helps.

      • Caroline June 13, 2017 at 12:21 am #

        Thanks Angie I did use oestrogel and utogestran based on my last cycle, but realised I had only taken one utogestran instead on two. Just started on testim today, sachets are a bit awkward, thet would have been better in a pump dispenser. Im excited about prospect of feeling better, especially energy and mood, thanks for your advicex

        • Angie Macdonald July 1, 2017 at 10:58 am #

          Hi Caroline. You’re very welcome. I hope you’re starting to feel better on your new regimen. The Testim could take a few weeks before you feel a difference but each woman is different.

  3. Cathy May 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    What a great site, I am so happy I found it!

    I am 48 and experiencing the first signs of menopause.

    The hormone specialist I am seeing recently prescribed Testim and told me to use enough to cover a finger tip, and rub it on my lower abdomen. I was also put on Estrogel and Utrogestan (bio-identical progesterone).

    However, I have been hesitant to use Testim as the package leaflet stresses that Testim should not be used by women, regardless of their age or medical condition.

    But you seem to have had no problems using it so far? Your doctor also seems OK prescribing it for you?

    • Angie Macdonald June 1, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

      Hi Cathy. Don’t be put off by the Testim information leaflet. The reason it says that is because there is no licensed testosterone product for women at the moment, apart from implants which are licenced for use in women who have had a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. So your specialist has had to prescribe it off-label. Testim is quite safe in the correct dosage. Women need a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men require so I presume your specialist advised you to make a tube last about 10 days. That way you will hopefully avoid any side-effects. Side-effects are not dangerous as such; you may experience acne, irritation and unwanted hair growth. If your dosage is really too much then you may notice that your clitoris grows larger and your voice deepens but as long as you’re monitoring yourself you should never reach that stage. I found a blob about the size of a 20p piece was about right. After a couple of weeks you’ll be able to work out how long your tube lasts and get used to sizing up the right amount.

  4. esmerelda May 9, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    hi I recently purchased some cernos gel from india. does anyone know if this the same as testogel?

    • Angie Macdonald June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

      Hi Esmerelda. It looks like it is testosterone gel so should be the same as testogel. Bear in mind that these testosterone products are produced for men, so if you are going to use it you need to only use a tenth of the dosage that a man would use. Women need a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men require so if the directions are for a man to use one sachet a day, you should make a sachet last about 10 days. That way you will hopefully avoid any side-effects.

  5. Ella January 24, 2017 at 12:08 am #

    Hi Angie,

    I am so thankful to have found your blog! I started Menopause when I was around 34 following years of being plagued with Endometriosis, I’m now almost 39 & have been on 5 different types of HRT. This post in particular has helped me immensely with having recently started using Testim gel. I was prescribed it through my menopause Doctor, (as optional) specifically for energy levels (libido I’m not too fussed about, I’m single & happy with that! ) although she did have to request it in writing for my GP to prescribe it for libido. Anyway, the box sat unopened in the back of my medicine drawer as I was very reluctant to start using it on account of the side-effects, but recently I had my oestrogen increased by just 1mg and it has sent my system into what I can only describe as absolute chaos! Originally I was on 2mg of oestrogen and 100mg of progesterone which seemed to be okay, however a different meno doctor thought it wise to increase my oestrogen to 3mg. After 2 years of no period, I got a lovely present at Christmas time, and its still hanging around now, it’s almost Feb so needless to say my mood has been erratic & I’m extremely lethargic – so to get to the point (sorry I digress) my original meno doctor has now insisted I start using the Testim: I’m 4 days in, and on the doctors advice, only using a small amount every dose until I feel confident in using 1 full tube per week….. wish me luck!

    • Angie Macdonald January 25, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

      Hi Ella. Sorry to hear you started your menopause so early. I obviously don’t know all the details but I’m not sure why your oestrogen was increased if you were fine on the 2mg dosage. Too much oestrogen in relation to progesterone can also cause tiredness. I was advised that as women only need one tenth the amount of testosterone that men do, it’s wise to make the tube last approximately 8 – 10 days. That way you are more likely to avoid any side-effects like unwanted hair growth and acne. Good luck, I hope the Testim gel helps improve your energy levels.

  6. Kim~madeinaday January 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    I just got prescribed this gel today and wow the info on the package scares me, but seeing all the great results in this thread makes me want to try it. I was prescribed 5 pea sized drops on my thigh. I see where most of you only do 1 large pea sized amount. Was I prescribed too much? I so do not want to loose my hair or grow a beard, lol. Should I start out smaller?

    • Angie Macdonald January 10, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

      Hi Kim. The dose you were prescribed sounds excessive and could result in side-effects like unwanted hair growth, acne, irritation and so on. Women need one tenth the amount of testosterone that men have, so if the tube is meant to last a man one day, it should last a woman on average 10 days. That equates to one large pea or roughly a 20p piece. I think it’s a good idea to start off making the tube last 10 days and see how you fare on that. If it is excessive, you will have extra hair growth in about 3 months or so.

  7. Lynette October 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    Hi Angie. Reading your article and the handful of others in the Daily Mail, Guardian, and BBC website over the last week made me both happy and sad.

    I’m glad women’s sex drive as well as the other effects of the Menopause are finally being discussed but sad that the use of testosterone is still seen as taboo, dismissed or ridiculed.

    I had a hysterectomy when I was 32, I’ve still got my ovaries but not my cervix. I’ve always had a very healthy sex life with my partner but have found my drive diminished over the last year.

    I’ve done the exercise thing, black cohosh for the flushes and sweats, weight training and everything else to maintain my health but nothing works.

    I went to see my GP today, she could find no reference to testosterone therapy but I mentioned that it is being used successfully by women in the UK as well as abroad.

    Anyway wish me luck, I hope she is able to give me a prescription (private or NHS). I’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks

    • Angie Macdonald October 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

      Hi Lynette. Sorry to hear you had a hysterectomy when you were so young. I’m not sure why your GP couldn’t find any reference to testosterone therapy – it is being mentioned more and more in NHS and Menopause Society Guidelines. I don’t know how you’ve got on with her subsequently. If she is unwilling to consider testosterone therapy I suggest you ask for a referral to a menopause clinic. If you see her again and she is willing to engage in a discussion then you could point her to this notice about testosterone implants on the British Menopause Society (BMS) website. It mentions the dosage for women which is useful: https://thebms.org.uk/2013/01/withdrawal-of-testosterone-implants/ and here is a link to the BMS recommendations in 2013: http://min.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/05/23/1754045313489645.1#sec-27 . The latest NICE Guidelines on Menopause which were published in November 2015 specifically for doctors to read has this to say about testosterone for women in Secion 1.4.8 on Altered sexual function: “Consider testosterone supplementation for menopausal women with low sexual desire if HRT alone is not effective.” Here is the link: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23/chapter/Recommendations#information-and-advice . Good luck and let me know how you get on.

    • Angie Macdonald October 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

      Hello again Lynette. I forgot to mention that before you go down the testosterone route it is worthwhile having your thyroid, iron and vitamin D levels checked as these can all seriously impact your sex drive if they are underactive or low. Here is a useful article on the impact of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) on sex hormones: http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/the-benefits-of-vitamin-d-why-its-the-sexiest-vitamin-around/ Warm wishes, Angie

      • Lynette November 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

        Hi Angie. Thanks for replying. I’ve been prescribed Tibolone from my doctor while she finds out more about prescribing testosterone off licence.

        I didn’t know about vitamin D and iron, so I’ll so I’ll get some over the counter, which will be cheaper than paying for them on prescription.

        Thank you and all the best.

  8. Jane October 15, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    Just discovered your site whilst on a quest to find out how to improve libido, concentration, well… just about everything that everyone has mentioned on here… that’s me!

    I like your approach and your attitude and will definitely be spending a bit more time here to learn from you and your experiences!

    • Angie Macdonald October 15, 2016 at 9:30 am #

      Welcome, Jane. I hope you find some useful tips here to help you.

  9. Caz August 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Hi Angie,
    I have been on the testosterone implant now since April 2016 (Australia) and went to see my gynaecologist (UK) hoping to have another implant in September but she said no chance on the NHS as they can bring about heart attacks and has referred me to a Menopause Clinic in Leicester. I feel so much better overall on it – the sex drive is fantastic and less tired BUT I do have breast ache/pain and mty boobs are much fuller (love that bit!). I definitely want another implant but she insists that there is no-one in the UK to get it from privately either. Seems lik they really don’t care about women’s health or state of mind in the UK. How sad 🙁

  10. Becki June 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

    Hi Angie,

    Hi Angie. Firstly, thanks so much for your wonderful blog. I’ve been trying to do lots of research as I’ve been feeling awful for months!

    I’m 37 years old and have been on Elleste Solo 2mg for about 3 months. I’ve had a hysterectomy and both ovaries removed. After having the results of my last blood tests back and they were still extremely low (oestrogen and testosterone) my gynae decided to take me off the Elleste and start me on Oestrogel and Testogel. He told me to use a 16th of a sachet per day of the Testogel.So I’ve equated this to a about the size of a petit pois pea!

    I really hope that I start to feel better soon. I’ve had zero libido or any sort of ‘get up and go’ for years! I’m always exhausted, like crashing fatigue at times, have headaches and light headedness and my sleeping isn’t great at night!

    Please, please someone tell me that I’ll feel good soon?

    I have no confidence that a gel will work like a pill can. Xxxx

    • Becki June 17, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Oh and I also have loads of palpitations and anxiety!

      Help! Will someone put me out of this misery! xxx

    • Angie Macdonald June 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Becki. I’m so sorry to hear about your full hysterectomy at such a young age. Thank goodness your gynae has put you on oestrogel and testogel. I am not sure how big a sachet of Testogel is as I’ve only used tubes of Testim gel, but if you don’t feel much better within a month or so it may be because the dose of Testogel your gynae has prescribed is too low. I have never heard of any woman being prescribed a 16th of a sachet before so I’m not sure why this is. Women are meant to have a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men have. Check the infomation that came with the Testogel – if it says that men should use one sachet a day, then as a woman you should make it last 10 days. With the Testim gel this worked out at a blob the size of a 20p piece. See how you get on, and experiment with the dosage – as long as you stick to roughly a tenth of the male prescribed dosage you should not experience any side-effects. Testosterone will help with energy, anxiety, libido, and sleep. It improves stamina and confidence. Headaches can often be caused by hormone imbalance. I also used to have terrible palpitations before I started on HRT and I think they were down to a drop in progesterone levels. A gel works much better than a pill because it is absorbed through the skin directly into your blood stream. That way it doesn’t have to be broken down in your stomach and by-passes the liver so you have more chance of more of it actually getting into your system and also saves your liver having to break it down as part of the digestive process. Give it time and I have no doubt you will be feeling like your old self in a few weeks.

  11. Ruthie June 12, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

    please can I ask, how many tubes do you get on your prescription? I have just been prescribed this the same as you, but have only 1 tube per prescription at present, which won’t last long based on your recommended use! At the moment, it’s not a big issue, as my pharmacy can’t get hold of any either!

    • Angie Macdonald June 15, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

      Hi Ruthie. Oh my goodness, that’ll only last you a week. Ask your doctor to prescribe you a box – one box has 30 tubes in it, which should last you the better part of 7 months or so. I took a photo of my box of Testim gel for this article. I hope your pharmacy manages to get hold of it for you soon.

  12. Sherry May 7, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Hi I’ve been prescribed testogel half ml daily. The first two weeks I felt so emotional but by week four a bit better so I upped the dose to just over half a ml and wow what a difference. Libedo came back and I feel stronger and maybe a bit too assertive! Down side my skin broke out, not acne but a few pimples. Then I was prescribed estrogen VJ cream also half a ml twice a week. (Only for two months) This has made all the difference. My skin is back to normal and I’m not aggressive but my libedo is still high. I have serious spinal problems and I can definitely feel the difference – less pain, hopefully the testosterone will strengthen my bones. Just wish there was more info out there for us women on testosterone.

    • Sherry May 7, 2016 at 10:29 am #

      Hi I should have added more info: I’m 57 and been on strong pain killers for 4 years due to a failed back surgery. Two years post menopause.
      My symptoms: insomnia, loss of libedo, constant pain, depression, emotional and the list goes on.
      I also live in Kenya where medication can be limited.
      I have a very nice Gynaecologist who was open to the idea of me trying testosterone.
      The only testosterone available here is testogel. Expensive for here $200 but the box of sachets should last a year.
      Again trial and error and a lot of internet research as no one knew what dosage I should be on. Half a ml makes the sachet last 10 days going just over half ml it last a week.
      After 6 weeks I feel great. In my last post I mentioned the upside and down. I forgot to mention I’m sleeping like a baby now.
      I was prescribed estrogen VJ cream half ml twice a week to help relieve the dryness, which it has done. I will only be on it for a short period of time. The advise of my Gynaecologist . was to give yourself a break of at least a month every other month while on estrogen.
      He also said because I was post menopausal I didn’t need progesterone.
      I’m very happy with my Gynaecologist, even though he is an elderly Doctor, I’ve been going to him for thirty years, he is a very open minded Doctor and listens – so important.

      • Angie Macdonald May 8, 2016 at 10:12 am #

        Hi Sherry. I’m very glad to hear that the testosterone is working for you – it is meant to improve sleep and also increase bone density. I am not familiar with the oestrogen cream you are taking – is it applied vaginally? In that case you would not need progesterone as it would only have a localised effect. But if it is applied via your skin then you would as the extra oestrogen would then cause the lining of your uterus to thicken. You are very lucky to have found a doctor who listens and whom you trust.

  13. Miranda May 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

    Hi, is this blog still live?

    • Angie Macdonald May 5, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

      Hi Miranda. Yes, it is. I haven’t been posting regularly recently as I’m busy writing a book about menopause and my experience of it.

  14. Jo July 31, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    Hi! Good to read about so many women determined to get even with their libido loss! Just to let you know I live in Buckinghamshire. Saw my GP and requested testosterone gel. She was dubious but wrote to my (really good!!) consultant who instantly agreed it. I have it on the NHS usual prescription charges. Started a week ago – no signs of any changes yet. He suggested a quarter of a sachet which seems a lot so I’m only using a pea sized amount to start with. I’m worried about taking too much. I keep ricocheting wildly between being oestron and progesterone dominance. Hate progesterone! I’ve read that testosterone really helps with cognitive functioning. Has anyone felt clearer headed, less confused, less forgetful and more able to concentrate while on testosterone? How much is too much and how do you know you’re taking too much? Will you find out before it’s too late or are side effects reversible??

    • Angie Macdonald August 4, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Jo. A quarter of a sachet is too much if you are using it every day – the usual advice is to use a quarter every second day. Otherwise, it’s best to try and make the sachet last 8 – 10 days as women only need a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men do. That’s bigger than a pea-sized amount, think more of the size of a generous 20p piece. As long as you make the sachet last approximately 10 days you don’t need to worry about taking too much. However, if that amount is too much for you, you’ll notice certain side-effects. You may find you have more pubic hair or hair on your face, you may develop acne, feel irritable or aggressive and have a very high libido. If that is the case, speak to your doctor and you may have to stop for a while or make a sachet last for 12 days. These side-effects are reversible. If you take very high doses of testosterone your voice may deepen and your clitoris may become enlarged and these side-effects are not reversible, but you’d have to take an enormous amount of testosterone before that would happen. It will take a few weeks before you feel the gel start working for you so hang in there.

      • Jo August 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

        Hi Angie

        Thank you for your reply. You are a real godsend!!i read your blog and have been using the 20p sized amount. I think I’m feeling better but it’s very subtle. I feel as if something ‘edgy’ has been put back. I have more stamina for daily things – I am up and about more and don’t have that ‘I can’t be bothered’ feeling which was really unlike me. Also feel more cheerful and more confident about socialising. I think my memory is a bit better too. Nothing much yet for the libido but I’m hoping that will improve…

        Thank you so much for your advice. I wouldn’t have demanded the gel at the GP surgery had I not read your blog!

        Jo

        x

        • Angie Macdonald August 10, 2015 at 10:52 am #

          Hi Jo. Thank you, I’m happy to have helped. Sounds like the Testim gel is starting to work its magic. May you continue to improve and thrive.

        • Jane October 15, 2016 at 8:12 am #

          Hi Jo, I’d be really interested to know the Consultant you have, I’m in Buckinghamshire too and to find a Doctor that is willing to try things is just brilliant and so rare..

      • Tracy November 19, 2015 at 12:31 am #

        Hi,I’m a 42 yr old mother of 3. I haven’t gone threw the menopause as yet. I went to my gp stating I have had no sex drive for 2years, (I do have a lot of medical problems and strong medication). My gp put me on testogel,however I am a little worried about the side effects. Do I need to worry? I do get extreme fatigue,will it help? I m not sure what to do,any advice would be fantastic. I look forward to your reply.thanks tracy

        • Angie Macdonald November 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

          Hi Tracy. The most common side-effects of Testogel in women include acne, unwanted hair growth on the face and/or general pubic area and increased irritability or aggression. If taken in too high doses for a long time it can also make your voice deeper and your clitoris bigger. However, if you stick to the prescribed dose (make one tube last for 8 – 10 days) these side-effects are highly unlikely. Remember that women need only a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men do, which is why the tube should last you around 10 days or so. If you do notice any of these side-effects, it is very easy to control when using the gel; you just need to reduce your dosage, i.e. make the tube last longer, say 12 days instead of 10, or stop treatment altogether for a few weeks to allow the side-effects to ease. Testosterone can help with fatigue, it is known to increase stamina. However, bear in mind that we all react differently to hormones. It may also be the case that your lack of sex drive is caused by your health issues and your medication and so the problem may not be rectified with hormones if hormones aren’t the cause in the first place. But by all means experiment and see what happens. I hope the Testogel makes you feel better.

          • Tracy November 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

            Thank you so much for your advice and information. I will give it a go,fingers crossed it will help. Your forum is a fantastic help to so many.thanks again Angie.

      • Anna March 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

        Hi Angie,

        I found your blog very interesting reading.
        I have endometriosis and had one ovary removed when I was in my twenties. When I was 45 I started to experience hot flushes and erratic periods so my gynaecologist prescribed me with estrogen patches and norethistetone to take every 3 months but ended up having to take it every 2 months as my periods were so heavy I was soaking a maxi pad in about 20minutes so couldn’t leave the house. My gynae gave me a mirena coil at that point which helped with the bleeding but after 4 months I went for a check up and my womb lining had overgrown so I had the cool removed and back to taking norethistetone again.
        My energy levels would fluctuate but around 7 days after a period I would have extreme fatigue (almost as if I’d been drugged) which would last for a week. I changed gynaecologists and mentioned this to him and he recommended testim gel. I take an eighth of a tube each day and it certainly eliminated my tiredness but now I have noticed excessive hair growth where I apply it.
        My question is really whether I need to take testim or whether I should have a combined HRT as I did feel better with the mirena. I noticed that you mentioned that excess estrogen can cause tiredness and my energy seemed to ebb at around the time in your cycle when progesterone drops.
        I have discussed all of this with my gynaecologist who’s suggested I come off HRT altogether and see what my body does. I am 49 and have been on HRT for 4 years but I have still being having periods, because I have been taking estrogen and progesterone sequentially, I’d love to take a break and try to restore some balance but dreading the extreme fatigue. Just thinking about stopping everything and using the testim on its own if I am really exhausted but not sure that this will work or if I should. I know I need to go back to my gynaecologist but all my treatment has been private, as my GP was so unhelpful and unknowledgeable, so I can’t really afford to continue spending hundreds of pounds to find a solution. Any practical advice would be so appreciated.

        • Angie Macdonald March 19, 2017 at 11:59 am #

          Hi Anna. Apologies for taking so long to reply, I have been hard at work on my book about menopause and have been rather neglectful of everything else. I have no experience of endometriosis, although I do have adenomyosis. I am a bit perplexed by the treatment your gynaecologist has prescribed. I can understand your being prescribed HRT for your hot flushes and erratic periods, but as oestrogen encourages endometriosis tissue to grow and shed, it could prove counter-productive i.e. take away your hot flushes but make the endometriosis worse. Also, most HRT regimens in perimenopausal women include progestogen every month so that you have a monthly bleed to prevent any build up of endometrial tissue, so the fact that you initially took the progestogen every 3 months is even more curious. I would think that the Mirena coil would probably be the best bet if your body can tolerate it. From your symptoms and heavy bleeding it would appear that you have too much oestrogen, however your doctor would need to confirm this.
          It is very possible that your tiredness is caused by iron-deficiency anaemia given your heavy periods, so you could ask for a blood test to check your iron levels. The tiredness from iron-deficiency anaemia can be quite overwhelming. The fact that you have excessive hair growth from the Testim gel means that you are taking too much for your body. When this happened to me my consultant suggested I make one tube last 10 – 12 days to decrease the dosage. Also, it is a good idea to rotate the areas where you apply the gel – apply it on your lower belly, outer thighs and upper arm and change from left to right side each day. It is worth bearing in mind that testosterone is converted to oestrogen, in fact most of the oestrogen in our bodies is made from testosterone, and some people, like me, end up converting all the testosterone after a while and still having low testosterone levels and not feeling the benefits of it. Because of your endometriosis it might be worth trying the Mirena coil on its own without oestrogen. Be aware that if you do stop the oestrogen your hot flushes may come back and you may feel out of sorts for the first few weeks while your body adapts to having lower hormone levels. Try seeing a different GP at your GP surgery if possible – it’s worth asking if any of the GPs there have a special interest in gynaecology, or asking your GP for a referral to a menopause clinic at a hospital where you can see a Gynaecologist-Endocrine consultant. There is no reason why you should have to pay privately to have this issue treated as it is something the NHS treats every day. I hope that helps. Let me know how you get on.

    • Sue Jones September 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Read your post and loved it. I’m in the US and never heard of testosterone for women until the MD suggested it. There were so many warnings, I was petrified! But the results are great. I’m slim and trim and energetic. My libido, that’s iffy. I haven’t read anyones age tho. I’m 72, and still running to the gym as often as possible. We lift weights and I notice its easier to do. Im also on the estrogen patch. The MD decided I should use progesterone, but my hair started falling out and I felt jittery. My memory is much better on the Testim, pea size is the dose I’ll stick with .

      • Angie Macdonald September 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

        Sue, what a wonderful comment – you sound like an absolute dynamo! When I first started using testosterone my libido definitely improved but then after a couple of years it disappeared again. I have no idea why and my consultant has no explanation for it either. Has your MD spoken to you about the risks of taking oestrogen without progesterone? Your womb lining could get very thick, which can cause endometrial cancer, so it’s worth having it monitored to check that you’re safe. It sounds like the testosterone is definitely helping with energy, stamina and cognitive functioning – all good.

    • Vito December 12, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

      Jo I really hope you see my response and find it very hard to believe that you hate progesterone unless its the prescription type which is not progesterone its a progestin a fake hormone that is very dangerous i suggest you read deeply into bioidenticle progesterone cream if you are smart you definitely would ….big pharma has to make money so to make it profitable they tweak the molecule and make it a pseudo hormone

  15. jan July 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    Hi Angie

    I have just been prescribed Testim Gel by a GP i was referred to by my own GP. I was taking Tibolone and had been for a good few years but was struggling with night sweats disturbed sleep and almost NO libido whatsoever ! I have only been taking it for 3 days so im looking forward to having even a little libido back haaa . Anyway i was also prescribed Angelig HRT and just wondered are these both compatible together ?

    Regards
    Jan

    • Angie Macdonald July 28, 2015 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Jan. Great news that your GP prescribed Testim Gel. I hope you start to feel the effects soon. It took about a month before I felt better but every woman is different. I’m not a doctor but it should be fine taking Testim with Angeliq. As with any HRT treatment, it’s a matter of finding the right one for you and the right balance between the three different hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. I suggest you monitor yourself very closely and make a note of any symptoms you have as they may indicate that one of the hormones is creating unwanted side-effects.

  16. Ruby June 14, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Angie – after reading your blog I managed to get an appointment with Dr Manader Consultant Gynaecologist and President of the Forum of Food and Health – he has written articles regarding the use of testosterone for treating the female menopause.

    I saw him today took along my NHS blood tests received my hormone implants.

    I was really impressed and I would recommend him.

    Thank you Louise for posting on Angie’s blog without which I would not have found Dr Mander – by the way for anyone seeking an appointment with him he’s in Oldham tel 01706 766634

  17. Rose May 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Hello,
    A very useful blog indeed!
    If I could get a prescription for Testim gel from my doctor or perhaps buy in Spain as one lady suggested Majorca can it be used in conjunction with natural soy extract. I take Meno serene a natural plant oestrogen?
    Thank you
    R

    • Angie Macdonald June 1, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Rose. I’m not a medical person but it looks like it should be fine. Menoserene contains lots of vitamins and minerals as well as phytoestrogens and tesosterone usually works better in conjunction with oestrogen. However, I’m not sure if your doctor will be willing to prescribe Testim gel on its own, rather than part of a whole HRT package, as just supplementing one hormone is more likely to lead to a hormone imbalance.

  18. Ruby March 14, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Angie, I have been in touch with you before. I managed to get get treatment privately having oestrogen and testosterone implants but at £300 every 6 months and an addition £130 for blood tests it worked out expensive and the distance from where I live resulted in a two hour round trip.

    Prior to obtaining private treatment my GP offered me anti-depressants and sleeping pills.
    The private treatment with testosterone completely changed my life.

    Due to cost I have returned to Tibolone which works for me but my body still needs the additional testosterone.

    I live in Leigh Lancs – on receipt of my blood test result I will approach my GP explain my symptoms and see if he will prescribe testosterone gel. Not holding out much hope!

    If this does not work I am looking for a private prescription – so I don’t know if anyone may know of a private GP/specialist in my area that may be willing to prescribe the Gel.

    • Angie Macdonald March 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Ruby. I hope someone reading your comment will be able to help you. Otherwise you could try looking at the Menopause Matters website. They have a Specialist finder page but unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in a while: http://www.menopausematters.co.uk/clinicfinder.php.

    • Louise April 29, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi

      I’ve had Testosterone gel prescribed to see me over until my Estrogen is low enough for another implant (when I will get another Testosterone implant too).

      You can get it on the NHS but you have to have the initial prescription from a Cons. Gynae as it’s off book.

      I’ve seen Mr A. M. Mander at Appollonia House just outside Oldham Lanc’s – he charged around £180 for both implants including the consult and sorted my initial prescription direct with my GP so that I only paid the NHS fee.

      He’s a lovely, knowledgeable chap who has worked closely with Nick Panay and is (I think) the ex-chair for the Menopause Society.

      I love the implant – I’ve gone from not even getting a flutter for Brad Pitt 6 mths ago to eyeing up people on the street 😀
      The gel is ok – currently taking about .75ml per day but the effects are not as pronounced as with the implant.
      I don’t want to increase the amount of gel that I use at the moment because I know that I’ll be getting my implant replaced soon enough 🙂

      • Angie Macdonald April 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

        Hi Louise. This is very interesting and I hope it helps Ruby. From what I’ve heard testosterone implants are in extremely short supply in this country so it’s wonderful you’re still able to get them in Lanc’s. I believe the effect of the implant is a lot more powerful than the gel, which, incidentally, has stopped working for me completely and is not being absorbed by my system.

        • Louise April 30, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

          That’s a shame about the gel failing you Angie.

          I was stunned at just how dramatic the change was when I had the implant fitted. Pre-op I had a healthy sex drive (although pain from adenomyosis et al made the fulfilling of that very difficult) but very quickly after my hysterectomy I had zero libido and have been that was for nearly two years.

          Mr Mander gets the implants direct from America so I guess as long as they are still being manufactured there he will still be able to get them.

          Have you had the implant previously?
          I know that it is available through John Studd’s clinic near the Chelsea & Westminster as that was where I thought I was going to have to go initially.
          Unfortunately, it will only be available privately for the foreseeable future (unlike the gel) but I’m so glad I have it as an option – I feel vibrant again!

          • Angie Macdonald May 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

            Hi Louise. I’ve never had an implant but it sounds like they have a far stronger impact than the gel. Thanks for the info – I didn’t realise that they were only going to be available privately in future.

      • Ruby June 8, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

        Louise – about your post regarding – Mr A. M. Mander at Appollonia House -I want to go and see him – but don’t understand the bit you said about the NHS perscription – hope you see this post and are able to tell me what to do – I am happy for you to be passed my email address – I would love to go back on the implants again – can you let me know how you managed to do it

        • Angie Macdonald June 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

          Ruby, I have forwarded your comment to Louise and hopefully she’ll be in touch.

    • debbie May 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

      hi ruby….I have been seeing a private consultant in Liverpool at the spries ,he has put me on testogel …so then went to my GP in leigh and he has agreed to prescribe it for me in future.If you want anymore info contact me .

      • Ruby May 15, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        Hi Angie

        Thanks Louise for the information re your consultant I may end up seeing him. I am awaiting an appointment with and consultant and going to approach them about Testosterone Gel via the NHS.
        At the moment I have managed to source androfem as suggested. It is working fine and I am on 5ml per day, but read that you have to come off it every not and again to make sure that it keeps working. So every month I am having a 3 day break may so it’s out of my system. As the month goes on I can tell my body gets used to the medication so I have a break and it all starts working again.
        I am just nervous of tell the NHS specialist that I have bought androfem because I was at my wits end. I don’t know what they will say or even if they refuse to treat me

        It will take me months before I get an appointment

        Hi – Debbie can you pass the details of the consultant

        • Angie Macdonald May 18, 2015 at 10:08 am #

          Hi Ruby. Good to hear from you again and good that you’ve managed to source AndroFeme. I’m very interested to hear about the need to take a break – that makes sense, especially as I’ve been feeling that my testosterone gel no longer has any effect. Can you remember where you read this and if so would you mind sending me the link? I am writing a book on menopause and I would like to include this information from the original source. When you see the NHS specialist, I feel it’s best to be honest. If they test your testosterone levels and they’re high you’ll need to explain it’s the AndroFeme. Alternatively, when you know when your appointment is, you could stop taking the AndroFeme a few days in advance. I don’t think testosterone stays in the system for very long.

        • Karolina Duskova April 5, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

          Hello Ruby,

          Can I ask where you got your Androfeme from? I saw it for sale online on one website only, so wanted to check if it is legit or not.
          I am not yet 40, but since my diagnosis of POF three years ago my life has been a constant battle with tiredness and lifelessness.
          So I would like to get my life back if possible.
          Thank you, have a great day!

          • Angie Macdonald April 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

            Hi Karolina. Are you being treated with HRT for your POF? If you are in the UK the latest menopause guidelines state that you should be. See point 1.6 on this page: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng23/chapter/Recommendations Try and see a menopause consultant and speak to them about including testosterone in your HRT treatment. If you are not in the UK, then Androfeme is made by Lawley Pharmaceuticals in Australia and is a legitimate product licensed for use in Western Australia. It looks like you can buy it from http://www.hormonesolutions.com.au/content/orders-faq.php. However, I don’t advise using hormones on your own without a doctor’s supervision so that you can monitor your hormone levels and make sure all your sex hormones are in balance.

            • Karolina Duskova April 6, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

              Hello Angie,

              Yes, I take Femoston 1/10. I am going to GP next week for check up and blood test and will ask to be referred to one of the three menopause clinics you have mentioned in a post earlier on. My old meno clinic never offered testosterone, just Femoston and I haven’t had appointment for over year now as my old doctorc left and the clinic is not on so often now… so it is time to sort this out.
              Great to have found your blog and read excperiences of others, helps great deal.

    • Michelle May 26, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

      I buy my testim gel over the counter in Majorca. Costs about 45 euros for a pack of 30.

      • Angie Macdonald May 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

        Hi Michelle. Thanks for this very useful information. Ladies, Majorca may be the place to be this summer!

  19. Greta February 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi everyone . So I have been seeing a private consultant just off Harley St for Estrogel and Testim . Now my GP is happy to perscribe Estrogel , but not Testim Every time I go to see the Private Doc I come out with a private perscription Testim and £1000 lighter in the pocket after expensive tests on blood etc are undertaken” in house” at a cost of £400-500 a time . Does anyone know of a Private Doctor happy to perscibe Testim (I am soooo low risk ) without the consultation costs every three months being so huge ? Thanks, Greta

    • Angie Macdonald February 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi Greta. Sorry to hear that your GP won’t prescribe Testim gel. I hope one of the Write Health readers is able to help you. You could try changing GPs or ask your GP for a referral to a menopause clinic where you are more likely to be prescribed testosterone if you need it.

      • Greta February 19, 2015 at 11:31 am #

        Hi Angie , The NHS clinic would not either, they say that NIC has not licenced Testim for woman only for men . Any suggestions of fair priced private consultants within 100 miles of London please …… Thanks

      • Greta February 19, 2015 at 11:55 am #

        Angie , Another thought . Who is your consultant at Kings college Hospital ? I was thinking , I could ask my GP to a referral to him/her ,as I am London based . Would you mind saying ? thanks , Greta

        • Angie Macdonald February 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

          Hi Greta. Yes, that’s a good idea. Under the NHS constitution we have the right to choose which hospital we want to be treated at. See: http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourchoices/consultant-choice/Pages/choosing-a-consultant.aspx
          My consultant is Mr Haitham Hamoda at the Gynae Endocrine clinic at King’s College Hospital. As far as I’m aware there are also good menopause clinics at The Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Guys & St Thomas’ and Queen Charlotte’s Hospital. I hope you manage to get an appointment at one of them. Good luck.

    • Diane August 10, 2015 at 7:11 am #

      It buy testim on line from this country I have to pretend I’m a man and it costs £80 for thirty

      • Avri August 15, 2015 at 11:22 am #

        Diane where from do you buy it online? I need testim gel and tried to buy online but they won’t allow it even though I have had it prescribed before by a private doctor. My doctor is on holiday and I need it asap and my gp won’t prescribe!

        • Kris January 28, 2016 at 10:04 am #

          Drop me a line please

  20. Aileen January 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi all, great to find this blog.

    I started on oestrogel last night after a phone consultation with a specialist in London. Anyone else seeing him?

    Anyway ive been told to use 1/8th of a tube a day and you have thankfully given me info on how much this is.

    However……the leaflet says apply preferably in the mornings but then you can’t wash or swim for at least 6 hours!?!? Sounds a bit daft to put it on in the morning then doesn’t it. Wouldn’t it be better to apply it at night? Then by morning you can wash and swim again.
    Or does it give you energy meaning it would stop you sleeping? I hope to start tomorrow so any answer would be appreciated.

    My other question is about libido. I’m afraid I’ll get too much and go off grabbing any man I see! Please tell me this will NOT happen. I’m actually truly quite frightened. I don’t want to be mad for it.

    Thank you.

    • Angie Macdonald January 15, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Aileen. I have found it’s best to apply in the mornings. It takes about two hours before the tesim gel is absorbed through the skin and the whole process takes about six hours. This can result in more energy. I found when I put it on before bed my sleep was very disturbed, so I don’t recommend it. If you are going to swim during the day, probably best to apply it after your swim.

      As far as libido is concerned, if you stick to the prescribed dose and make your tube last 8 days, your libido should not get out of control. It should just restore it to ‘normal’ levels if you have a testosterone deficiency. I have found that I’m only aware of my libido for about one week a month and it’s nothing to write home about but every woman is different. The rest of the time, I’m either menstruating or taking the progesterone and then my libido declines. When you first start on the HRT it’s a good idea to monitor any symptoms closely. If you experience anything you don’t like, speak to your consultant, or lower the dose, change medication – whatever is necessary. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

      • Aileen January 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

        Thanks for the info Angie, Should I scrub the sink after I wash my hands, shoukd I use different towels to my kids and husband?

        • Angie Macdonald January 16, 2015 at 9:28 am #

          Hi Aileen. It’s very important that the part of your body that has the testosterone gel on it never ever comes into contact with your children. They are very susceptible to the effects of testosterone. I’ve never thought about scrubbing the sink afterwards, but I do make sure that I wash my hands very thoroughly after use. I think a good handwash should do the trick. I normally only put the gel on one finger to rub it in anyway.
          Also, did Professor Studd tell you that it’s important to rotate where you put the gel otherwise you could get unwanted hair growth or acne if you always put it in the same place. It’s easily absorbed through fatty tissue, so put it on your outer thigh and lower belly. I also put it on my upper arm/shoulder area, particularly if I want to avoid it transmitting to my partner. And change sides every day, left one day, right the next. That way you should be ok.

          • Aileen January 16, 2015 at 10:44 am #

            Thank you Angie. He didn’t mention that but I was bombarding him with other questions.
            I’ll take your advice. Thanks.

  21. Michelle October 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Hi I thought I would share my experience of using Testim for the last 4 months.

    I am 42 and had a hysterectomy (leaving 1 ovary) in March this year. I waited 3 months and then asked the Doc to do a blood test to see what my hormone levels were. All fine and my Test was 1.2 nmol/L. I knew my Doc would not prescribe Testim so obtained it elsewhere. I put a pea size amount on every morning and feel alive. No side effects apart from sexy dreams! I am going to ask my Doc to do another blood test after Christmas and will alter my dosage depending.

    • Angie Macdonald October 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Hi Michelle. Thanks for sharing your experience and I’m glad to hear you’re feeling alive. It’s a good idea to monitor your blood levels and check in with your doctor from time to time. Also, if you are taking too much Testim gel you’ll probably notice side-effects like acne, irritability and hair growth in inappropriate places. Lowering the dosage will take them away in time, but by the sounds of it you’re taking a sensible amount anyway. Long may you continue to feel alive!

    • Greta February 19, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Michelle , Where did you get your Testim from ?

  22. Angel October 1, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

    I am a woman and have been prescribed Testim 1 % by my OBGYN and she said to use a very small amount from the tube and to place it only on my labia. So I have just started this process as I also have no Low Libido. No Libido. I am a little scared of possibly getting a deep man voice or growing a mustache or beard of which I truly have no desire. Has anyone heard of anyone with these side effects. I’m a little worried.

    • Angie Macdonald October 2, 2014 at 9:28 am #

      Hi Angel. There are side effects from using testosterone but normally these only occur if you use too much. Women need a tenth of the amount of testosterone that men have so make the tube last between 8 – 10 days. That’s roughly a blob the size of a fingertip every day. At that dose, nothing dramatic is likely to happen. But if you do notice slight changes, like acne, new hair growth in your genital area, or an enlarged clitoris, then reduce the dosage, and make the tube last 10 – 12 days. It will take a few months to reverse any changes. I was told to rub the gel into my belly, outer thigh or upper arm and I rotate these locations so as to prevent extra hair growth in any particular area. If in any doubt, please go back to your OBGYN. I hope your libido returns soon. Give it a few weeks to take effect.

  23. Eladora July 24, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    Hi Angie,
    It’s been a while, but I thought I’d add an update on my testosterone quest in case it helps others.
    Eventually my kind GP was forbidden to prescribe me the intrinsia patches any more. She wanted to know what I wanted to do next? I gave her some info on the gel which seemed to be a rather hit and miss affair getting the dose right. In the meantime she gave me tibolone instead of my oestrogen only HRT tablet. Tibolone contains oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – in a small amount.
    and it works for me – one little tablet every morning and no more black marks on my tummy from the patches. I wasn’t expecting it to work so well, so I’m happy – and so is my husband!

    The next thing will be how long I can continue taking HRT… but while I can I shall!
    I hope things have progressed well for you too..

    with best wishes
    Eladora

    • Angie Macdonald July 25, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      Hello Eladora. Lovely to hear from you again and thanks for the update. I have heard about Tibolone but never come across someone who was actually taking it. I’m so glad it’s working for you and having the desired effect! From what I’ve read, I think it is not advisable to take it for too long, especially after the end of menopause, but I’m sure your GP will monitor you.

      As for me, I’ve got so used to the testosterone gel now and the size of the blob I need to rub on daily, I do it without thinking. It’s definitely improved my life in so many ways, not only libido, but in confidence and physical stamina too. Plus, my last bone density scan showed that the bone density in my spine had actually increased since the last scan!!

      I hope the Tibolone continues to work wonders for you.
      Warm wishes, Angie

      • Eladora July 25, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

        That’s great Angie. Thank you for all your encouragement and support
        best wishes to you too
        Eladora

  24. Samantha May 5, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    I have been using test and was wondering . Does it cause weight gain??

    • Angie Macdonald May 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

      Hi Samantha. Testim gel or any form of testosterone is not meant to cause weight gain. If anything, it should encourage weight loss.

  25. Michelle king March 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Hi ange.. Well it’s taken how many months. . But finally I’ve had the call to say my prescription is being posted to me today! I cannot wait to feel like me again. I’m a little apprehensive as I’m being given testogel which comes in sachets. . And to use a blob on the arm each day. Going to be a little trial and error getting the dosage right. But at last I’m happy to be on the right track. Thank you so much for this blog.. I wouldn’t of known about the gel being available otherwise xxxx

    • Angie Macdonald March 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Michelle. What wonderful news! You’ll soon learn what the right dosage looks like and if you have a blood test in a few months you’ll be able to monitor it more closely. I’m so glad that my blog post was helpful to you and thanks for letting me know. Enjoy feeling like you again.

  26. Theresa March 11, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Hi can i buy this cream x

    • Angie Macdonald March 11, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Hi Theresa. You have to be prescribed Testim testosterone gel by a doctor. It is not licensed for use by women so unfortunately, some doctors aren’t prepared to prescribe it. Before being prescribed it, you would also need to have your androgen blood levels checked. Testosterone is often prescribed in conjunction with oestrogen for women who are pre or post-menopausal so your doctor would probably want to check all your hormone levels and then monitor you for any side-effects.

  27. Carol Burrows December 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Hi Angie, I wrote to you on a previous page, about 1 hour ago before going to this page, Wow, I don’t feel so alone or lost now, All this information is valuable, and you are answering questions I hadn’t even thought up yet !!! you know what I mean ?..Thanks, will be logging in to your valuable pages from now on.

    • Angie Macdonald December 5, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Thank you, Carol. I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful and valuable.

      • Michelle December 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

        Hi,

        I was on Intrinsa patches from when I had TAH in 2008 until April of this year – since then my sex drive has slowly deteriorated until it is.. well.. non-existent (which really doesn’t help when I only just got remarried in August). The only way to describe it is that the desire is there (I love and fancy my hubby to bits), but my brain will not connect to the lower regions! Since April/May I don’t feel like I have the up and go I used to have and feel like I’m running on a low battery.

        I have just, today, been to see a Consultant Gynae.. who tells me that the only option will be to have the Testosterone implant, which will be put through a small incision in my tummy and will last for 6 months. I will be left with tiny scars – eventually all over my tummy! I asked about the gel and he is going to consult with a pharmacist to see whether this is an option.

        To be honest I am hopping mad – women in other countries are not having this problem. I was perfectly fine on Intrinsa patches and they did what they were supposed to do. Now I have to face an invasive procedure every 6 months, and worried in case it doesn’t suit me and I’m stuck with the implant. Gel would be so much easier – if I needed more or less, it could be easily controlled or if it didn’t suit me then to stop. I did voice all these concerns during my apt.

        I’ve got everything crossed that I will be allowed to have the gel!

        Michelle (TAH 12/2008)

        • Angie Macdonald December 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

          Hi Michelle. Sorry to hear you’re suffering as a result of low testosterone. I’m not sure why your Consultant Gynae said that an implant is the only option. Gel is certainly available if your consultant is prepared to prescribe it. You’re right in that the gel is easier to manage in terms of controlling the dosage, whereas if the implant is too strong you’re stuck with it for 6 months. However, some women say the implant works better for them, other women have problems with the implant coming out when it shouldn’t. So yes, fingers crossed you are prescribed the gel and you can get back to your hubby. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

  28. Eladora August 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Hi Angie

    How are you doing with your testosterone? Are you still using testogel? Is it working?

    I have now come unstuck again – 4m ago I persuaded a locum GP to write me a prescription for my Intrinsa patches, after the wonderful pharmacist had spent hours trying to get a response from the new manufacturers. However I was living on borrowed time – my GP has told me that she is no longer allowed to prescribe them – because they are unlicensed and cost about £3000 a year. Similarly the gel is not licensed for women and so she can’t prescribe that either.

    My options therefore are: find a private GP and pay for it myself or try Tibolone (a balance of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) for which she has given me a prescription.
    I still have some patches left and think I have little choice now but to try to Tibolone.

    • Angie Macdonald August 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Eladora

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having problems with your GP prescribing Testim gel. I know the gel is not licenced for women but my vague understanding is that it is allowed to be prescribed for women if there is a medical need for it i.e. you have very low testosterone levels or have had a hysterectomy. The consultant at King’s College hospital was very happy to prescribe it for me on the basis of my blood test results and the prescription is actually issued by my GP.

      Is there any way you could be referred to a menopause clinic at your local hospital where you can see a Gynae-Endocrine consultant? In my experience many GPs are not up to speed on bio-identical HRT and are hesitant to prescribe.

      When I stopped taking the Testim gel for a few weeks I soon felt the effects: low energy, no libido and a draining of self-confidence. Also felt less strong at the gym. I’m very happy to be back on it.

      There are so many women being prescribed Testosterone gel already – I don’t see why you shouldn’t be prescribed it on the NHS as well. Good luck.

      • Eladora August 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

        Hi Angie
        My GP has been fantastic so far, but it’s the cost of the patches that mean she has received letters telling her she can’t prescribe them anymore. They are £395 per pack of 8 (1 month).
        I’m not sure now why she won’t prescibe the gel. Something to do wth the license I think, but she has previously told me that she was inserting small pieces of male implants in women many years ago…

        [Isn’t it odd how you always think of further questions, or find you can’t remember or understand quite what was said about 2 days later!]

        According to the Find a Specialist page on http://www.menopausematters.co.uk
        there isn’t one where I live, and if I went to see someone privately I would have to pay for the prescriptions.
        grrr!

        Anyway thanks for your encouragement, Angie. and I AM glad that you have noticed the differnce that testosterone makes – it’s good stuff!

        I have tried cutting a patch in half to make them last longer as I will have to cut down the dose.. we shall see..
        take care
        Elisabeth

        • Angie Macdonald August 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

          Hi Elizabeth

          I can see where your GP is coming from – £395 for a pack of patches is outrageous! The other thing that gets me is the fact that testosterone isn’t made specifically for women, even though we have a great need for supplementation as we get older.

          This is a pet subject of mine, so if I do find out any information on how to obtain testosterone gel on the NHS I will be sure to share it with you.

          In the meantime, good luck. Perhaps someone else reading this will be able to share more information with us.
          Take care.

          • Eladora August 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

            Thank you Angie
            and many thanks for your support 🙂

            best wishes
            Eladora

  29. Sarah June 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    I call it my ‘Thigh Beard’……
    I was prescribed Intrinsa last year but the patches constantly fell off, so i’m now happily
    squirting Testogel into a syringe so i can rub 2 pea sized blobs daily into thighs/tummy etc, whatever……
    Yes, i thought the testosterone may have something to do with the excessive/inappropriate hair growth, expensive to wax off too, and was told not to even
    think about electrolysis by a beautician.
    I’m on Prempak and desperately want to have Bio- dentical HRT.
    Am seriously thinking of going private as at a recent annual checkup my Endocrine Consultant said it was ‘Quackery’ and to go away.
    Has anyone got any info on Bio-identical HRT under the NHS.

    • Angie Macdonald July 1, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Sarah. I had a good chuckle at the mention of your ‘Thigh Beard’ – seems a very apt and affectionate term.

      I’d say the excessive/inappropriate hair growth is definitely due to testosterone and may be a sign that your dose is too high or simply that it’s time to change the place on your body where you rub in the testosterone.

      My consultant suggested switching from rubbing it in my lower belly to rubbing it in the side of my thighs. In the past I’ve tried rubbing it into my upper arm/shoulders, which is where men are advised to rub it in, and a reader suggested rubbing it into the soles of feet where you will definitely not get any hair growth. The consultant said it’s best to rub it into a fatty area of the body for better absorption.

      My consultant also mentioned something about a 3 month hair cycle. It takes 3 months for the excessive hair to first appear and another 3 months for it to disappear if you’ve changed location (or dosage).

      I’m really alarmed to hear about your consultant calling bio-identical HRT ‘Quackery’. I am seeing a consultant at King’s College Hospital in south London and he prescribed bio-identical HRT without me even asking for it. My GP on the other hand, didn’t want to know.

      So, yes, bio-identical HRT is defnitely available on the NHS in the form of oestrogen patches or gel, progesterone tablets called Utrogestan and testosterone gel. If your consultant won’t prescribe it perhaps you could find one who will. Good luck, Sarah and let me know how you get on.

  30. Elaine June 8, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Hi I have just read your blog and suddenly I don’t feel alone.
    I have been juggling HRT treatments for almost 15 years. I have gathered a few insights along the way, the first of which is ‘You much be your doctor’. Research everything and discuss options with you Doctor – he/she does not have time etc to focus solely on your needs. Have regular blood tests (I go every 3 months), this gives a good idea of your hormone levels and allows you to tweak the applications if required.
    Also when rubbing in the testosterone gel be aware that the site you rub in on will start to grow hair ! Use my lower tum just above pubic area and keep it a small as I can because when I first started using gell I was quite liberal until I noticed that dark thick hard begin to grow all the way up to my navel and down my thighs! Don’ fret, laser hair removal isn’t likely to be needed but a change of application method would be good. The hair has almost disappeared now and so far I haven’t grown any hair on my chest/back or palms, however I am still searching for my libido, maybe I should search ebay!

    Elaine

    • Angie Macdonald June 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Elaine. Thanks for sharing your insights. The more I hear from other women the less alone I feel too.

      I agree that women need to be proactive when it comes to dealing with doctors. I have found that the more I know about what I want, the more likely I am to receive it. In the meantime, I’m also building up a good relationship with my GP and having interesting discussions about menopause and health-related issues. It makes me feel more empowered.

      And thank you so much for sharing your experience of growing hair on your belly and thighs as a result of the testosterone gel. I have recently experienced exactly the same side-effects and felt a bit like a freak of nature. One of my readers suggested rubbing the testosterone into the feet, while men are advised to rub it into the tops of the arms and shoulders. When I managed to reach my consultant via email he suggested I stop taking the testosterone until my appointment at the end of June, so I’ve laid off it for now. But I’m so relieved to read that your surplus hair has almost disappeared – phew!

      And yes, I too am waiting for my libido to return. It is a little better but nothing like how I would want it to be. Hang in there!

  31. christine June 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    I was prescribed intrinsa patches but they are no longer available no information from the medical profession about this went to g/p she did not know what to prescribe she went for consultant advise this took 6 week s testosterone implant was advised while waiting for appointment use gel but no dose or type of gel to be used the implants last for 5/6 months still waiting for the gel info

    • Angie Macdonald June 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Christine. Sorry to hear you’ve experienced such difficulty obtaining testosterone. If you follow the comment thread on a previous post you’ll see that some Write Health readers have provided details of how pharmacists can still obtain Intrinsa patches in the UK.
      Here’s the link: http://writehealth.co.uk/bioidentical-hrt-women-testosterone/#comments
      I hope that helps. Good luck!

    • Eladora August 18, 2013 at 8:18 am #

      Hi Christine

      I wondered if you’d heard any more back from your GP – or maybe you’ve had your appointment with the consultant by now?
      There must be loads of women stuck in this situation..
      aaargh!
      best wishes
      Eladora

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