Where Did that Drive Go?


Dr Richard ChernBy Dr. Richard Chern, M.D.

One of the most bothersome symptoms women mention at their initial visit is a loss of sex drive. A decline in sex drive is very typical for women as they age. This decline is directly related to the decline of testosterone. Testosterone levels in women begin declining in the 30’s, but it’s often subtle until menopause when things can worsen drastically. As women’s testosterone declines, numerous changes occur in the body. Sex drive, mood, the ability to deal with stress, maintaining a steady weight and getting restful sleep all quickly deteriorate. In addition, numerous health indicators including cholesterol, sugar levels, blood pressure, bone density, cancer risk, heart issues and more all worsen with this decline in testosterone in women.

Unfortunately, most doctors do not even look at testosterone levels in women. Worse, when they do, they are unable to interpret the results properly. Women see benefits at levels greater than 100 ng/dL, but the reference range for most labs will tell you that “normal” is below 45ng/dL. This “normal” reference range is really showing levels that have already fallen. So, most levels appear to be in the “normal range” when they are actually severely low. If your doctor has never drawn a testosterone level in women before, are you going to trust their judgment of the results of that test?

Don’t be fooled. For most doctors, normal means, “Does the patient’s lab value fall inside the reference range?” and does not mean, “Does the patient’s lab value give them the most protection against disease and functional decline?”

Another great example of this is vitamin D. A level of 30ng/mL is considered “normal” and many doctors would tell you a level of 30ng/mL is fine. Well, a level of 30ng/mL is associated with a huge increased risk of cancer including breast cancer and is also associated with an increased risk of death from COVID infections. A level of 70ng/mL reduces the risk of cancer and reduces the risk of death from COVID. Are you going to be content when your doctor tells you your labs are normal?

Many times, patients tell me they’ve complained to their doctor, but always hear that their labs look fine and that this is just part of the aging process. Enjoy the aging you. You are not going to hear that from us! I bet you don’t even realize how bad you are feeling. Come find out what you’ve been missing and get your drive back!

Dr. Richard Chern, MD specializes in hormone and thyroid therapy in both women and men. He also teaches other providers both locally and around the country how to properly assess and treat hormone and thyroid problems. He has been providing BioTE hormone therapy longer than any other doctor in the region and is the only Platinum provider in the area. Dr. Richard Chern, MD, along with Sue Griffith, ARNP, are currently accepting new patients. Labs drawn in the office are typically resulted in 24 hours so often your consultation can be scheduled the same or following week. Call 850-837-1271 today for an appointment.