Testosterone is an androgen (male hormone) produced by a person’s reproductive organs. In women, testosterone is responsible for libido, but a majority of testosterone in females is converted to estrogen, the female sex hormone. Testosterone is turned to estrogen because testosterone’s main function is to develop the male body through puberty and beyond. As females, we don’t have a need for much testosterone. In fact, too much can cause problems!
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) often have increased levels of testosterone. And, many of the negative symptoms that come with PCOS, are due to those extra androgens (male hormones). Some of the symptoms of high testosterone include excess body hair, balding, acne, irregular menstrual cycles, mood swings, infertility, and obesity. Long term hormonal testosterone imbalance can also increase a woman’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, or metabolic disease.
Obviously, too much testosterone in the body isn’t a good thing, so balancing your testosterone and estrogen levels is vital for your PCOS-healing journey. It can help alleviate symptoms and reduce your risk of long term complications. So, today I’m dedicating this post to lowering testosterone. Here are some ways you can naturally balance your hormones and reverse your symptoms:
How To Lower Testosterone
Research the PCOS-fighting vitamins and supplements.
Vitamins and supplements can help support our healing bodies by making up the nutritional gaps in our diet. You can target specific PCOS symptoms when you’re intentional about what vitamins and supplements you take. Of course, before you start any new vitamins routine, make sure to consult with your doctor. But, here are some helpful vitamins and supplements for lowering testosterone:
Zinc has a variety of benefits for Cysters struggling with the symptoms of low testosterone. Studies show that zinc helps regulate your menstrual cycle, promotes healthy ovulation, reduces inflammation, and balances stress, thyroid, and testosterone hormones. Whether a person’s testosterone levels are too low or too high, zinc helps balance it to the right level, making it one of the best supplements to take for PCOS. Consult your doctor for dosages before taking a zinc supplement. You can also take a multivitamin that includes zinc here.
Omega-3 works similarly to zinc, where it will help balance your hormones. For men, it can help increase testosterone, whereas with women it can help decrease the number of androgens. Omega-3 has other benefits for women with PCOS too. It can help reduce insulin resistance, boost your mood, and lower inflammation. You can learn more about why Omega-3 is one of the best vitamins for Cysters HERE. And, we have a specially designed Omega-3 supplement for women with PCOS that you can get in our Metabolism Plus bundle!
My favorite inositol supplement, ovasitol, has been shown to decrease testosterone in women over time. Beyond that, it improves insulin resistance, mood, menstrual regularity, egg quality, and overall ovulation. Learn more about why ovasitol is our top PCOS supplement in this episode of A Cyster and Her Mister, and you can buy yourself some HERE.
Just like the right vitamins and supplements can help you alleviate some of your PCOS symptoms, so can the right herbs. Whether you cook with these herbs, use them in tea, or take them as a supplement, these certain herbs can help you lower testosterone. Here are some herbs that are known to have anti-androgen (AKA, anti-testosterone) effects:
Drink spearmint tea or green tea.
Both spearmint tea and green tea have been shown to decrease testosterone levels in the body. One study done specifically on women with PCOS revealed spearmint tea can significantly lower androgen levels. Additionally, research shows green tea can encourage testosterone release so women can more easily convert testosterone to estrogens.
However, if you’re not a tea drinker, you could get spearmint and green tea from a supplement, herb, or essential oil. Research finds spearmint essential oil and green tea extract to have anti-androgen effects too. You can use essential oil in a diffuser or apply it topically with coconut oil. (Read more about how to use essential oils HERE.)
Consider an anti-inflammatory gluten- and dairy-free diet.
The foods we eat have power, and if women with PCOS are intentional about their diet, they can see an improvement in a number of symptoms! Additionally, excess weight can increase your testosterone levels, so a PCOS-friendly diet that helps you lose weights and reverse your symptoms can definitely assist in balancing hormones too.
Find the right carb tolerance for you, avoid foods high in trans fats, and consider going gluten- and dairy-free to see how it feels. Instead, opt for anti-inflammatory foods that are rich in PCOS-fighting herbs, vitamins, and minerals. For example, foods high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (those omega-3s I discussed earlier) can directly help you relieve several symptoms, including high testosterone levels.
But, I know that figuring out a new diet is hard to do on your own! That’s why I have a meal plan with some of the best daily meals and snacks for PCOS. You can find that HERE and start your PCOS-healing journey with delicious and helpful food!
Try slow-weighted, low-impact exercises.
Exercise is another one of those lifestyle changes that can improve many PCOS symptoms. As you lose weight and balance your hormones, certain types of regular exercise have been shown to reduce testosterone levels. They key there is “certain types,” since not all forms of exercise are beneficial to a woman with PCOS.
Slow-weighted, low-impact exercises work best for the specific metabolic conditions of women with PCOS. If you’ve been struggling with losing weight, you may be doing the wrong type of workouts. So, to lower testosterone and relieve other PCOS symptoms too, choose from this list of the best exercises for PCOS and consider joining our specialized PCOS friendly exercises program!
Seek professional help.
If you continue to struggle with elevated androgen hormone levels, get professional help. Sometimes medical intervention is necessary to get things balanced again. I like to work with naturopathic doctors who have specialized in functional medicine and have found success in helping women reverse their symptoms naturally.
You can lower testosterone naturally with the right lifestyle and diet changes!
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has no cure. The label of “incurable” can make you feel defeated—like your symptoms will be here forever. But, you don’t have to live with the negative effects of PCOS! You can reverse your symptoms naturally by making small changes to your mindset, lifestyle, and diet. Learn more about how to heal your PCOS on my blog and podcast, and don’t forget to join the Cysterhood. It’s a community of women just like you fighting PCOS to live well again!