Effects of testosterone therapy for women: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol

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Background: Testosterone therapy for women is in widespread use, primarily in the form of compounded preparations and off-label use of formulations for men. The benefits and risks of such therapy remain uncertain. This review will identify and evaluate studies that have examined the effects of testosterone therapy for women on a range of outcomes including sexual function, cardiovascular events, metabolic parameters, musculoskeletal health, wellbeing, cancer events, androgenic effects and withdrawal rates. Methods: Studies meeting our pre-determined inclusion criteria will be identified through searches in Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and Web of Science. Assessing a range of outcomes, we will assess the risk-of-bias of relevant studies and draw conclusions about the strength of evidence for benefits and risks of testosterone therapy for each outcome. Discussion: This comprehensive systematic review with meta-analysis will provide the foundation for the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that will address benefits and risks of testosterone therapy, when treatment might be appropriate or inappropriate, areas of clinical uncertainty and the basis for assessment and monitoring of patients. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018104073

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages5
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2019


  • Perimenopause
  • Postmenopause
  • Premenopause
  • Sexual function
  • Testosterone
  • Women

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