Testosterone enhances estradiol's effects on postmenopausal bone density and sexuality

Susan R. Davis, Philip McCloud, Boyd J G Strauss, Henry Burger

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To investigate the role of androgens in increasing bone density and improving low libido in postmenopausal women, we have studied the long-term effects of estradiol and testosterone implants on bone mineral density and sexuality in a prospective, 2 year, single-blind randomised trial. Thirty-four postmenopausal volunteers were randomised to treatment with either estradiol implants 50 mg alone (E) or estradiol 50 mg plus testosterone 50 mg (E&T), administered 3-monthly for 2 years. Cyclical oral progestins were taken by those women with an intact uterus. Thirty-two women completed the study. BMD (DEXA) of total body, lumbar vertebrae (L1-L4) and hip area increased significantly in both treatment groups. BMD increased more rapidly in the testosterone treated group at all sites. A substantially greater increase in BMD occurred in the E&T group for total body (P <0.008), vertebral L1-L4 (P <0.001) and trochanteric (P <0.005) measurements. All sexual parameters (Sabbatsberg sexual self-rating scale) improved significantly in both groups. Addition of testosterone resulted in a significantly greater improvement compared to E for sexual activity (P <0.03), satisfaction (P <0.03), pleasure (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-236
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Bone density
  • Menopause
  • Sexuality
  • Testosterone

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