Androgens in Women and Natural Ways to Reduce High Androgen Levels

Hormones do a delicate dance and having too much or too little can cause symptoms. In last month’s blog post, we discussed estrogen and what happens when you have a little too much of it. But perhaps estrogen is not your troublemaker. Perhaps you’re a lady with too much testosterone. First of all, it’s important to note that all ladies produce testosterone, which stems from a group of hormones called androgens. Androgens also include androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-s). I dare you to say those out loud three times fast.

Androgens are produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells and are mostly converted into estrogen in a woman’s body.

Androgens like testosterone are responsible for typical male characteristics, like facial hair and aggression. But, as we saw with estrogen, it actually does a whole lot more – it helps with libido, assertiveness, and confidence. It also plays a role in bone density, stress management, cognition, energy levels, and muscle mass.

What Causes Excessive Androgens in Women?

Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) tend to have androgens to spare, and then some. Other factors that may lead to androgen excess include using certain types of birth control (those with androgenic progestins), extra sensitive androgen receptors, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a genetic condition that affects the adrenal glands), elevated prolactin, stress, and inflammation. So determining that you have androgen excess is only part of the hormone puzzle.

Physical Symptoms of Androgen Excess

How to Naturally Reduce Androgen Levels

Address the Stress

If you are an avid reader of my blog (and if you are, thank you!), then you’ll probably see that I am always looping back to stress. Stress triggers the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands as well as DHEA, DHEA-S, and androstenedione.

For someone with high androgen levels, I would first look at managing stress. Having a routine stress-reliever is so vital for managing hormones. I try to meditate, walk, and/or drink herbal tea every single day. Spot treating doesn’t usually work when it comes to managing stress, so try to incorporate this into your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. This will help reduce cortisol levels long-term.

These are my favorite stress busters:

Kick Sugar to the Curb

You may know that eating sugar and refined carbohydrates (white breads, white pastas, pastries, white rice) causes blood sugar spikes (cue the “hangry”). In response to this, insulin comes in to clean up the mess, ushering the sugar from the blood into the cells. Insulin stimulates androgens, which can trigger symptoms like acne by increasing sebum production (2,3).

Diets low in sugar can help reduce androgen levels. So next time you’re reaching for that donut in the break room, try to remember that sugar is not a friend to any of your hormones.

Here are some tips for preventing sugar cravings.

Get More Quality Sleep

Sleep is one of my favorite activities! I prioritize most things around sleep because it is such a vital part of overall health. Having a healthy sleep schedule helps to buffer stress, keeps us feeling refreshed and energized, regulates our circadian rhythm, reduces inflammation, and even helps with weight.

Read my tips on how to get more quality sleep.

Spearmint Tea

Yes, there’s a tea for that! I highlight spearmint tea in a previous blogpost for lowering androgens and helping with hirsutism. Just another excuse for me to brew a hot mug of herbs!

My Beef with Birth Control and Androgen Blockers

The reason I promote natural healing is because it causes little-to-no side effects down the line. Sure, birth control can be quite effective for managing painful periods, clearing skin, and “hiding” other symptoms of PCOS and menstruation woes, but it is not without its possible side effects (many of which I have personally experienced). Birth control tricks the body into thinking it’s having a period and sweeps the rest of your symptoms under the rug.

Similarly, androgen blockers interfere with the body’s natural hormonal process, good or bad. If we aren’t aware of the news our body is trying to share with us, we could be missing out on key messages for optimal health or the opportunity for correcting imbalances. Popular anti-androgens like spironolactone block the action of androgens and interfere with adrenal functioning. Side effects can include headaches, depression, electrolyte imbalance, fatigue, irregular menstruation, risk for tumors, and impairment of fetal development (4,5,6)

Women can also experience low testosterone, which comes with a different set of maladies. Stay tuned for how to address symptoms of low testosterone!

For More Support

Trust me, I understand that hormones are complicated. Knowing where to start is a puzzle that takes time, patience, and determination! That’s why it’s helpful to gather a team of supporters and healthcare practitioners around you to help put the pieces together. If you’d like to learn more about how your symptoms could be managed naturally and you’re ready to put in the work to start seeing results and feeling better, let me support and guide you.


Do you have symptoms of androgen excess? I’d love to hear what has worked for you!

Showing 8 comments
  • Maja

    Thank you 🙂 It helped ♥ Greeting from Czech

    • Katie Dwaileebe

      Hi Maja! I am glad to hear it helped. Thank you for reading and for your comment!

  • Nook

    Very nice article to naturally curb androgen levels…
    Some info about me
    Androstenedione 3.67
    Testosterone free 5.39
    Both are more than the normal range
    I have regular periods and no diabetes
    But I have hairfall and excess hair on face
    Doc prescribed tab Diane
    But any more suggestions to curb it naturally ?

    • Katie Dwaileebe

      Hi! Thanks for your comment. I am hesitant to give too much advice in the comments section of my blog because I would prefer to learn more about your lifestyle and dietary habits. I might ask you about stressors, I might consider the health of your thyroid, adrenals, and blood sugar levels (even if you are not diabetic, it does not mean your blood sugar levels are normal). If you are looking to support your health naturally before trying the prescription, I would strongly recommend working with a functional or naturopathic doctor and a nutritionist. They will be able to give you natural recommendations for diet and lifestyle that can help bring your body back into balance. I hope that helps and I hope you continue to seek natural solutions!!

  • Bazinga

    I have all symptoms, it’s a nightmare.
    Have PCOS, hormonal imbalance (testosteron 4.4, andostendion over 20, a normal range is about 2 I think), elevated prolactin, cyst on hypophysis and ofc insulin resistance. Tried every home remedy for hairs but nothing helped, tried even laser 12 times od the face and it doesn’t work, it’s the biggest problem for this boring deseases.
    And I’m only on Inofolic, it doesn’t help at all. 🙁

    • Katie Dwaileebe

      I’m sorry to hear that! Have you tried seeking the support of a naturopath or an endocrinologist? Or even an integrative medicine practitioner? Hopefully you can get some support from a medical provider. I know how frustrating it can be and it does take time and work for our hormones to come back into balance. I encourage you to stay hopeful, keep doing research, and find a doctor that you feel can best support you.

  • Yang

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information! I’m suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and I get pretty stressed by a lot of things at work and at home. Thank you for the stress busters remedy! Those are really helpful! One stress reliever I commonly do it deep breathing. It really helps me calm down.

    • Katie Dwaileebe

      I feel like stress is so prevalent in our lives that we have to work regularly to keep it in check. Thank you so much for your comment and I am glad you implement deep breathing to manage your stress!

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