Testosterone applied to the skin has been demonstrated to improve sex drive in women. However, there has been uncertainty about the optimal dose—one that works well without unacceptable side effects.
A study in the journal Menopause, published online in August, may fill that void. Researchers in Australia tested both 5-mg and 10-mg doses of a standardized 1% testosterone cream in seven healthy postmenopausal women with imperceptible blood levels of testosterone. They found that applying the 5-mg dose to the upper arm daily for six weeks brought testosterone levels back into the normal premenopausal range, while using the 10-mg dose elevated levels above the premenopausal range. Neither dose was associated with masculinizing side effects.