Written on Friday, February 15, 2008 by Jessica
My voice deepened during pregnancy and never bounced back. Until recently, I had blamed the pregnancy and worried that my voice might get even deeper during the next pregnancy. (Gasp! Oh, the horror! Say it ain't so.)
The mystery has finally been solved. It turns out that I have high testosterone levels. Normal levels in a woman are between 25 and 75. (I have no idea what the units of measurement are supposed to be.) My doctor says she almost never sees anything above 50. Me? I'm at exactly 100.
If it were up around 200, she said she'd send me for a CAT scan to see if a tumor was causing overproduction. So I guess that's good news -- no tumor worries.
Anyhow, if nature had taken its course during my twenties, my testosterone would've risen slowly and gradually lowered my voice. However, I did not let nature take its course. I was on the pill for an entire decade, which of course regulated my hormones and kept everything pretty normal. When I went off the pill to get pregnant, my testosterone levels likely shot up and lowered my voice. Sigh. None of this newfound understanding makes me feel any better when people mistake me for a man on the phone. Plus, it's pretty freaking embarrassing to have to come home to your husband and say, "Hey, baby. Guess what. I got too many man-hormones."
The doc has prescribed a certain birth control pill, YAZ, to lower testosterone, and also metformin, to help regulate blood sugar and hopefully lose some weight. She says my voice might even get a little higher, although it'll never return to its original pitch. Oh, and she also recommends a high-protein diet. Apparently, protein binds with testosterone and reduces its effect, but only in larger amounts (i.e., if I eat more protein than carbs). I go back for another test in two months.