Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays important roles in the body. In men, it’s thought to regulate sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm. A small amount of circulating testosterone is converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen. As men age, they often make less testosterone, and so they produce less estradiol as well. Thus, changes often attributed to testosterone deficiency might be partly or entirely due to the accompanying decline in estradiol.
Testosterone levels affect everything in men from the reproductive system and sexuality to muscle mass and bone density. It also plays a role in certain behaviors.
The body’s endocrine system consists of glands that manufacture hormones. The hypothalamus, located in the brain, tells the pituitary gland how much testosterone the body needs. The pituitary gland then sends the message to the testicles. Most testosterone is produced in the testicles, but small amounts come from the adrenal glands, which are located just above the kidneys. In women, the adrenal glands and ovaries produce small amounts of testosterone.
Before a boy is even born, testosterone is working to form male genitals. During puberty, testosterone is responsible for the development of male attributes like a deeper voice, beard, and body hair. It also promotes muscle mass and sex drive. Testosterone production surges during adolescence and peaks in the late teens or early 20s. After age 30, it’s natural for testosterone levels to drop by about one percent each year.
About seven weeks after conception, testosterone begins helping form male genitals. At puberty, as testosterone production surges, the testicles and penis grow. The testicles produce a steady stream of testosterone and make a fresh supply of sperm every day.
Men who have low levels of testosterone may experience erectile dysfunction (ED). Long-term testosterone therapy can cause a decrease in sperm production. Testosterone therapy also may cause enlarged prostate, and smaller, softer testicles. Men who have prostate or breast cancer should not consider testosterone replacement therapy.
During puberty, rising levels of testosterone encourage the growth of the testicles, penis, and pubic hair. The voice begins to deepen, and muscles and body hair grow. Along with these changes comes growing sexual desire.
There’s a bit of truth to the “use it or lose it” theory. A man with low levels of testosterone may lose his desire for sex. Sexual stimulation and sexual activity cause testosterone levels to rise. Testosterone levels can drop during a long period of sexual inactivity. Low testosterone can also result in erectile dysfunction (ED).
Testosterone is one of many factors involved in the development of muscle bulk and strength. Testosterone increases neurotransmitters, which encourage tissue growth. It also interacts with nuclear receptors in DNA, which causes protein synthesis. Testosterone increases levels of growth hormone. That makes exercise more likely to build muscle.
Testosterone increases bone density and tells the bone marrow to manufacture red blood cells. Men with very low levels of testosterone are more likely to suffer from bone fractures and breaks.
Testosterone also plays a role in fat metabolism, helping men to burn fat more efficiently. Dropping levels of testosterone can cause an increase in body fat.
Testosterone therapy can be administered by a doctor via intramuscular injections.
Since testosterone is such important element for the male make-up , it is very important that watch our levels and maintain a balance of testosterone. It important in many aspects of health from our sexual reproduction , circulatory system to our bone and muscle building.