Testosterone has been implicated in sports scandals, blamed for violence in males, promoted as an aging tonic, desired by gym devotees, and linked to sexual prowess. But do you really understand what testosterone is, its roles, and its importance?
The levels of testosterone in males are approximately ten times higher than in females. The hormone has an important role in women but has a significantly different role in men. This article focuses on testosterone in men.
The Role of Testosterone in Male Development
Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone and plays a vital role in sexual and reproductive functioning. Hormones are chemical messengers made in the body by various glands and transported by the blood to initiate their effect on various organs in the body.
This hormone is crucial for the physical changes that take place during puberty in males like the development of the testes and penis, and the features that distinguish adult men like body and facial hair. Testosterone also facilitates sperm production in the testes.
It also helps in muscle and bone growth, affects the sex drive, and various aspects of mental capability; testosterone is thus important for overall good health.
The hormone is present within the body from the early fetal growth stages to old age. It helps the fetus in developing a male body and “male brain.”
The levels within the body peak between 20 and 30 years. Thereafter, the levels of testosterone in the body fall by approximately 1% to 2% every year, though studies have shown variations between individuals. A large part of the drop in testosterone levels is related to chronic health conditions like diabetes and obesity.Did You Know? The testosterone levels in a man may stay the same even as they age if the man remains very healthy into old age.
Too Little or Too Much?
Low testosterone levels in males may be due to a genetic disorder (like Klinefelter’s syndrome, a chromosomal disorder leading to poor functioning of the testes) or damage to the testis, or in rare cases lack of complimentary hormones synthesized in the brain. Approximately one in 200 men below 60 years have low testosterone levels.
The effects of low testosterone vary with the different ages. In teenagers and young boys, low testosterone results in poor development of pubic and facial hair and muscles, and the testes and penis would not grow well.
In adults, low testosterone causes low sex drive, changes in body fat distribution, reduced muscle strength, poor concentration, irritability, mood swings, and low energy levels.
Too much testosterone has effects too. People have linked excess testosterone to aggression though research has not validated this. Studies have however shown excess testosterone to be linked with traits like empathy and caregiving.
Research has shown that the best development is achieved by having testosterone levels in the mid-range – not too low or too high.
For men who have been clinically diagnosed with low levels, the normal levels of the hormone in the blood can be restored by testosterone therapy. This would maintain good health and restore sexual development in boys.
Taking testosterone supplements when one has normal levels can cause problems. Testosterone can result in slow sperm production and a reduction in the size of the testes. It would take many months to get back to normal.
How We Help
At Shot Health, we provide testosterone treatment for people clinically diagnosed with low testosterone levels. Contact us to have your blood testosterone levels measured and obtain testosterone therapy from the comfort of your home by our team of qualified professionals.