Testosterone is a hormone, which is mainly found in humans but also in other animals. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone but in much smaller quantities. Studies show that the production of testosterone increases significantly during puberty and starts to decrease after the age of 30. This hormone is normally associated with sex drive and also plays a crucial role in sperm production. Other effects of this hormone on the body are the way men store fat in the body, red blood cell production and muscle mass. It should be also mentioned that bad behavior has nothing to do with testosterone level and it is mainly a myth.
Control of the production of testosterone in men is done by sending signals from the brain to the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. The aforementioned gland will then relay signals to the testes for the purpose of testosterone production. When the testosterone levels are too high, the brain will send signals to the pituitary glands in order to reduce its production.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone in males and it has a number of different functions. The main testosterone functions are listed below.
- Influences libido (sex drive)
- Production of sperm
- Muscles and bones growth
- Muscles and bones strength
- The appearance of public and facial hair, which would play a role in balding later in life
- Modification of voice during puberty
- Development of penis and testes
Teenagers with a low amount of testosterone might be unable to encounter normal masculinization. As a result, body and facial hair growth will be limited, the voice might not modify deeply enough and the genitals might not enlarge. Some doctors even claim that testosterone might also affect the mood of a person. However, there is no scientific evidence for such a condition, therefore, it is nothing more than just a myth. It can be also the case that there might be other testosterone functions that have not been discovered yet.
A lot of people are mistaken by thinking that testosterone is only important for men. From a medical standpoint, testosterone is produced in the adrenal gland and ovaries. It is one of a number of androgens (male sex hormones) in females. The previously mentioned hormones have several key effects on:
- Bone strength
- Sexual behavior
- Ovarian function
The normal work of the ovaries highly depends on the proper balance between testosterone (as well as with other androgens) and estrogen. Despite the fact that there is no medical evidence, specialists state that androgens might possibly affect normal brain function. Taking everything into consideration, it can be concluded that a lack of a normal amount of testosterone will make a man infertile. This is mainly because of the fact that testosterone helps in the development of mature sperm.
Both men and women require an appropriate amount of testosterone in order to develop and function properly. However, the problem is that it is not clear enough what the optimal amount of testosterone is. Taking a testosterone test is as easy as taking a blood test. The most difficult part of a testosterone test is the interpretation of the results. Testosterone levels vary widely depending on the person and a low level might be meaningless if there are no symptoms associated with this low level.
Doctors say that there should be more research done for the purpose of determining when to measure testosterone levels, how to interpret these results and when it is acceptable to take risk of treatment procedures. Nowadays, testosterone treatment is approved for the treatment of low production of this hormone, delayed men puberty and some inoperable female breast cancers.