A fair few of us will be vaguely aware of what we are supposed to be looking out for when it comes to taking care of our bodies and checking that everything is functioning just as it should.
Testosterone is often a word that is thrown around in gyms where men are trying to inflate their biceps to the size of balloons, but is there more to it than that? Absolutely.
This piece will take a look at why testosterone is important for everyone, what role it plays in our bodies and how we can make sure we are getting enough!
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is often referred to as the ‘male’ hormone and often in relation to rage, intensive gym sessions, and an insatiable sex drive. That being said, there is much more to the testosterone hormone, which helps regulate the body and help it work in harmony. There is notoriously more testosterone in a male-sex body than a female-sex body, and if imbalances happen, complications can occur.
However, while testosterone is dubbed as ‘the male hormone’ because of the associated characteristics it produces, it is true that both sexes have testosterone, and it plays a vital role in the body. That being said, where it is produced in the body differs for each sex. Testosterone is made in the testes for the male sex, ovaries for the female sex, and it is also made in the adrenal glands of both sexes.
What Does Testosterone Do?
In a male body, testosterone has several roles throughout a life cycle. In the beginning, it helps the fetus develop, and then later on during puberty. Testosterone is responsible for growth spurts, the voice ‘breaking,’ and body hair growth. It is also used for sperm production and affects males’ bone density, muscle strength, and fat distribution.
In a female body, testosterone contributes to the sex drive and the secretion of hormones important for a menstrual cycle, and in both sexes, testosterone stimulates the body to create new red blood cells.
What Happens if Testosterone is Low?
Lower testosterone levels coincide with aging, decreasing around 1% every year after the age of 30 in males. However, in females, testosterone declines usually in correlation with menopause, which is, on average, around age 45 – 55.
There are some unpleasant side effects for those who have lower levels of testosterone. These include lower levels of libido and difficulty maintaining an erection, changes in sleep patterns, depression, reduced muscle mass, and lack of motivation, to name a few.
For women, acne, hair loss, irregular periods, and infertility can be some of the signs they are low on testosterone. If this is something you are concerned about, see a doctor, and take a testosterone test to determine if your levels are causing you problems.
Treatment for Low Testosterone
Luckily, there is treatment available for those who suffer from low testosterone, and testosterone can be boosted in the body with a variety of methods. Injections, patches, gels, and pellets inserted underneath the skin are common treatments, and your doctor will work with you to find which one is best for you.
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