We all are often curious regarding the various facts and figures that we hide within the epidermis of our skin. However, among all the mysteries of a human body, one of the most common hormones that are usually misunderstood is testosterone. This hormone is known to play a crucial role in the functioning of the human body, in both the sexes. Testosterone has been the subject of research for a considerably long time and scientists have succeeded in breaking down the truth behind its various aspects.
This article is going to cover how testosterone impacts the body of a male and that of a female as well and everything else that you need to know about this hormone.
What exactly is Testosterone hormone?
Testosterone is primarily a male sex hormone and secondly, it is also an anabolic steroid. This hormone is responsible for bringing out the male characteristics in a man’s body and thus, plays a significant role in the development of the male reproductive tissues and growth of the associated organs. Testosterone is known to found in higher quantities in a male’s body, females also produce this hormone in their ovaries but in smaller amounts.
Effects of Testosterone on male’s body
- Endocrine System
The endocrine system of a person’s body consists of various glands that are responsible for the production of various hormones. The quantity of hormone that has to be produced is decided by the hypothalamus, located in the brain. The pituitary gland then instructs the testicles to produce the required amount of testosterone as most of this hormone is produced in this gland.
Adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys, also produce this male hormone, however, in smaller quantities. Testosterone starts developing the male genitals even before the birth of a boy. When puberty strikes, this hormone develops the male attributes such as beard, deep voice and body hair. It is responsible for promoting muscles and sex drive. After the age of 30, this hormone drops by 1% every year.
- Reproductive System
After around seven to eight weeks of conception, testosterone hormone starts working to develop the male genitals at their initial stage. At puberty, it helps in the growth and development of various primary sexual organs. Testicles produce a steady stream of testosterone resulting in the fresh supply of semen every day.
Testosterone is produced by the gonads and has a great contribution in bring about a change in a male’s body. The sexual desires happen to strike in by the presence these hormones in a person’s body. It regulates the secretion of other hormones too, such as luteinising and follicle hormone. In women, ovaries are responsible for the production of testosterone hormone. This hormone in women is later converted into the major female sex hormone called oestradiol.
When a boy hits puberty, this primary male hormone helps in the development and growth of their genitals. The deeper voice, body hair, body odour, hair over the genitals etc are the result of increased production of testosterone in the male body. Along with these significant changes in the body comes the increasing sexual desire that a person feels as a result of the secretion of this hormone.
A person with low production of testosterone might lose his urge to get engage in sexual relationships and would ultimately suffer from a disease called erectile dysfunction. It all goes with “use it or lose it” theory. Moreover, male hormone production might face a drop due to a prolonged time of sexual inactivity.
- Central Nervous System
Our body has a system that controls the testosterone, sending messages with the help of hormones and chemicals that are released into the blood. Testosterone plays a vital role in certain behaviours of a male body such as aggression and dominance. This also promotes competitiveness and boost of self-esteem.
Sexual activity can affect the testosterone levels and in a similar way, a sport or any activity in which completion is involved may result in the hike in the male hormones. Moreover, low testosterone production may result in low self-confidence and lack of inspiration. It may also cause restlessness and lack of energy.
- Skin and Hair
As a boy grows from a child to an adult, a lot of changes are noticeable. The hair on the face, genitals, arms, legs, chest, armpits etc grow at a considerably fast rate. A man with a lack of male hormone production might experience a lack of body hair, acne, breast enlargement etc. Testerone patches may occur on the skin’s surface and may also cause irritation. Applying topical gels could be helpful, however, this skin disease could also be transferred to another persons as a result of the transfer of germs and bacteria.
- Circulatory System
Testosterone travels in the entire body with the help of blood and you can easily know the amount of testosterone in your body through a simple blood test. Testosterone is responsible for the production of red blood cells as it spurs the bone marrow.
Due to lack of testosterone hormones many men go through therapy, however, it might often prove to be a bad step. According to the recent studies, testosterone therapy that is performed by using intramuscular injections might tend to be the reason for rising in the red blood cells of the body that can be injurious. Other side effects might include fluid retention and changes in cholesterol. Therefore, it is very important to do proper research before you jump to any solution regarding the hormones present in your body.
- Muscle, Fat and Bones
Testosterone is one of the main factors that are responsible for muscle building and strength. This hormone is known to trigger neurotransmitter that is responsible for tissue growth. It also reacts with the nuclear receptor that are present in the DNA and thereby, causes protein synthesis. Growth hormones also increase and ultimately the muscle grows.
Bone density is increased through testosterone and signals the bone marrow to produce more and more red blood cells. Lack of this hormone in the body might result in weak bones naduacles.
Effects of testosterone on female’s body
- Cognitive health
According to a study, testosterone has a neuroprotective effect on the female body as well. It is also linked with bone development and growth in the female body. It is a fact that testosterone levels are significantly low in the postmenopausal women suffering from the Alzheimer’ disease. Whereas, a fairly high testosterone level in women results in better performance at mathematical decisions and snaptical problems.
In other studies it is also found that decent amount of testosterone in women leads to better bone growth but imbalanced levels of testosterone can harm them and result in increased chances of injury or fracture.
- Sex drive
It is said that testosterone is a male sex hormone but even women body is found to have low levels of testosterone in their bodies. Similar to the level of estrogen in a male body. Like testosterone is a sex hormone for a male, it also tends to function in a similar fashion for the women body.
In a female body, testosterone keeps the sex drive running, thus fusing a female’s mind with the thoughts of sex and desires. It also provides the energy in a female body to be indulged in the process of mating.
- Pregnancy and menstrual cycle
Studies have shown that women with PCOS often tend to face difficulties in getting pregnant. It is also a fact that lower testosterone levels in a female body can lead to missed periods or even irregular periods which can turn out to be a painful issue. Furthermore, PCOS might also lead to infertility if not treated with proper medication and given sufficient attention on time.
There is a lower of chance of women with PCOS to get pregnant because they do not ovulate, there might even be a slight chance of them getting pregnant but the risks of miscarriage is linked to such pregnancies.
- Ovarian cyst
Since in the bodies of women suffering from PCOS, the eggs may not be released from the ovarian follicle, in light of that event, the eggs may fuse with each other and form a cyst which keeps on growing as this process of fusion continues if the condition is not treated well.
These cysts can be really painful and usually a body with cysts needs to go through a surgery to get rid of them. Even with the surgery, there are high chances of the female body developing cysts as PCOS hardly has any effect by the surgery.
- Hair growth and skin problems
The imbalance of testosterone levels in a female body can lead to falsely divided hair growth throughout the body. The women body might also grow hair on the back, chest, face, thumbs and even toes.
The women with PCOS also have several skin problems such as pimples, oily skin, dandruff, dark patches on the skin, etc.
How low testosterone level in a human body is too low?
Testosterone levels in a human body are measured by carrying out a blood test in order get the actual count of this hormone. A normal human body with no imbalance has 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) testosterones. But the low reading can not be trusted to alarm the situation. According to the doctors, different hormones have different patterns of secretion.
The best time to check testosterone levels in a human body is between, 7AM to 10AM because, this is the time when a human body secretes the highest level of this hormone. If the test is carried out in the afternoon, the results might not show the exact information. This is the reason why most of the testosterone diagnosis in human bodies are done in the morning itself.
Testosterone level is not merely a number
If you have testosterone levels in your body lower that the recommended number, you might still not have to worry. The doctors say that, the reading between 200-300 ng/dl is considered to be a gray area.
Levels that are even lower than 200-300 ng/dl do not imply a matter of worry themselves but if you find symptoms related to the testosterone, you must visit a doctor as soon as possible. You will definitely benefit from the medication and treatment of your condition but if you have the level of testosterone that is slightly low, you might want to wait until symptoms show up.
Treatments of imbalance in testosterone level
- Estrogen therapy
If you experience the symptoms of menopause like frequent flashes, it is a clear indication that you must visit a doctor. During such a condition, you may be prescribed a low dose of estrogen.
- Vaginal estrogen
If you suffer from problems related to the vagina, like dryness and itchiness, you might want to apply some estrogen creams to treat the discomfort.
- Hormonal birth control
If you are trying to get pregnant, you should take hormonal birth control pills which can regulate the menstrual cycle in the females.
- Anti androgen medication
Human body with high level of androgens may take anti-androgen pills to take control of the situation.
This is a medication which might help the women with PCOS to deal with the abnormality.
- Testosterone therapy
This therapy is seen as a way to reduce the levels of testosterone in a male of body.
This can be used to cure low sex drives in a human body in the case of premenopausal women.
This comes in a cream form which can be used to treat excess growth of hair in the women body.
- Thyroid hormone therapy
The imbalance in the level of thyroid, is something which should be treated as soon as diagnosis. Thyroid hormone therapy, does the job here.
All in all, it could be said that testosterone turns out to be one of the most crucial hormones that human body secrets and has an impact on a male body as well as a female body. It is recommended to get the level of testosterone in your body tested in order to know whether you have a deficiency of the same or not. Moreover, a medical consultancy from a professional likewill be able to provide you with the answers to the questions and doubts you might be having regarding this hormone. Make sure to adopt a healthy lifestyle if you truly want to have a balanced level of testosterone and all other hormones present in your body.