How testosterone works

Posted on 2013-04-28 22:00:55

Let’s face it, testosterone is known for its bad things. The examples of doping by sportsmen/women to gain advantage over others are rife. Even Kenyan sportsmen have not escaped from doping. Despite the somewhat negative perspective, Testosterone is an important hormone not only to men but also women. However for men it is the main sex hormone while in women it is at lower levels. Testosterone is a hormone that is mainly made from cholesterol in the testes in men and ovaries in women. Women produce less than 10 percent of men’s. Clearly Testosterone is a male hormone. When boys are developing in the wombs there is testosterone. When they are born the activity of testosterone shuts down to be awakened again as the boy approaches puberty. At this time the testosterone levels rise sharply. This spike in the hormone is what ultimately separates the boys from girls. The effect of this testosterone is to increase the males secondary sexual characteristics like:
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Development of the sexual organs
  • Increase in muscle size due to increased synthesis of proteins
  • Increased libido
  • Increased aggression
  As men enter their 30s and 40s the level of testosterone begins to decline slowly all the way to the 80’s. The effect of this decline is:
  • Getting in touch with their feminine side and making men more “domesticated”.
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Tiredness
  • Night sweats
  • More fears with less risk taking tendencies
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Increased central body fat
A testosterone test may be recommended by a doctor. This test checks the level of this male hormone in the blood. Testosterone hormone affects sexual features and development. A doctor can recommend a testosterone tests to:
  • Find out why a man has a problem fathering a child. The lower the testosterone, the lower the sperm count.
  • See if a man has sexual problems as a low level of testosterone may lower sex drive or cause erectile dysfunction.
  • Check whether a boy younger than 10 years is early puberty signs is having high levels of testosterone.
  • Find out if a lower sex drive in a woman is due to the low levels of testosterone.
  • Examine why a woman is developing manly features like a deep voice, excessive facial hairs.
  • See why a woman is having irregular menstrual periods.
  • Check whether testosterone-lowering medicines are working in a man with advanced prostate cancer.
  • Get the cause of osteoporosis in a man.