Hormones are the chemical compounds produced by different glands in your body that work as messengers and regulators of many important functions like metabolism, growth, sexual functions, mood, etc. All these glands (that produce hormones) and the hormones come under a system called the endocrine system, and the study of the endocrine system is called endocrinology.  

What is testosterone? Where is it produced? 

Testosterone is a steroid hormone and the primary sex hormone of males. Testosterone is produced in males by testicles (and in very small quantities in females by ovaries). Testosterone production grows significantly during puberty and starts to decrease after 30 or so.

What are the functions of Testosterone? 

Functions of testosterone are more or less the same in males and females. But in females, their testosterone works with estrogen (primary female hormone) to perform those functions including: 

  • Sex drive 
  • Bone mass 
  • Fat distribution 
  • Muscle size and strength 
  • Help in the production and maturation of sperm in males.  
  • Help to regulate moods changes 
  • Help in the growth and maintenance of red blood cells in the body. 

The primary function of testosterone in males is to produce healthy production of sperm for reproduction and a scarcity of testosterone can lead to infertility.  

What are the diseases caused due to testosterone imbalance? 

If a man has low testosterone levels (called hypogonadism), he may experience: 

  • Reduced sex drive 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Low sperm count 
  • Loss of weight and muscle mass 
  • Enlarged or swollen breast tissue 
  • Loss of muscle strength 
  • Hair fall or loss of body hair 

Over time, low testosterone levels can cause: 

  • A decrease in the number of red blood cells (leading to anemia) 
  • Thinning or weak bones (osteoporosis) 
  • Weight gain or obesity 
  • Infertility 
  • Mood swings 
  • Testicles shrinkage 

High testosterone levels are rare, having too much testosterone can trigger puberty before the age of 9 years.  

In women, high testosterone levels create problems such as:  

  • Deepening of voice (like a male voice) 
  • Menstrual irregularities 
  • Change in body shape 
  • Reduced breast size 
  • Oily skin and acne 
  • Facial hair growth around the body especially on the face near the chin and lips 

Having more than one symptom may be a sign of hormonal imbalance, consider having a blood test to confirm.  

 

Testosterone is a very important hormone in the male body. Keeping your testosterone levels balanced is the key to a healthy life. If you have symptoms of testosterone imbalance, visit the doctor to confirm and get treated accordingly to avoid further complications.  

 

Want to know more about hormones or their imbalances? 

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