Testosterone is commonly known as the male sex hormone. However, both men and women can actually produce testosterone. With that said, the levels of testosterone produced and their functions are significantly different between the genders. If these levels are imbalanced in either men or women, it can cause physical and emotional changes. Here’s all you need to know about testosterone levels for both men and women.
Testosterone for Men:
Testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles. From the beginning of puberty, testosterone levels begin to increase significantly in males. During this period of growth, testosterone is responsible for the cracking, and eventual deepening of a male’s voice. The growth of facial and body hair, as well as muscle mass and increased strength, are also a result of increased testosterone during puberty.
Testosterone is known as the male sex hormone majorly due to its impact on a male’s sexuality. Testosterone plays a key role in libido, or sex drive, as well as erections, along with sperm and seminal fluid production. When testosterone levels are healthy, a man may have a healthy sexuality. If these levels are too low, it can affect a man’s sexuality, as well as his moods. He may experience loss of muscle mass and bone density, loss of facial and body hair, weight gain, and fatigue.
Testosterone for Women:
Women produce testosterone in their ovaries, adrenal glands, and fat cells – different from how men produce the hormone. During puberty, women experience an increase in estrogen, which is the hormone responsible for all of their bodily changes. Though they do still produce a level of testosterone, it’s only about one-seventh of the amount that men produce. The main function of testosterone in women’s bodies is sexuality, though there are a couple hundred other uses for it. Just as with men, women who experience low testosterone levels can experience low sexual arousal and libido. It can also cause an onset of osteoporosis, a condition more common among women where bone density decreases. Many women may try to turn to hormone replacement therapy to increase their libido, though this can have serious side effects as well.
Testosterone therapy can cause shrinking in breast size, facial and body hair growth, and emotional imbalances – especially anger and hostility. It can also cause irregular menstrual cycles, deepening of the voice, and acne. High testosterone levels in women may be a symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can cause women to have irregular menstrual periods, grow facial hair, and experience issues with infertility.
Man or woman, healthy levels of testosterone for the respective gender is crucial for optimal physical and mental function. In both men and women, testosterone plays a crucial function in learning and memory, specifically with spatial intelligence. It can regulate pain levels and build pain tolerance. It’s also known to lessen cognitive empathy abilities, or the ability to read another person’s emotions through body language and facial expressions.
Understanding the signs of reduced testosterone levels can help you know what to look out for and give you an opportunity to see your doctor to come up with the best treatment options. If you think you could have an imbalance in your testosterone levels, explore your urology options with board-certified urologist Dr. Richard Natale at Carolina Urology Partners. Book your appointment with our industry-leading experts today by calling (704) 786-5131.