Testosterone is a hormone found in humans and also other animals. In men, it plays a key role in the development of reproductive tissues affecting the bones and muscle mass. The production of testosterone increases remarkably during puberty and starts to decrease after 30.
Testosterone can also increase muscle and bone mass. Women also can make it but in a smaller amount. Testosterone can be used to treat male hypogonadism, breast cancer and in hormone therapy for transgender men.
This article is going to discuss about different aspects to consider, from testing, causes of deficiency, myths and facts about testosterone that you should know.
How can you test testosterone?
You can determine Testosterone levels just with a simple blood test. The normal range for men is between 260 and 1000 ng/dl for adult males and between 15 and 60 ng/dl for women. An adult man with low T levels might indicate that his pituitary gland is not working properly. The pituitary gland send signals to the testicles to produce more hormones.
Abnormal high levels of T can be caused by a dysfunction of the adrenal gland or from a condition called adrenal hyperplasia which can both affects males and females.
How can I increase my testosterone?
If your T levels are quite low you can opt with the help of a physician for a replacement therapy taking it orally, with injections or patches to apply on the skin. The TRT (Testosterone replacement therapy) can help to obtain required results however it needs to be constantly maintained in order to give good results.
10 Myths and facts
1. Myth: It is normal to less your testosterone when you get older.
Fact: Low T can affect men of all ages. As you get older you produce less amount of T but it doesn’t always mean you have less in your body.
2. Myth: Low T only affect men sexual desire.
Fact: Low T presence can badly affect both partners like loss of sex drive, depression and lack of energy.
3. Myth: TRT can be a quick remedy to fix low T.
Fact :It usually takes about three to six months for someone on a TRT to see an improvement as it is not a quick fix but an ongoing process.
4. Myth: TRT is good for anyone.
Fact: TRT is not for everyone. It is indicated for those people that have symptoms of hormone deficiency after they’ve done certain blood tests to analyze their low T levels.
5. Myth: TRT can increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Fact: There still not scientific evidence that can support that statement . Clinical and blind study are still not able to provide a valid connection between TRT and prostate cancer.
6. Myth : TRT can increase sperm production.
Fact: That statement it is a misconception, TRT can cause actually infertility by decreasing levels of an hormone called (FSH) follicle stimulating which is important for sperm production.
7. Myth : Low levels of T only affect your sex drive.
Fact: Low T levels not only is related to sexual health, but also to other health conditions. It has been found that untreated low T levels can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, osteoporosis and lung diseases.
8. Myth: Once I start a TRT , there isn’t any option to stop.
Fact: If for some reasons you might need to stop your TRT you can stop it at anytime. It is recommended to consult your physician to determine the best way to gradually interrupt the therapy over a period time usually of 3 or 4 weeks.
9. Myth: Testosterone Treatments Can have bad effects on your Liver.
Fact: There is still some people that is concerned about testosterone treatments as it can might badly affect the liver. Actually there was few cases in the past for people that had some issues with some primary T treatments but today eventually new type of therapies appears to be safe in most of cases.
10. Myth: Only men need testosterone
Testosterone has also an important role in the health and wellness of women, they might need to follow a TRT in case their testosterone levels are lower than normal.
What are the effects on erection?
If your T levels drop below normal it might affect your sex drive and to develop in men erectile dysfunction.
Erection depends also on T even if it is still unclear what is the relationship between the two. Some men can have healthy erections despite their T levels is below the normal range. What is better known is that low T levels are also linked to other conditions that can cause erectile dysfunction like obesity, heart disease and diabetes 2.
The minimal level of T required to maintain a good erection is still unknown.
Testosterone in women
Women produce also testosterone but in smaller amount than men in the ovaries, skin cells and adrenal glands. Female bodies convert T and different androgens they produce into female sex hormones. The production of sex hormones during puberty contributes to the development of sex characteristics.
When female bodies produce a higher amount of T the body cannot convert it all into estrogen and as a result they can develop more male secondary sex characteristics such facial hair and more.
In women levels of T range from 15 to 60 nanograms per deciliter of blood.
If T levels are lower than 15 dg/dl some women might experience low sex drive, irregular period, fertility problems and vaginal dryness. On the contrary if testosterone levels are higher than 70 dg/dl some conditions like acne, lack of menstruation and excessive hair growth might appear.
More effects on the body
Testosterone is an important hormone and it can affect mostly everything in men from muscle mass, bone density and the reproductive system. Testosterone helps about 7 weeks after conception to form male genitals until puberty. It can have a role in influencing some type of behaviors like aggression and dominance. Low T can result in lack of motivation, sleep disturbance and lack of energy.
Testosterone increases bone density and increases neuro transmitters encouraging tissue growth.
Side effects of testosterone therapy
Each TRT can have side effects for example intramuscular injections can cause mood swing, patches can irritate the skin. Some other possible symptoms can include breast enlargement, increase aggressive behavior, fluid retention and decreased testicular size.
TRT is not indicated for people who suffer from prostate or breast cancer and people who have severe urinary tract problems and sleep apnea.
Testosterone is an important hormone responsible for the development of many function like muscle bulk, red blood cells and sexual function. Inadequate production of T can cause different conditions like erectile dysfunctions, decrease in muscle mass, loss of hair and mood changes.
It is important to check T levels in your blood and discuss if you need with a physician about a possible treatment plan and choices to opt. Erectile dysfunction problems are not only related to a low production of T so before you start any treatment it is better to examine other factors that might influence your sex drive.
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