What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone found in humans.
In men, the testicles primarily make testosterone. Women’s ovaries also make testosterone, though in much smaller amounts.
The production of testosterone starts to increase significantly during puberty and begins to dip after age 30 or so.
Testosterone is most often associated with sex drive and plays a vital role in sperm production. It also affects bone and muscle mass, the way men store fat in the body, and even red blood cell production.
A man’s testosterone levels can also affect his mood.
Low levels of testosterone, also called low T levels, can produce a variety of symptoms in men, including:
-decreased sex drive & erectile dysfunction
-feelings of depression
-less body hair
Testosterone levels decline steadily in adult women
- however, low T levels can also produce a variety of symptoms, including:
# low libido
# reduced bone strength
# poor concentration
Testosterone therapy may be prescribed for women with low T levels, however, the treatment’s effectiveness on improving sexual function or cognitive function among postmenopausal women is unclear.
Testosterone replacement therapy
You may be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy if low T is interfering with your health and quality of life. Artificial testosterone can be administered orally, through injections, or with gels or skin patches.
Replacement therapy may produce desired results, such as greater muscle mass and a stronger sex drive.
But the treatment does carry some side effects. These include:
-decrease in sperm production
Some studies have found no greater risk of prostate cancer with testosterone replacement therapy, but it continues to be a topic of ongoing research.
One study suggests that there’s a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancers for those on testosterone replacement therapy, but more research is needed.