What Does Testosterone Do?

What Does Testosterone Do

Testosterone has often gotten a bad reputation due to its abuse by athletes and bodybuilders. However, when you understand the functions of testosterone hormone in the body, you will know why it is important to maintain. What does testosterone do that makes it such an essential hormone, not only for men but also for women? That is what we are here to discuss.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is an androgen or steroid hormone. It is produced from cholesterol during a series of chemical and hormonal conversions. Testosterone works on the body’s androgen receptors by entering the cell and binding to stimulate a variety of activities – depending on the location of the receptor cell.

What does testosterone do to the body after it binds with the receptor?

The function of the testosterone will vary depending on location. It may stimulate the production of red blood cells through a process known as erythropoiesis. For the bones, testosterone supports the creation of new bone cells and assists with bone turnover. Most people know that the hormone testosterone stimulates libido and sexual functions. However, it also helps support fertility in both males and females.

As we delve further into our study of testosterone, what does it do becomes a bit more specific as we examine the male and female bodies in the next two sections.

Continue reading as we answer the question – what does testosterone do!

What Does Testosterone Do for Men?

In childhood and puberty, the male hormone testosterone supports the development of the testes and penis. Through a process known as spermatogenesis, it encourages the maturation of the sperm cells – a function critical for fertility and conception.

What does testosterone do for men after puberty?

In addition to maintaining sex drive, supporting erectile functions, and promoting spermatogenesis, testosterone also benefits the following areas of a man’s life:

  • Maintaining muscle mass, tone, and strength
  • Keeping the bones strong and protecting them from becoming brittle
  • Supporting red blood cell production for healthy circulation
  • Protecting LDL and total cholesterol levels from getting too high
  • Regulating emotional well-being and mood
  • Stimulating attention, learning, processing, and memory functions in the brain
  • Supporting restful sleep
  • Maintaining healthy functioning metabolism for proper body composition and fat burning
  • Keeping energy and endurance levels high
  • Promoting healthy hair growth
  • Improving insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake

When a man has low testosterone, he is at a greater risk of developing conditions such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia
  • High cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity
  • Anemia
  • Infertility
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction

As you can see, testosterone’s importance to the body covers nearly all facets of life.

What does testosterone do for men? It helps support a healthy body and mind!

What Does Testosterone Do for Women?

Testosterone’s reputation as a male hormone does a significant injustice to women who may not realize the importance of this chemical messenger for their bodies.

What does testosterone do for women that makes it so important?

Where do we begin? With the bones, the muscles, the brain, the heart, or the blood supply? Should we discuss how testosterone converts into estradiol to supply a woman with estrogen, or how it improves sleep, metabolism, and energy? Let us not forget sexual fantasies, desires, and fertility.

Yes, these are all essential reasons why women need to be cognizant of their testosterone levels at every age. Now, you may be thinking that fertility is not an issue after a certain age. While that may be true, every other function of testosterone is still crucial, even long after menopause.

What does testosterone do in females who are dealing with menopausal symptoms?

Menopause brings many changes to the female body, including hormonal imbalance. The ovaries cease the production of progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. However, although the adrenal glands continue to provide a small supply of these hormones, it is estrogen that often takes the lead as it comes from testosterone conversion that is fueled by belly fat. The enzyme aromatase is produced in belly fat and is responsible for converting any free testosterone it finds in the bloodstream into estradiol. The problem arises when it takes the testosterone needed by the androgen receptors and converts that, resulting in low testosterone and higher estrogen levels. That is called estrogen dominance and tends to increase further fat retention and weight gain.

Of course, the vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and night sweats that accompany menopause improve for the majority of women who receive testosterone therapy. Overall, the same benefits of testosterone for men apply to women.

What does testosterone do for women? It helps maintain healthy bones, heart, sexual, and brain functions while reducing menopausal symptoms in later years.

What Does Testosterone Do If Its Levels Get Too High?

Having too much testosterone is as bad as having too little. For men, elevated testosterone is most often linked to steroid use. That is not the case with women, especially those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

What does high testosterone do for men and women?

The list below shows the most common concerning effects for men with high testosterone levels:

  • Low sperm count (infertility)
  • Acne
  • Liver disease
  • Heart damage
  • Fluid retention
  • Insomnia
  • Depression or other mood changes
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Impaired judgement or risk-taking actions
  • Blood clots
  • Headaches
  • Elevated red blood cell count
  • Prostate problems
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Changes in hair growth
  • Testicular atrophy (shrinkage)

The following list shows concerns over high testosterone levels in women:

  • PCOS
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Missed periods
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Clitoral enlargement
  • Breast shrinkage
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Excess hair growth on face and body
  • Infertility

The maintenance of healthy testosterone levels is crucial for men and women at any age. If you suspect you have high or low testosterone, please contact Kingsberg Medical for a free, confidential consultation by phone today. We can help.

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