What Do I Need to Know About Testosterone?

psychiatrist, sexologist, psychotherapist
  • Published:
    11 April 2023
What Do I Need to Know About Testosterone?

   Testosterone is the main male sex hormone that determines the development of secondary sexual characteristics, puberty, and normal sexual function in men. It is produced 90% in the testicles and 10% in the adrenal cortex.

   Testosterone levels depend on many factors: age, physical activity, lifestyle, diet, taking medications, sexual activity, climate, and sleep. For example, it has been proven that men in sunny countries have significantly higher testosterone levels than those in the north.

   Testosterone levels in the blood serum of a healthy man vary throughout the day and follow a circadian rhythm, maximal in the early morning and minimal in the afternoon. Therefore, you should be alert if your morning erection has disappeared.

   Total testosterone levels range from 264 to 916 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) in non-obese European and American men aged 19 to 39. The average testosterone level in adult men is 630 ng/dL. However, the reference values in different laboratories can vary significantly, so the physician should interpret the test results.

   What is the first thing that comes to mind when we hear testosterone? Sports, muscle mass, sexual activity, aggression, and baldness. But testosterone has many more functions.

   Effects of Testosterone

  1. First, testosterone strongly affects a man's appearance, behavior, and psychological state.
  2. During adolescence, a natural increase in testosterone triggers turning a boy into a man.
  3. Testosterone regulates the proper development of the prostate gland, testicles, and penis.
  4. Stimulates the growth of body and facial hair and changes the voice towards a lower tone.
  5. Accelerates protein synthesis (anabolic effect), promotes muscle mass recruitment, and increases strength. For example, testosterone is used by athletes to increase muscle strength and endurance. But its prolonged use results in decreased testosterone secretion, negatively affecting erections and sexual performance.
  6. Controls the distribution of fat in the body so that fat is not deposited in the abdomen and thighs.
  7. Increases serotonin levels, which increases mood and pain threshold. Also, the testosterone level determines men's tendency to take risks when making financial decisions.
  8. Men with high testosterone levels are prone to risky actions financially.
  9. It improves peripheral blood circulation, which determines normal erections.
  10. It affects the hypothalamus, increasing libido.
  11. Increases the level of aggression and induces a desire to compete.
  12. It regulates the metabolism of phosphorus and nitrogen, which is necessary for the development of bone tissue.

   Which fact about testosterone surprised you the most?

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