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Understanding Testosterone In Men And Women

Testosterone is a vital hormone for men and women alike. It is fundamental for developing masculine features, such as a beard and a more profound voice, as well as the management of libido and fertility.

Nevertheless, some individuals can suffer from hormone imbalances that lead to a variety of health conditions.

What Does Testosterone Do In The Body?

Testosterone is an essential hormone found in both men and women. Testosterone plays an imperative role in a person’s life, with it controlling emotions, vigor, and sexual function. Testicles of males produce testosterone, a hormone also found in minor concentrations in female ovaries and adrenal glands.1

This hormone has a considerable influence on men, resulting in an increase in muscle mass, greater bone density, the growth of body hair, and a deeper vocal tone. Testosterone plays a fundamental part in forming the reproductive tissues of males, like the testes and prostate. It helps to cultivate muscle mass and bone density and is essential for controlling libido and sperm formation. Testosterone levels tend to be highest in males during puberty and early adulthood and gradually decline as men age.

man doing an endurance exercise

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Testosterone is especially vital for women, aiding in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and sustaining bone density. Moreover, it is essential for producing red blood cells, ensuring overall health and contentment.

Without proper levels of testosterone, individuals may experience a range of symptoms, including decreased sex drive, fatigue, mood changes, and muscle weakness.

Normal Testosterone Levels In Men and Women

Testosterone levels in both men and women can vary based on factors such as age and overall health. In general, however, adult men have a normal range of testosterone between 300-1,000 ng/dL, while adult women have a normal range between 15-70 ng/dL. It’s important to note that levels can also fluctuate throughout the day, with higher levels typically in the morning.

Additionally, testosterone levels tend to decrease as people age. A consultation with a healthcare professional is essential if you have symptoms that suggest that your testosterone levels may be low to ascertain the necessary treatment.

Types of Testosterone Issues

Testosterone issues can arise in both men and women. One type of issue is having too high testosterone levels, also known as hypergonadism. This can lead to symptoms such as acne, excess hair growth, and mood changes. On the other hand, too low testosterone levels, also known as hypogonadism, can cause fatigue, decreased sex drive, and depression.

woman taking care of her skin with acne

It’s important to note that low testosterone levels can occur naturally with aging but can also be caused by underlying health conditions. If you suspect you have an issue with your testosterone levels, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for testing and potential treatment options.

Common Causes Of Testosterone Issues

Here are some common causes of testosterone issues in both men and women:

Low Testosterone In Men:

  • Testicular failure
  • Excessive exercise
  • Synthetic steroid abuse
  • Hormonal imbalances in the pituitary gland

High Testosterone In Men:

  • Testicular or adrenal tumors
  • Genetic predisposition

Low Testosterone In Women:

  • Menopause and aging
  • Problems with the ovaries
  • Problems with the pituitary or adrenal gland

High Testosterone In Women:

  • Hirsutism
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Understanding the causes of testosterone issues is crucial to finding the right treatment. Some causes, such as malnutrition or excessive exercise, are reversible, while others require more extensive treatment options. Sometimes, lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet and exercise can help improve testosterone levels. It’s important that you work with your doctor to find the root cause of any testosterone issues and determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

Symptoms Of Testosterone Issues

Testosterone issues can affect both men and women. For men, low testosterone levels may cause fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, and decreased muscle mass. In severe cases, it may also cause infertility and osteoporosis. A lack of testosterone in females can lead to a reduced sex drive, dryness of the vagina, fatigue, and decreased strength.

mother in front of the computer looking tired while two kids are jumping behind

Conversely, elevated levels of testosterone can result in unpredictable moods, skin problems, hair growth that is abnormal in quantity, and reproductive issues for both men and women. While symptoms can differ between individuals, no signs may also appear. Should any of the previously mentioned indicators arise, it is best to consult with a medical specialist.

Tests For Testosterone Issues

If you suspect that you have a testosterone issue, there are tests available to confirm your suspicion. These tests may include a blood test to measure your testosterone levels, a physical exam to check for symptoms related to testosterone issues, or a bone density scan to check for bone loss associated with low testosterone.

Test Tubes in Close Up Shot that are tested for High Platelet Count.

It is possible to determine if low testosterone levels are a result of an underlying medical problem or due to a certain medication by undergoing testing. Having a discussion with a physician about one’s symptoms and undergoing the necessary testing for a correct diagnosis and treatment for testosterone imbalance is vital.

Treatment of Testosterone Issues

If you’re experiencing low testosterone symptoms, getting the proper diagnosis and treatment is essential. There are several treatments available to boost testosterone levels.

The most common treatments for testosterone issues include skin patches, gels, oral therapy, pellets, and injections. Each of these methods delivers testosterone to the body in a different way and has different levels of effectiveness.

  • Skin patches are an easy and convenient way to administer testosterone. The patch is applied daily to the skin and releases a small amount of testosterone through the skin and into the bloodstream.
  • Gels are another option for those with low testosterone. The utilization of testosterone gel on the skin daily is straightforward, and the potential for transmission of the gel to other individuals is minimal.
  • Oral therapy involves taking testosterone tablets by mouth. While this method may seem simple, it is not often prescribed due to the potential risks associated with oral testosterone.
  • Pellets are a relatively new method for delivering testosterone. They are inserted under the skin and slowly release testosterone over several months. This method provides a constant and stable supply of testosterone but requires minor surgery to implant the pellets.
  • Injections are another common way to treat low testosterone. Testosterone injections are administered every two to four weeks and provide a quick boost of testosterone to the body.

Consulting with your medical provider is necessary in order to decide on the most effective treatment plan that best caters to your specific requirements. Remember that the treatment costs will vary depending on the method and frequency of administration. However, most insurance companies will cover the cost of treatment with a doctor’s prescription.

Costs Of Treatment

The cost of treating testosterone issues can vary depending on the type of treatment received. The cost of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the dosage and frequency of treatments. Testosterone gels, patches, injections, and pellets all have different costs.

Before starting treatment, it is essential to check with insurance providers about coverage and costs. The cost of monitoring testosterone levels with lab tests is also a factor to consider. Discussing the costs and options available with the doctor is crucial to decide on the most suitable treatment plan for individual needs and budget.

It is vital to note that some health insurance providers may not cover TRT for certain testosterone issues, so it is essential to check coverage before starting treatment.

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[1] Nassar GN. - Physiology, Testosterone.;