What is Testosterone? Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced in testicles. It affects the development of reproductive organs and fertility later in life. Women also produce testosterone in ovaries but in much smaller amounts.
Male body starts to produce larger amounts of this hormone during puberty, and it slowly starts to decrease at 30 years of age. Testosterone also affects bone and muscle mass and the way our body stores fat.
Therefore, it is used by some bodybuilders as an anabolic steroid. Testosterone is also an essential factor in red blood cells production.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
A human body is a complex mechanism with the majority of functions driven by hormones. Low or high levels of testosterone which is detected by medical testing can cause serious negative effects on many processes in a person’s body.
Some of the causes of low testosterone include:
- Testical infections
- Kidney disease
- Liver problems
- Pituitary gland issues
- High prolactin levels
- Genetic syndromes (Klinefelter, Prader-Willi, etc.)
Low testosterone signs and symptoms include infertility, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, mood changes, anger, increased amount of fat stored in the abdomen, lack of body hair, skin problems, decreased strength and low muscle mass, decreased bone density, etc.
Low Testosterone Effects
Most patients with low testosterone come to the doctor because of fertility issues and body changes. Women whose partners suffer from this condition have troubles getting pregnant because low testosterone not only causes libido issues but it also affects sperm production.
Erectile dysfunction is not directly related to low testosterone but often comes hand in hand. Low testosterone causes low libido which in turn leads to erection problems.
Other effects of low testosterone include depression, memory problems, mood changes, painful and tender breast tissue, insomnia, muscle weakness, and fragile bones.
How is Low Testosterone Treated?
When it comes to low testosterone treatment, simple replacement therapy is not going to cut it. Most commonly used method is hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone. It is an FDA-approved substance for infertility treatment. However, some people use it for weight loss which is not recommended according to the Food and Drug Administration.
In a nutshell, hCG prevents testicle shrinkage and stimulates testosterone and sperm production. It mimics the effects of LH (luteinizing hormone) which is normally present in both male and female bodies.
hCG, however, is only produced by women during pregnancy (this is why it is referred to as “pregnancy hormone”).
Some hCG side effects include gynecomastia, nausea, vomiting, and in rare cases allergic reaction.
The Bottom Line
Testosterone is a male sex hormone, but ovaries also produce it in lower amounts. Testosterone is essential for fertility, libido, sperm production, bone and muscle mass, fat distribution, and mood.
Low or high testosterone can cause severe problems in any of these areas.
The primary reason why men who suffer from low testosterone seek professional help is infertility. When the condition is diagnosed, a doctor will probably prescribe hCG injections. hCG or pregnancy hormone stimulates sperm and testosterone production in testicles improving fertility.