8 Proven Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels NaturallyAn Overview of the Testes Testes secrete the male hormone testosterone. Wgat by Robert M. The testes or testicles are a pair of sperm-producing what hormone stimulates testosterone production that maintain the health of the male reproductive system. The testes are known as gonads. Their female counterpart are the ovaries. In addition to their role in the male reproductive system, the testes also have the distinction of being an endocrine gland because they secrete testosterone—a hormone that is vital to the normal development of male physical characteristics.
Luteinizing and Follicle Stimulating Hormones
It is the primary sex hormone produced by males. While testosterone is best known as a male hormone that maintains typically male characteristics of the body e.
It fulfils important functions for both men and women, most prominently in regulating the sex drive. However, men produce much larger quantities of testosterone compared to women. The way the body produces, distributes and utilises testosterone varies between men and women.
In men, testosterone production commences at puberty , when the pituitary gland in the brain begins producing hormones called follicle stimulating hormone which primarily stimulates sperm production and luteinising hormone LH.
Cells in the testes called interstitial or Leydig cells, produce testosterone in response to the production of LH. Testosterone production increases exponentially approximately fold during puberty. Following puberty, the interstitial cells typically produce testosterone continually. About 6mg of testosterone is produced each day. However, testosterone production may be disrupted by and decline in response to chronic obesity or transient health conditions.
More information on Male Menopause. Most of the testosterone which the testes produce is not used by the body. It is inactivated by the liver and excreted through the kidneys. This can be utilised by cells in the body with androgen receptor sites sites which receive hormones from the androgen group, most prominently testosterone including hair follicles cells, bone cells and cells of the seminiferous tubules of the testes where sperm is produced.
The portion of testosterone tightly bound to SHBG is called biologically inactive testosterone. This unbound portion is known as free testosterone and is also considered bio-available. Chronic health conditions e. The relatively large reduction in bio-available testosterone occurs because ageing men produce greater quantities of SHBG which binds tightly to testosterone making it biologically unavailable or inactive. Women produce much smaller quantities of testosterone than men, but none-the-less it is an important hormone for women.
Testosterone is the immediate precursor of oestradiol, which means that when molecules of testosterone in the body break apart to form other hormones or molecules a process known as biosynthesis , oestrodiol is one of the bi-products.
Oestrodiol is a hormone from the group oestrogens. Maintaining adequate testosterone levels is therefore important for maintaining oestrogen production.
Bio-available testosterone can be utilised by cells in the body with androgen receptor sites sites which receive hormones from the androgen group, including and most prominently testosterone. In women androgen receptor sites are found in the tissues of the skin, hair follicles, bone and sebaceous glands glands in the skin which secrete a fatty substance called sebum.
Low levels of testosterone are present in girls from birth and approximately double during pubertal development. They begin rising in the first half of the cycle also known as the follicular phase and are at their highest for the middle of the menstrual cycle. By the time a woman reaches her mids, her circulating testosterone levels will be approximately half what they were immediately following puberty.
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. For example, some studies have shown that low testosterone levels in women are associated with reduced sex drive, while others have not. This is at least partly due to the greater complexity of the female reproductive system and the hormonal changes it undergoes throughout the menstrual cycle.
Despite the need for further research to determine the exact function of testosterone in women, it is clear that, similar to males, testosterone plays a key role in regulating female sexual function including sexual desire, arousal and orgasm and general well-being e. Oestrodiol, a hormone of the oestrogen group which are the primary female hormones is a by-product of testosterone metabolism.
There is also evidence that testosterone influences female sexual functioning directly as testosterone, not the testosterone bi-product oestrodiol. Testosterone levels affect the function of many female reproductive organs including the clitoris, uterus, mammary gland, vagina and ovaries. It has been shown that testosterone plays an important role in genital arousal the process through which the genitals become aroused and is characterised by increasing blood flow to the genitals and in women genital lubrication , which is likely to affect orgasmic ability, as this is dependent on adequate genital arousal.
Although there is clear evidence that many women with low testosterone levels do not experience sexual dysfunction, there is also evidence that testosterone plays a role in regulating female sexual desire and response. For example, studies have correlated low testosterone levels in women with decreased orgasmic ability, sexual pleasure and reduced libido.
In addition, there is evidence that testosterone levels increase in response to sexual stimuli. Numerous studies have shown improved sexual function as a result of testosterone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women with low testosterone levels. Women who received testosterone replacement after surgically induced menopause by oorphorectomy removal of both ovaries which caused testosterone deficiency, reported significantly more frequent sexual intercourse and fantasies and greater orgasmic pleasure than women who did not receive testosterone replacement therapy following oorphorectomy.
Women receiving combined oestrogen-androgen replacement or tibolone a drug which mimics functions of both oestrogen and testosterone therapy following natural menopause have reported improved sexual function compared to those receiving oestrogen replacement therapy alone.
In women, testosterone is also important for bone mineralisation the conversion of minerals in the diet to bone matter and testosterone deficiency is associated with bone conditions including osteopaenia reduced bone density and osteoporosis a condition in which the bones thin and become more vulnerable to fracture. Testosterone imbalance is primarily caused by the production of either too much or not enough testosterone. The causes which underlie imbalances in testosterone production vary for men and women.
In men, elevated testosterone levels may be caused by:. In women, elevated testosterone levels may be caused by:. Elevated testosterone levels are associated with the following conditions:.
In women, there is evidence that abnormally low testosterone levels are associated with the following health problems:. Abnormally high testosterone levels in women may cause the over-development of typically male sex characteristics and may result in:. View more information about myVMC. Please be aware that we do not give advice on your individual medical condition, if you want advice please see your treating physician. Parenting information is available at Parenthub. Are you a Health Professional?
Jump over to the doctors only platform. Anal Bleeding - - - Dr Joe: Skin - - - Dr Joe: Stress Management - - - Prostate Cancer: Anal Bleeding Dr Joe: Stress Management Prostate Cancer: Testosterone production and use The way the body produces, distributes and utilises testosterone varies between men and women.
Men In men, testosterone production commences at puberty , when the pituitary gland in the brain begins producing hormones called follicle stimulating hormone which primarily stimulates sperm production and luteinising hormone LH. More information on Male Menopause Most of the testosterone which the testes produce is not used by the body. Functions of testosterone The function of testosterone varies between men and women. Men Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. Primary sex characteristics include: Penis and testes size in adult men — testosterone is responsible for developing the male genitals.
Men who do not produce enough or any testosterone may maintain child-sized genitals; Sperm production — testosterone supports the final stages of sperm production and men who produce inadequate testosterone may be infertile ; Libido — testosterone regulates the male sex drive and inadequate testosterone production decreases libido; Erectile function — is also influenced by testosterone, which is important for the growth and development of erectile tissues tissues in the penis which swell with blood in response to sexual stimuli and cause an erection.
Testosterone also increases the activity of a molecule called nitric oxide synthase , which regulate the movement of smooth muscles muscles which expand and contract involuntarily in the penis.
Secondary sex characteristics include: Hair growth — including the growth of pubic, body and facial hair; Deep voice; Heavier bones; Body composition — greater quantities of testosterone cause men to have a greater proportion of lean body mass and lower proportion of fat compared to women. Underlying causes of testosterone imbalance Testosterone imbalance is primarily caused by the production of either too much or not enough testosterone. Men In men, elevated testosterone levels may be caused by: Anabolic steroid use; Administration of too much exogenous testosterone testosterone of external origin , for example in testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone deficiency is associated with the following conditions: Women In women, elevated testosterone levels may be caused by: Polycystic ovarian syndrome — women with polycystic ovarian syndrome typically have elevated testosterone and other androgen levels.
Idiopathic hirsutism excessive hair growth of unknown origin ; Congenital adrenal hyperplasia excessive growth of the adrenal gland caused by the growth of excessive normal adrenal cells.
Congenital cases are evident at the time of birth ; Androgen secreting ovarian or adrenal tumours tumours of the ovaries or adrenal gland which produce and secrete androgen group hormones, of which testosterone is one ; Administration of exogenous testosterone for example as part of hormone replacement therapy.
Abnormally low testosterone levels may be induced by: Oestrogen replacement therapy — as the resulting increase in oestrogen causes an increase in SHBG concentrations.
This results in greater quantities of testosterone being tightly bound and biologically unavailable; Primary ovarian failure or insufficiency failure of the ovaries to produce mature eggs or sufficient quantities of such, due to a dysfunction in the ovaries ; Secondary ovarian failure failure of the ovaries to produce eggs due to a dysfunction in the pituitary gland, which means the pituitary fails to secrete follicle stimulating hormone, the hormone which stimulates the ovaries to develop mature eggs ; Hypopituitarism reduced secretion of hormones from the pituitary gland ; Dysfunction of the adrenal axis the axis of hormone secreting glands which are the adrenal glands above the kidneys and the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain ; Chemotherapy drugs; Surgical menopause is associated with a rapid decline in testosterone production and levels.
Priapism persistent erection ; Sudden cardiac death; and Liver disease. Testosterone deficiency is associated with the following side effects and symptoms: Women In women, there is evidence that abnormally low testosterone levels are associated with the following health problems: Loss of bone mineral density a measure of the density of mineral salts such as calcium carbonate in the bone in pre and post menopausal women; Osteoporosis; Increased risk of hip fracture in post-menopausal women; Reduced muscle strength in post-menopausal women; Height loss in post-menopausal women; Reduced lean body mass in post-menopausal women; Reduced cognition and memory function; Persistent fatigue; Reduced motivation; Loss of pubic hair; Thinning of the vaginal mucosa the membranes which produce vaginal mucus, including lubrication during sexual activity ; Reduced sense of well-being; Impaired sexual functioning- including: Reduced frequency of sexual intercourse; Decreased libido; Reduced vaginal lubrication; Dyspareunia pain during intercourse ; Reduced orgasmic ability; and Reduced sexual pleasure.
Abnormally high testosterone levels in women may cause the over-development of typically male sex characteristics and may result in: More information For more information on male testosterone deficiency disorders and replacement therapy treatment, see Testosterone Deficiency.
Androgen treatment in women. Essential of anatomy and physiology. Testosterone deficiency in men: Physiology of female sexual function and dysfunction. Int J Impotence Res. Serum testosterone assays- accuracy matters. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. The association between obesity and the diagnosis of androgen deficiency in symptomatic ageing men.
The role of androgens in female sexual dysfunction. Role of androgens in female genital sexual arousal: