Besides being a sex hormone, testosterone also plays a vital role in the formation of sperm and maintaining bone strength during puberty. It helps to develop body hair and promotes the development of a deep voice.
The levels of testosterone in men and women vary. They naturally decrease as men age. If you are concerned about your level of testosterone, consult a doctor. Your provider can provide a blood test to check your testosterone levels.
Testosterone is synthesized in men by the adrenal glands and in women by the ovaries. It is produced in small amounts in both sexes. During puberty, boys begin to produce more testosterone than girls.
Testosterone helps to increase muscle mass and bone strength. It also helps to control pain. It is also a hormone responsible for the production of red blood cells. It has a variety of effects on the brain, including a role in learning and memory.
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It is important to maintain proper levels of testosterone in males, as it is linked to sex drive. It is the primary hormone in males, but in females it is not as important.
In the brain, testosterone is converted to estradiol by an enzyme called aromatase. In the hippocampus, it is converted to oestradiol. It is also metabolized by enzymes in the liver and brain to dihydrotestosterone. DHT is five-fold more potent than testosterone. It has a higher affinity for androgen receptors.
Testosterone replacement therapy may also affect the heart and the cardiovascular system, which can be a concern for some people. It can lead to polycythemia, a condition that increases the risk of stroke. It can also affect sleep apnea.