What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily by the gonads (testes or ovaries). Testosterone levels are naturally much higher in male born than in those born female. When testosterone levels are too high or too low, it can cause some symptoms.

  • What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily by the gonads (genitals).In particular, the testicles of born males (AMAB) and the ovaries of born females (AFAB) produce testosterone.

Your adrenal glands also produce the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which the body converts into testosterone and estrogen.

Testosterone is the primary androgen, meaning it stimulates the development of masculine characteristic s.Testosterone levels are naturally much higher in AMAB individuals than in AFAB individuals.

  • Is testosterone a steroid?

Natural Testosterone is a steroid – an anabolic androgenic steroid. “Anabol” refers to muscle building and “androgenic” refers to enhancing male sex characteristics.

However, when you hear people use the term “anabolic steroids,” they’re usually referring to the synthetic (laboratory-made) variants of testosterone that are injected into the body.

Medical professionals use synthetic testosterone to treat a variety of conditions.

Synthetic testosterone is the primary drug in masculinizing hormone therapy, which is a gender-affirming treatment that an AFAB individual uses to create secondary sex characteristics associated with male birth attribution (AMAB).

Some athletes and bodybuilders abuse synthetic testosterone (anabolic steroids) and take very high doses to enhance their performance or to change their appearance. Misuse of these drugs can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and lead to dangerous long-term health problems, including blood clots, stroke, and a potentially increased risk of prostate cancer.

  • What does testosterone do?

Testosterone plays a variety of roles at different stages of life, including:

  • Fetal Development.
  • puberty of boys.
  • Testosterone and fetal development

Around seven weeks of fetal life, a sex-linked gene on the Y chromosome initiates testicular development in newborn boys. The testicles produce testosterone.

Testosterone triggers the development of male internal and external reproductive organs during fetal development.

  • Testosterone and puberty

Testosterone is responsible for many of the changes seen in male children at birth during puberty, including:

  • Increased growth.
  • growth of body and pubic hair.
  • Enlargement of the penis, testicles and prostate.
  • Increased libido (libido).
  • testosterone and male assigned adults at birth

Testosterone is essential for the production of sperm. and also:

  • Signals the body to make new red blood cells.
  • Maintains strong bones and muscles.
  • Increases libido (libido) and well-being.
  • testosterone and adults are attributed to a woman at birth

In female-born adults, testosterone increases libido.However, most of the testosterone produced in the ovaries is converted into the main female sex hormone, estradiol.

How are testosterone tiers controlled?

Your frame controls the testosterone ranges on your blood. Levels are usually highest in the morning and decrease throughout the day. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland control the amount of testosterone produced and released by the gonads (testes or ovaries). Your hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormone (LH).LH then travels to the gonads and stimulates the production and release of testosterone. (LH most commonly stimulates the production of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries.) When testosterone levels rise in the blood, it inhibits the production of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone that helps maintain normal testosterone levels. When any of these organs – the hypothalamus, pituitary or gonads – are not functioning normally, abnormal testosterone levels can occur.

What assessments degree testosterone levels?

If your doctor suspects you have erratic testosterone levels, they may order one or more tests, including:

  • Total testosterone blood test (usually done in the morning as testosterone levels are highest).
  • Blood take a look at for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test.

What is the normal testosterone level based on age?

The following two charts show the general normal ranges of testosterone by age and sex.The content is measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). It is important to note that the normal ranges for testosterone levels can vary depending on the type of blood test performed and the laboratory in which it is performed. Your doctor will always refer to normal laboratory values ​​when interpreting the results. Talk to them if you have any questions. Normal Testosterone Level in Males Assigned at Birth:

Normal testosterone levels for people assigned male at birth:

Age range Normal testosterone range
Under 1 year old. Less than 12 ng/dL.
1 to 5 years old. Less than 12 ng/dL.
6 to 10 years old. Less than 25 ng/dL.
11 to 15 years old. Less than 830 ng/dL.
16 to 17 years old. 102 to 1010 ng/dL.
18 to 99 years old. 193 to 824 ng/dL.


Normal testosterone levels for people assigned female at birth:

Age range Normal testosterone range
Under 1 year old. Less than 21 ng/dL.
1 to 5 years old. Less than 12 ng/dL.
6 to 10 years old. Less than 25 ng/dL.
11 to 17 years old. Less than 79 ng/dL.
18 to 99 years old. Less than 40 ng/dL
  • What Causes High Testosterone Levels?

Several conditions can cause the body to produce too much testosterone, including:


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is a hormonal imbalance that affects people with ovaries. This happens when the ovaries produce too much androgen (testosterone). This imbalance in reproductive hormones causes physical symptoms such as excessive body hair and weight gain.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: In CAH, genetic mutations (changes) cause an enzyme deficiency in the adrenal glands.These enzymes generally help the body produce cortisol, a hormone the body needs to respond to stress. When enzymes aren’t working normally, the adrenal glands produce excess testosterone and other hormones in place of cortisol.

Ovarian or testicular tumors: Ovarian and testicular tumors that produce androgens can release excess Testosterone. Adrenal Tumors: Sex hormone-producing adrenal tumors are rare tumors that produce too much androgen (testosterone), estrogen, or both.Excess testosterone influences the frame in a different way relying on gender and age.

  • High Testosterone Levels in Born Males

It is unlikely – and difficult to determine – that an adult male assigned at birth will have higher than normal testosterone levels.

  • Excess testosterone in boys at birth can lead to precocious (premature) puberty, which begins before the age of nine.
  • High levels of testosterone in individuals assigned to female at birth
  • High testosterone levels in newborn females (AFAB) can result in an enlarged clitoris, which can almost resemble a penis. It can also lead to precocious (precocious) puberty, in which puberty begins before the age of eight.

In adult female-born adults, high levels of testosterone can be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).This condition is very common, affecting up to 15% of AFABs of childbearing age.

  • PCOS causes some symptoms including:
  • Excessive hairiness on body and face (hirsutism).
  • Irregular periods (menses).
  • hair loss before the hairline.
  • Deeper voice.

What occurs while testosterone tiers are too low?

Lower than normal testosterone levels usually only cause symptoms in congenital males.This situation is referred to as male hypogonadism.

There are two main types of male hypogonadism: classic (congenital or acquired) and late.

Classic male hypogonadism occurs when low testosterone levels are caused by disease or damage to the testicles, pituitary gland, or hypothalamus. For example, a person may be born with a (congenital) condition that results in low testosterone levels, such as Klinefelter syndrome or Kallmann syndrome, or it may later develop (acquired) as something that interferes with the normal functioning of their body .  the testicles, the hypothalamus, or the pituitary gland.

Delayed male hypogonadism occurs when decreased testosterone levels are associated with general aging and/or age-related diseases, particularly obesity and type 2 diabetes.  It affects about 2% of men over 40.

Symptoms of low testosterone vary by age.

Low testosterone ranges in fetal development

Testosterone deficiency during fetal development prevents the normal development of male characteristics. This is called androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) and occurs when a person is genetically male but is insensitive to androgens (male sex hormones).

AIS is a disorder of sex differentiation. It affects male fetuses developing in utero and sexual development in adolescents during puberty. AIS prevents normal male genital development and almost always causes infertility (difficulty or inability to reproduce) in adulthood.

Testosterone deficiency during puberty

In children identified as male at birth, testosterone deficiency during adolescence can lead to:

  • Growth slows, but arms and legs may still grow disproportionately to the rest of the body.
  • Decreased pubic hair growth.
  • Decreased growth of penis and testicles.
  • Less deepening of the voice.
  • Strength and endurance subnormal.
  • Low testosterone levels in adults

Testosterone levels in adults designated as male at birth (AMAB) naturally decline with age. However, AMAB adults can still have lower testosterone levels, which can result in:

Unexplained loss of muscle mass and increase in body fat.

  • hair loss.
  • Depressed mood.
  • Erectile Dysfunction.
  • Low libido.
  • osteoporosis (weak bones).Difficulty concentrating and remembering.

When should I see a doctor about my testosterone levels?

If you think you have symptoms of low or high testosterone, talk to your doctor.They may order specific tests or refer you to a specialist.

Clinical Note Cleveland

Testosterone is an essential part of reproductive health and overall health for those who are male at birth. It is natural for testosterone levels to vary with age and general health. If they are consistently high or low, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms worth discussing with your doctor. There are treatments that can help.

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