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What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It is naturally produced in the body of both males and females. However, testosterone is responsible for the development of traditionally male characteristics.

Testosterone levels are naturally higher in those assigned male at birth.

Where is Testosterone Produced?

Testosterone is produced mainly by the gonads. Gonads are the sex organs of each sex.

For males, testosterone will be produced by the testicles. For women, it will be produced in the ovaries.

What Does Testosterone Do?

Testosterone plays an essential role throughout all stages of life.

In utero, the development of testicles leads to the production of testosterone. This induces the growth of male internal and external reproductive organs. During puberty, testosterone is responsible for many changes in those assigned male at birth.

This includes:
  • Height increases
  • Body and pubic hair growth
  • Enlargement of the penis
  • Testes and prostate gland
  • Increased libido

During adulthood, testosterone is necessary to produce sperm. It also:
  • Signals your body to make new red blood cells
  • Ensures your bones and muscles stay strong
  • Enhances libido and a sense of well-being

What Affects Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone levels are usually highest in the morning and decline throughout the day.

Other factors that affect testosterone levels include:
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Alcohol & drug consumption
  • Sleep quality
  • Genetics
  • Weight

Levels can be tested by a simple blood test. A normal testosterone range is from 193 to 824 ng/dL for adults assigned male at birth.

Healthy lifestyle habits can help keep testosterone levels regular. These include:
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Strength training
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol, drugs, and tobacco

Supplements such as zinc, quercetin, grape seed extract, and DHEA can also be beneficial.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Symptoms of low testosterone in adults assigned male at birth include:
  • Unexplained reduction in muscle mass
  • Increase in body fat
  • Loss of body hair
  • Depressed mood
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sex drive
  • Fatigue
  • Low sperm count
  • Hot flashes
  • Shrinking of the testicles
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory disturbances

According to the American Urology Association, a blood testosterone level of less than 300 ng/dL is considered low for males. Lower testosterone levels may cause male hypogonadism.

This is when testosterone levels are depressed due to an underlying medical condition, such as damage to the testicles, or can be due to aging in general.

Low testosterone is more likely to affect those who are:
  • Older
  • Obese
  • Have poorly managed Type 2 diabetes
  • Have obstructive sleep apnea
  • Have HIV/AIDs
  • Have chronic conditions of the kidneys or liver

Hormone therapy for men and women helps improve testosterone levels.

Symptoms of High Testosterone

Abnormally high blood testosterone in men can also be detrimental. It can lead to:
  • Low sperm counts
  • Damage to the heart muscle
  • Prostate enlargement and trouble urinating
  • Liver disease
  • Acne
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Increased risk of clot development
  • Uncharacteristically aggressive behavior & mood swings
  • Increase muscle mass

Most of what is known about high testosterone levels comes from athletes using them in order to boost athletic performance.

Do Women Have Testosterone?

Testosterone enhances libido and fundamentally affects ovarian function and bone strength in people assigned female at birth.

Most of the testosterone produced by the ovaries is converted into the female sex hormone known as estradiol.

For those adults assigned female at birth, an average value is less than 40 ng/dL. In women, high testosterone levels can lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Medication Forms of TRT

Forms of treatment include:
  • Skin gels
  • Injections
  • Patches
  • Pellets
  • Tablets
  • Nasal gels
  • Oral pills

Your doctor will help you decide which form may be the best fit.

TRT Side Effects

Some side effects associated with testosterone replacement are:

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Swelling of the ankles due to mild fluid retention
  • Urinary symptoms (difficulty peeing)
  • Breast enlargement or tenderness
  • Worsening of sleep apnea
  • And skin irritation if using a topical

Hormone Therapy for Low Testosterone

Low testosterone can be helped with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). This type of hormone replacement therapy helps restore levels to a healthy standard. 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. You can complete the form below or call our Littleton or Cherry Creek locations.

Send us a text or social media message, and we will respond promptly!
Littleton: (303) 707-1500
Cherry Creek: (303) 333-2010