The gonads produce testoTsterone as well as the adrenal glands. Testosterone is actually produced in both sexes, although in much smaller quantities in females when compared to males. Testosterone itself is an androgen, which means it helps to stimulate the development of masculine features on an individual.
There is this very hormone that is responsible for initiating the development of male features, both external and internal including the reproductive organs during the foetal phase, and sperm maintenance during the adulthood.
Testosterone is also responsible for signaling to the body to produce new blood cells, and is responsible for keeping the bones and muscles strong during puberty, as well as enhancing the libido in both sexes. This hormone is responsible for some of the many changes in males during the puberty phase including enlargement of the penis, sexual desire, increase in height, and body hair growth.
This hormone also regulates the secretion of the luteinizing hormone, as well is a follicle stimulating hormone. In order for these changes to occur, testosterone in itself is converted into an alternative androgen called dihydrotestosterone.
Testosterone production is tightly regulated, i.e. controlled so levels remain “normal” in the blood. Typically, testosterone levels are at their highest in the mornings, before depleting through the day. The importance of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus cannot be overstated, because it is these two that control the amount of testosterone your testes produce.
In a responsive action to the gonadotropin, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland produced the luteinizing hormone, which travels via your bloodstream to the gonads, and helps to stimulate the production of, yes you guessed it, testosterone.
By this time, the blood levels of testosterone rise, and this feedback is sent back to the hypothalamus which then cuts back on the production of the luteinizing hormone via the pituitary gland. This is the point where testosterone levels begin to drop.
Is the Such a Thing As Too Much Testosterone?
Excess testosterone is entirely dependent on a person’s sex and age. So far, there have been no cases of adult men developing such disorders where the body produces way too much testosterone. Things may be a bit more of a serious nature when it comes to children, because too much testosterone may trigger early growth spurts, and early signs of puberty. It is also true that too much testosterone in children can sometimes lead to something called “precocious puberty”, which can eventually lead to infertility.
If you’re a woman, too much testosterone in the body may be an indicator of the polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition which usually becomes apparent after outbreaks of acne, an accelerated body and facial hair growth, as well as bowling at the front of the hairline, excessive muscle growth and the development of a deep voice.
There are also a number of recognized conditions that cause the body to overproduce testosterone including androgen resistance, ovarian cancer, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Anabolic steroids use can sometimes result in too much testosterone being present in the body due to an overproduction by the hypothalamus, and this usually results in over-production by the luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland, and upon the knowledge and of the extra testosterone pumped into the body, the testes cutback on their own production leading to a whole host of problems.
Prolonged exposure to anabolic steroids can sometimes lead to infertility, a diminished sex drive, and a shrinking of the testicles, as well as gynaecomastia, the development of man boobs. Liver damage can also occur.
What Will Low Testosterone Do?
If a testosterone deficiency takes in effect during the foetal development, then unfortunately the development of masculine features will be hindered, and possibly leading the way to certain disorders in sexual development.
If a testosterone deficiency takes effect during the puberty phase, this will no doubt growth spurts, as well as a failure to develop male characteristics such as the growth of the penis and testes, deepening of the voice, and the growth of pubic hair. During the time of puberty, males with a testosterone deficiency will display less endurance and strength compared to their counterparts. Another tell-tale sign would be the abnormal growth of the arms and legs when compared to the rest of the body.
A testosterone deficiency that takes hold during adulthood can cause a loss of muscle mass, loss of body hair, and wrinkly skin. Although it is a natural occurrence for testosterone levels to begin to drop with age, there are a number of steps men can take to try and reverse this. This decline in testosterone is usually referred to as andropause/male menopause.
The effects of low testosterone can also affect the mood, increase body fat, lose muscle tone, and hinder erections, cause difficulties with concentration, trigger memory loss, as well as difficulties in sleeping.