People often think of testosterone in terms of a room full of uncontrollable men, each trying to out macho the other, beating their bare chests, talking about trucks. It's clear to onlookers what "Too much testosterone in here!" means.
What Is It?
Testosterone is the hormone that affects many of a man's physical attributes. It is considered a male hormone, but both men and women have it, though women generally in a lesser amount. According to Hormone.org, during puberty and young adulthood, a boy's testosterone level has a huge growth spurt that affects his hair growth, the timbre of his voice, and his sexuality. His muscles are able to bulk up more quickly and his emotions can tend to be all over the place. From puberty on, his testosterone level will ebb and flow but never to such an extent as during his youth. When the testosterone level becomes of concern, some men choose testosterone therapy to regain their old self. The therapy can be administered via skin or mouth patch, gel, injection, or "pellets" implanted just under your skin.
Who Needs It?
As men age, it is common for their testosterone level to lower. According to Leviathan Wellness, testosterone production dips at around age 40, though it tends to be fairly gradual over the years. In some men, however, the dip in testosterone leads to various health issues. Osteoporosis, depression, loss of muscle mass and, what many men fear the most, erectile dysfunction are common complaints. Testosterone is the hormone that determines physically and physiologically what makes men be men, just as estrogen makes women be women (emotionally and mentally are different issues). Part of the reassignment process for a woman-to-man is increasing his testosterone level. Conversely, when going through a man-to-woman change, estrogen is increased. The amount of testosterone in your body does not in itself determine whether you are a man or a woman.
Risks of Testosterone Therapy
As with almost any medical procedure, testosterone therapy involves risks, some possibly life-threatening. Blood clots, sleep apnea, prostate problems and, ironically, enlarged breasts can be side effects of testosterone therapy. It is important to talk to your doctor and only undergo testosterone therapy under their supervision.
If low testosterone level has recently been diagnosed, or even earlier when you are first noticing symptoms, discuss it with your significant other. Discussing a sexual problem can be embarrassing to many men, but your partner has probably noticed something going on already. Most couples find that there are ways to adjust to sexual issues even when they cannot be reversed. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for you.
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