Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone belonging to a group of hormones called androgens, and one that plays a very important role in a man’s sexual and reproductive function.
This hormone is very important to a man’s health and although women also have testosterone in their body (the ovaries produce both testosterone and estrogen), it is relatively small.
During puberty, the levels of this hormone in the body rises in order to foster the growth of the penis, testicles and pubic hair. Other changes such as deepened voice, broadened shoulders and a change in facial structure also begin to manifest.
The high levels of this hormone continue into early adulthood and start to drop gradually as a man gets older. On the average after age 30, the levels of testosterone in a man’s body drops by one percent every year but for men who have some medical conditions, the decline may be more rapid.
In otherwise healthy men, this decline is a normal process and one that does not call for concern. If it does show symptoms, they are usually not worrisome and most men do find their way around it.
As a healthy young man however, there are certain symptoms you should not ignore and which therefore necessitate a visit to the hospital because they might be an indication of unusually low levels of this important hormone. These symptoms include:
- Drastic drop in sex drive
- Decreased body and facial hair
- Fewer morning erections
- Decreased semen volume
- Difficulty with erection
Treatment for low testosterone would depend on its cause. Generally, certain lifestyle changes, particularly, weight loss and exercise are usually recommended by doctors.
It has been found that men who lose and maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly, especially weight training and other forms of resistance exercise, are able to significantly boost their testosterone levels.