Testosterone is a sex hormone that is produced mainly in the testes, and also in smaller amounts in the adrenal glands and in the ovaries in women.
Testosterone hormone is responsible for sexual characteristics in men, but it also has many other functions in the skin, muscles, bones, kidneys, liver, bone marrow and central nervous system.
A decrease or increase in testosterone levels can explain certain conditions and can also indicate various diseases. The measured testosterone values can help the doctor to make a diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan.
When should testosterone levels be measured?
- erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, impotence
- low sperm count
- early or late puberty in case of boys
- steroid use (high levels of exogenous steroids reduce the normal testosterone level, which can lead to impaired sperm production)
- osteoporosis in older age
- depressed mode
- suspicion of PCOS
- appearance of masculine features (excessive hair growth (hirsutism), deep voice)
- menstrual disorders
Hormone levels fluctuate daily, with the highest level in the morning
Testosterone level also changes with age, usually starting to decline after the age of 50 in men and before menopause in women. During a complex test, the levels of other hormones (LH, FSH) are often measured, and the levels of SHBG protein (sex hormone-binding globulin), which binds testosterone in the blood, are also tested at the same time.
The assessment of test results is always the responsibility of the doctor. Testosterone levels can be reduced by different conditions and diseases, such as diabetes, testicular or ovarian cancer, steroid use, testicular hernia, hypothyroidism, previous chemotherapy, estrogen therapy, obesity, prolonged and exhausting exercise, and overwork.
The aim of testosterone replacement therapy for men is to achieve a healthy and balanced quality of life.
- Properly regulated testosterone level can help improve sexual function, including treatment of erectile problems and increased libido.
- Improving mood and cognitive function: adequate testosterone levels can help maintain a good mood, increase energy levels and improve cognitive functions such as memory and concentration.
- Measuring testosterone levels allows the doctor to detect and treat problems associated with bone loss or low energy levels.
It is important to identify and treat the cause of the testosterone deficiency (e.g. thyroid disease) if possible. Laboratory values serve as a guideline prior to the choice of testosterone replacement and it is important to emphasize that testosterone replacement can only be administered under medical supervision.