Testosterone. Most people know it as the key male sex hormone. When we think of testosterone, we often think of bulging muscles and impressive bone densities.
But here’s the thing: That understanding is an oversimplification of this hormone.
As it turns out, testosterone isn’t all about muscles and bone density. In fact, it plays a huge part in any given man’s overall health. Men who have too little testosterone, for instance, can develop serious ailments.
And, yes, men of all ages have problems with low testosterone.
So what more do you need to know about testosterone? The following 10 testosterone facts should get you up to speed in no time.
1. Sex Drive
Here’s a fun fact:
About 40 percent of couples over the age of 18 claim they have sex 3 to 4 times each week.
So what does this statistic have to do with testosterone? Pretty much everything.
Testosterone has a huge impact on men’s sex lives. And this impact starts at an early age. Testosterone, for instance, is responsible for the growth of the male genitalia and pubic hair.
Of course, the effects of testosterone on men’s sex lives don’t end there. As many of you may know, testosterone levels can affect men’s sex drives. Men who have low levels of testosterone may, in fact, lose their desire to engage in sexual activity.
But that’s not the worst of it. Low testosterone levels can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Sadly, these types of health problems can wreak havoc on men’s romantic lives. Some men, for example, may have difficulties performing well in bed. Not only that, but these issues can put a strain on serious relationships if left unchecked.
2. Reproductive Health
Many men imagine that they’ll one day have children. These men likely never imagine that they’ll have any problems conceiving a child with their future partners.
Unfortunately, some of these men go on to find out that they’re infertile. And the cause of this infertility?
Testosterone is the culprit. To be exact, low levels of testosterone are the culprit in many cases.
But the relationship between testosterone levels and infertility isn’t as simple as you think it is.
For one, low testosterone levels can decrease a man’s fertility. In such cases, the afflicted men usually seek medical help. This help comes in the form of hormone therapy or some other treatment.
Here, however, is the kicker:
High levels of testosterone are also bad for male fertility. That’s why we said that low levels of testosterone were the culprit in many cases-not all cases.
So how do high testosterone levels cause problems for men? As it turns out, testicles can stop producing sperm if a man’s body has elevated levels of testosterone.
In any case, we recommend that you seek medical help if you’re having fertility issues. Getting some comprehensive testing and checking your hormone levels is never a bad idea.
3. Red Blood Cell Count
Okay. So maybe you knew that testosterone plays a huge part in male sexuality and reproductive processes.
Did you know, though, that testosterone plays a huge role in a healthy circulatory system?
Even as we speak, there’s testosterone coursing through your veins. Once it reaches your body’s bone marrow, it will encourage the marrow to produce red blood cells.
As you might know, red blood cells carry oxygen through your body. Not only that, but they assist in ridding your body of carbon dioxide. They accomplish this task by rounding up the carbon dioxide and sending it to your lungs.
4. Muscle Size
The average man has far more muscle than the average woman. And you don’t have to pick up a book to find evidence of this fact.
On most days, you can just look out your window to see the truth.
We can attribute the difference in muscle size between the two sexes to testosterone. How, though, does testosterone work to build muscle?
There are two important ways in which testosterone encourages muscle growth. The first of those ways has everything to do with neurotransmitters. Testosterone increases the number of neurotransmitters within your body, which encourages tissue growth.
And the second major way in which testosterone promotes muscle growth?
Well, testosterone elevates the amount of growth hormone present within the body. Those elevated levels of growth hormone make building muscle via exercise easier.
Which is why women have to work much harder and much longer in the gym to build muscle.
Perhaps testosterone’s ability to so effectively build muscle explains why serious bodybuilders love testosterone injections. Some average Joes, too, are also reaping the benefits of such testosterone treatments these days–and not just for physical reasons. Higher testosterone levels can boost your mood, increase your spatial awareness, and help regulate your cholesterol.
5. Bone Mass
You likely know that men tend to have larger skeletons than women. You might not have ever, though, considered how the mass of your skeletal systems is different from that of women’s skeletal systems.
Generally speaking, men have higher bone mass than women. That’s great news since this bone mass can protect your bones from fractures and other injuries.
When your testosterone is low, however, your bone mass decreases. And when your bone mass decreases, your bones become weaker.
These weakened bones are a pain to live with. They make physical activity much more difficult. Not only that, but they increase your chances of fracturing your bones.
We should note, though, that your bone mass naturally decreases as you age. For this reason, older people tend to have weaker bones and injure themselves more easily.
6. Distribution of Fat
Jennifer Lopez. Beyonce. Kim Kardashian. These three women have at least one thing in common: impressive fat distributions. They carry much of their weight below their waist, which has worked well in their favor.
And guess what? They might have their low levels of testosterone to thank for that fat distribution.
In the same way, men have their high levels of testosterone to thank for their fat distribution. Since men have so much testosterone, they usually store much of their weight in their torsos and arms.
But here’s an unfortunate truth:
Wonky hormone levels can alter the ways in which men store fat. That is to say, men who have low testosterone levels can begin to store more fat in their hips and thighs over time.
7. Hair and Skin
Thus far, we’ve focused heavily on the ways in which testosterone affects your health. Now, for a second, let’s be a bit a vain and consider how testosterone affects your aesthetics-muscles aside.
Start by thinking of a man whose good looks you envy. What kind of body hair does he sport? And how flawless is his skin?
Regardless of your answer, it all boils down to one thing: testosterone.
As you well know, men usually have more body hair than women. Hence the reason men grow beards and have extremely hairy limbs. Well, when your testosterone levels are low, you’ll have a hard time growing that beard you’ve always wanted.
Your skin, too, depends on testosterone. Men, for instance, have thicker skin than women. Testosterone accounts for this major difference.
Male skin also contains more collagen than the average woman’s skin. This collagen’s levels decrease at a constant rate for men as they age. If a man has low testosterone levels, however, his skin’s collage content will be much lower than it should be.
8. Central Nervous System
Aggressive. Competitive. Dominant.
Many people use these words to describe men and their behavior. But you obviously can’t describe all men in this manner.
That doesn’t, however, mean that there isn’t some truth to the association between these terms and men.
Testosterone is associated with aggression and competitiveness. And men have plenty of testosterone. The hormone triggers men’s competitive spirits and boosts their self-esteem.
When testosterone levels are low, though, some men lose their desire to compete. Not only that, but their self-esteem can take a big hit.
9. Your Testosterone Levels Decrease as You Age
Testosterone is an amazing hormone, but no man can keep all of his testosterone forever. As it turns out, your testosterone levels slowly decrease as you age.
But don’t worry.
The average man’s testosterone levels only decrease about one percent each year once he reaches a certain age. This “certain age” isn’t the same for each man, but the decrease begins around the age of thirty.
10. …But That Doesn’t Mean Your Testosterone Levels Should Be “Low”
As we said earlier, your testosterone levels are constantly decreasing after a certain age. But that doesn’t mean that your testosterone levels should be “low.”
An old man, for instance, has considerably less testosterone than a young man. Even so, even an old man’s testosterone levels shouldn’t be below a certain level.
Why are we telling you this?
Because having low testosterone isn’t just a sign of getting old. That said, don’t take it lightly.
Did You Know All of These Testosterone Facts?
So did you know all of these testosterone facts? If so, we have to admit that we’re impressed.
And envious since you’re knowledge of testosterone is clearly above and beyond most men’s knowledge of the subject.
In any case, we hope you take the knowledge you learned here and use it to take better care of yourself. As you’ve seen here, abnormal testosterone levels can have serious effects on your health.
Having said that, feel free to contact us if you’re concerned about your testosterone levels. We’re always happy to answer your questions.