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What is testosterone? What Does it Do?

Testosterone is a hormone produced both in women and men. In men it is produced within the testes. In men it is responsible for sperm production and the emergence of secondary sexual characteristics like facial hair and a deep voice. It is essential for sexual function as well as promoting healthy blood circulation and maintaining muscle mass in the body.

Men begin to suffer a steady decline in testosterone from around the age of 30

which continues for the rest of their lives. By the time they are 55, around half of men will have some symptoms of a lack of testosterone.

Do diminishing testosterone levels cause the symptoms associated with aging?

Not always. Some men have lower than normal levels without signs or symptoms but other men experience physical and behavioral changes such as:

  • Reduced sexual desire and fewer spontaneous erections.
  • Insomnia or sleep disruption.
  • Physical changes similar to those women experience during menopause. Hot flashes, tender breasts, loss of energy, increase in body fat, reduction of muscle and decrease in bone density and loss of hair are all possible.
  • Decrease in motivation or self-confidence. Feeling sad or depressed, or trouble concentrating or remembering things.