Once men enter their forties, they may notice changes in their bodies. They might start to experience fewer erections, fatigue easily, notice a decline in their muscle mass and strength, and an increase in body fat. All of these can be connected to the fact that their testosterone levels are declining, leading some men to resort to androgen replacement therapy in Florida or other parts of the world.
What are Androgens?
Androgens are the hormones that are responsible for masculine features and reproduction. They are responsible for sexual development among men and are produced by the testes. Although they are predominantly found in men, women also produce androgen but in smaller amounts. If the body fails to produce the required amount of androgen, they can be obtained through prescription medicine. In a woman’s body, the androgens are converted into female hormones called estrogens.
The first group of androgens is called adrenal androgens. Included in this group are DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) and androstenedione. They are mostly produced from the adrenal cortex, testes, and the ovaries. The most well-known androgen is probably testosterone – the hormone that is responsible for the development of a man’s secondary sex characteristics. The formation of a developing embryo’s penis, scrotum, and prostate is the responsibility of dihydrotestosterone (known as DHT). DHT is also the androgen responsible for male balding, prostate growth, and the activity of the sebaceous gland.
What are the Functions of Androgens?
Formation of the Testes
When mammals are still in their embryo forms, they can become either male or female. If Y chromosomes are present, the penis, scrotum and prostate will develop, making the baby a male. Once the sex is determined, the body will start producing more androgens to continue male development.
Androgens are responsible for producing sperm once a man starts to undergo puberty and throughout the rest of his life. If androgen levels are higher than normal, it may stop the development of sperm and cause infertility.
Inhibition of Fat
Compared to females, males don’t usually have a lot of fat in their bodies. Studies showed that androgens block the ability of certain fat cells to store lipids. This is the reason why there are men who are slimmer than women especially during puberty.
Increase in Muscle Mass
Males also have more skeletal muscle mass than females. This is because androgens allow the enlargement of skeletal muscle cells, which makes men look buffer especially when they engage in heavy exercise. This results to men being physically stronger than most women.
What are Some Androgen-related Diseases?
Too much androgen can lead to many problems. These include excessive acne, too much hair growth in inappropriate places, and thinning of hair on the head. If a woman has excess amounts of androgen in her system, she may suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. This condition is characterized by irregular or lack of menstrual periods, infertility, blood sugar disorders, and excess hair growth. Most women with PCOS are overweight and also suffer from other health consequences like insulin resistance, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Too little androgen levels can pose as a problem among men as well. This can lead to low libido, fatigue, and increased risk of bone loss and fractures. These things can often be attributed to other diseases, which is why androgen deficiency is often undiagnosed.
What is Androgen Replacement Theory?
Androgen replacement therapy, or testosterone replacement therapy, is a type of hormone replacement therapy where androgens are replaced. It involves the administration of testosterone by creams, pills, gels, or injections. This therapy is often prescribed to lessen or delay the effects of normal male aging.
It is also the treatment used for hypogonadism, a condition where there is diminished activity in the gonads. In addition to that, androgen replacement therapy has possible therapeutic roles in:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Chronic heart failure
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hormone replacement for transgender men
Andropause and androgen deficiency are some of the most undertreated conditions in the medical history. Most men attribute it to their declining age. If you suspect you are suffering from one of these conditions, visit a qualified physician. In Genemedics Health Institute, every doctor is trained to identify hormonal imbalances in the body and prescribe the appropriate treatment.