What is testosterone?

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on November 10th, 2021
Reading Time: < 1 minute


Testosterone is the most important androgen (male sex hormone) in men and it is needed for normal reproductive and sexual function.

It is important for the physical changes that happen during male puberty, such as the development of the penis and testes, and for the features typical of adult men such as facial and body hair.

Testosterone also acts on cells in the testes to make sperm. It is also important for overall good health.

It helps the growth of bones and muscles, and it affects mood, libido (sex drive), and certain aspects of mental ability.

How is testosterone production controlled? The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, controls the production of male hormones and sperm.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are the two important messenger hormones made by the pituitary gland that act on the testes.

LH is needed for the Leydig cells in the testes to make testosterone.

What is androgen (or testosterone) deficiency? Androgen, or testosterone, deficiency is when the body is not able to make enough testosterone for the body to function normally.

Although not a life-threatening problem, androgen deficiency can affect your quality of life.

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What is testosterone?

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