What Is Testosterone?


Are you in the know about testosterone? | Source: Shutterstock

When someone says the word “testosterone” a lot of people’s minds go to hyper-masculine type images. Think like, those Expendables movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in war gear.

The thing is though, that doesn’t really give a complete picture of what testosterone actually is and what it does or even who has it. Because believe it or not, your body makes testosterone too!

Now, there is definitely a reason that testosterone is often associated with men, since testosterone is a hormone produced in their testes and responsible for many of the changes that guys go through during puberty. From that point on, guys keep producing testosterone (though not always at the same level).

Though guys’ bodies have more testosterone present than girls’ bodies, women’s bodies do still produce it! Ovaries produce the hormone in smaller amounts and it actually plays a role in a variety of functions, such as affecting a woman’s sex drive and keeping bones and muscles in healthy condition. The genetic medical condition where women happen to have higher testosterone levels is called hyperandrogenism.

When it comes to women and testosterone, you may have heard in the news about issues going on for female athletes. The Olympic Committee’s regulations allow them to make women they deem have “excessive” ineligble to compete. The issue is that there’s not evidence to back up their claims that too much testosterone puts those women at an unfair advantage and it also targets women who “look like” they’d have more testosterone (which leads to a lot of potential for discrimination based on appearance).

Later in life, testosterone may be prescribed for women during menopause. There is also some evidence that it could help with bone issues as a result from osteoporosis.

Did you know that women have testosterone too? Did you learn something new about what testosterone does? Tell us in the comments!

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