Sex hormones are defined as animal hormones produced by gonads under the influence of gonadotrophins, e.g. testosterone, progesterone, estrogen. While without specialist knowledge, this concept does not explain to laymen what these hormones really are and what special functions they play in the human body, there is no doubt that everyone is aware that they play an important role, because they are related, among others, to with reproductive ability, i.e. fertility.
In biology, there are, among others, male sex hormones like testosterone or female sex hormones like estrogen. The classification of a given hormone as male or female does not mean, however, that it occurs only in men or women, and in order to maintain the norm for a given sex, the most important factor is the amount, i.e. the concentration of the hormone in the body. As testosterone is a male sex hormone, special attention should be paid to cases where it is found to be high in women, as it is, as a rule, an unusual situation.
TESTOSTERONE LEVEL IN THE BODY
It is assumed that the normal testosterone concentration in men ranges from 10-28 nmol / l. In men, testosterone cells are primarily responsible for the production of testosterone cells, and the rest of the hormone is produced in the adrenal glands. On the other hand, in women, the presence of testosterone in an amount from 0.7 to 3.0 nmol / l is considered normal, and, unlike the male organism, this hormone in women is not only produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, but is also produced as a result of peripheral conversion from other hormones, i.e. the process of converting other hormones, e.g. androstenedione into testosterone.
When the testosterone level is too low, the pituitary gland begins to secrete the so-called a stimulating hormone that will stimulate the testes or ovaries to work, and then the hormone is transferred into the blood, where it is synthesized with the SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globuline) protein. As a result of the combination, 90% of testosterone becomes inactive and the rest is transported to individual cells to influence health and well-being.
IS THE AMOUNT OF TESTOSTERONE FIXED?
The amount of testosterone in both women and men is not a constant value. The level of this hormone is inextricably linked with the process of changes (larger or smaller) in our body and with them, the level of testosterone also changes.
It is assumed that the most important factors in this respect include:
- age – initially, the amount of testosterone in a woman’s body is only 10% of that in men, however, with age, the level of testosterone in a woman increases until about the retirement age of 60 years, after which the amount decreases again
- body weight – and in particular, its sudden increase or decrease, because, as a rule, obese women may have slightly elevated testosterone levels
- pregnancy – testosterone in this situation is of great importance, because its excess in itself makes conception difficult, when the woman is in the “blessed state”, testosterone is important for proper development, especially sexual characteristics, especially in the case of a male offspring. Importantly, the key in the case of pregnancy is to maintain an ideal concentration, because testosterone deficiency can lead to developmental defects such as hypospadias or hermaphroditism, while too high testosterone levels can cause autism.