Wednesday, 1 February 2017

ASK THE DOCTOR - ‘What is Testosterone?’

I read in a British magazine that the hormone testosterone plays a major role in the sexual function of men as well as women. Is it completely true? Kindly throw some more light on this matter. What is testosterone?
- Mahinder

Testosterone is the principle biological determinant of the ‘sex drive’ in both men and women. It is also known as the male sex hormone; however, it is present in both sexes. In men, testosterone is responsible for the development and maintenance of the primary sexual characteristics as well as secondary sexual characteristics. It is also responsible for the sex drive (libido) and aggression. In a normal man, six to eight mg of testosterone is produced everyday. More than 95 per cent is produced by the testicles and the remainder is produced in the adrenal glands that are located just above our kidneys. In women, about 0.5 mg of testosterone is produced daily by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. In women, excess testosterone can cause growth of facial hair, make the voice lower, and breasts and genitals to shrivel and shrink. It may also cause acne to flare up.

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