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Testosterone is the primary androgen produced by the testes and it plays an essential role in the health of the male. Beyond determining the male sex characteristics, testosterone is a determinant of muscle strength, bone mass, libido, potency, and spermatogenesis.
Androgen deficiency, or andropause includes but is not limited to symptoms of decreased body hair, reduction in muscle mass and strength, increase in fat mass, decreased hematocrit, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, infertility, osteoporosis, depression, and mood changes. Androgen deficiency may occur secondary to testicular or pelvic trauma or surgical removal, hypogonatropic hypogonadism, or with normal aging.
The normal aging process leads to adult hypogonadism with a decrease in levels of testosterone with age and the development of some or all of the symptoms enumerated above. The condition of androgen deficiency in aging is also known as andropause.
Androgen deficiency or hypogonadism is the result of subnormal production of testosterone by the testes. Its prevalence in healthy males over the age of 40 is demonstrated in observational studies, but there is no agreed upon blood level that defines deficiency.
Benefits of Testosterone Supplementation
Testosterone replacement therapy has been proven benefits for:
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Mood and quality of life
- Muscle mass
- Libido and sexual function