What are Male Hormones?

Josie Myers

The hormones that influence female behaviors and sexual function are known as estrogens, while the male hormones are called androgens. Men and women produce both of these classifications of hormones that cause behaviors classified as male or female, but they produce them in varying amounts. These male or female hormones work in conjunction with asexual hormones to make the body appear male or female and function sexually as a particular gender.

Testosterone is responsible for male characteristics and behaviors.
Testosterone is responsible for male characteristics and behaviors.

Androgens, also called steroid hormones, flow from the testes and are known to influence male patterns of behavior. Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) flow from the pituitary glands and cause the growth of seminiferous tubules. These tubules are what make up the majority of the testes. FSH also promotes the cell division that cause sperm production. Luteinizing hormone (LH) also flows from the pituitary gland and causes growth of endocrine tissue, a tissue made up of interstitial tissue found within the testes. This tissue is what makes testosterone, the most predominant of the male hormones.

As men age, male hormones may decrease, possibly due to an increase in body fat and the accompanying enzyme aromatase.
As men age, male hormones may decrease, possibly due to an increase in body fat and the accompanying enzyme aromatase.

Receptors for testosterone are found in most parts of the male body and in many organs. This one hormone is responsible for the majority of male characteristics and behaviors. It maintains sperm tubules and is responsible for rapid growth of bones during puberty. It also causes the hair growth that is classified as male and muscle growth necessary for the traditionally male shape.

Male hormones, specifically testosterone, is being used to develop a male birth control pill.
Male hormones, specifically testosterone, is being used to develop a male birth control pill.

Male hormones decrease in production during the aging process in an event sometimes called male menopause, but there isn't clear evidence as to why this is. Some guess that it has to do with an increase in body fat which contains the enzyme aromatase. This enzyme has been indirectly linked with a decrease in male hormones in the body. Too little testosterone may cause a decrease in sexual interest as well as erectile dysfunction. Hormone levels can be tested to find out if they have decreased in effectiveness and hormone replacement therapy is possible for those who are effected by the problem.

Too little testosterone in men can lead to erectile dysfunction and a decrease in sexual arousal.
Too little testosterone in men can lead to erectile dysfunction and a decrease in sexual arousal.

Scientists are using male hormones, particularly testosterone, to create a male birth control pill. The goal of the test pills is to control the output of sperm using different concentrations of testosterone in combination with various ingredients. The most successful pills are a combination of testosterone and progestin, a female birth control pill ingredient that is not usually found in a male. Scientists believe that if the male birth control pill is perfected, it could be as effective as vasectomy without the permanence.

Hot flashes and irritability are common symptoms of male menopause.
Hot flashes and irritability are common symptoms of male menopause.
The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.
The testicles play a major role in the production of sperm and testosterone.

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Discussion Comments

anon238094

The primary male hormone, testosterone, is mainly produced by the testes. Testosterone levels peak levels during adolescence and the early twenties. After the age 30, a man’s testosterone levels drop by about 1 percent each year. Although subtle at first, the symptoms of decreased testosterone become increasingly evident by the time a man reaches his mid forties.

anon96297

don't take propecia or any pill containing finasteride. it acts as an antagonist to the male hormone supply and depletes it. thanks doc. good thing i can read.

cmsmith10

@wesley91: I don’t mind sharing my experience at all. To start with, I was tired all of the time. I lost my sex drive. I was irritable and depressed and I gained a pretty good bit of weight. I mainly went to the doctor about the weight gain and the fatigue and he decided to run some tests. This is when he determined that I had low testosterone levels.

wesley91

@cmsmith10: If you don't mind my asking, what symptoms did you have that led you to go the doctor? I think that I might have the same problem.

chrisinbama

@cmsmith10: I am one to try to avoid medications as much as possible. If an herbal supplement will do the trick, that’s the route I go. There is a natural testosterone supplement that you can buy at a health food or herb store. It is called Testarol. Its ingredients are all natural and I’ve heard it works really well.

cmsmith10

My doctor told me that I wasn't producing enough Testosterone. Is there anything over the counter that I can purchase that would help? I don't have health insurance and prescriptions are very pricey.

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