Testosterone

Alternate Names

  • Total Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles in males, and the ovaries in females. This hormone is necessary for normal sexual development in both genders. Testosterone levels are influenced by the adrenal and pituitary glands. In males, testosterone is necessary for sexual maturity and the formation of sperm; abnormally high levels will cause early (precocious) puberty, and may be due to tumors in the testicles, pituitary or adrenal glands, or an over-active thyroid gland. Low testosterone blood levels are seen in people with cirrhosis of the liver, Down syndrome, or Klinefelter's syndrome. Low blood levels can lead to infertility. High testosterone levels in females may cause the development of male secondary sex characteristics such as a deep voice, excessive body hair, and will prevent ovulation; and may be due to ovarian or adrenal tumors, or multiple ovarian cysts. Testosterone levels are also used as a tumor marker for the presence of testicular or ovarian cancers. There are a number of medications that can affect testosterone levels.

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