Us blokes tend to stay well clear of anything hormone related, mainly because it seems so bloody complicated and we tend to have no clue about our female counterpart’s hormonal cycles throughout their life. I think it’s safe to say that men have got off lightly when it comes to dealing with hormonal cycles - or have they? Let me explain.
Ask any bloke what testosterone is, and I guarantee they will reply with a classic example like, “It’s what makes you a man, I’ve got loads”. Men tend to see testosterone as one thing - ‘the more I have, the bigger my balls’, making you a proper bloke. This lack of understanding of what it is or what it really does, can have impacts down the line into adulthood and older age.
The quest to be a real life HE MAN that screams so called masculinity has resulted in guys (including myself) spending millions of their hard-earned cash on magical pills, specialised workout plans, unique diets and even hormone replacements! Surely then it should be the norm to see the average Joe’s testosterone levels off the charts! Nope, it’s quite the opposite actually! Testosterone levels in men are lower than they have ever been to the point where the World Health Organisation has reduced the normal sperm count levels. So what the hell is going on? What are we missing?
First thing first, let’s look at what testosterone is and why it is so important. Testosterone is a hormone that is found in the testicles of males of the species (side note; women also produce this hormone in their ovaries but in much smaller amounts). It plays a huge role during the puberty phase, which is when boys turn into horny little buggers during their teenage years. Alongside increasing sex drive, a healthy level of this hormone plays a vital role in sperm production, muscle mass, energy levels, strength, fat storage, blood pressure, preventing obesity, bone density, red blood cell production, mental health and well-being. Confirming its importance and why men should be desperate to have as much as possible, versus just claiming and hoping they do.
Like anything in life too much of one thing has its repercussions and testosterone is no exception. With symptoms similar to low testosterone or high estrogen levels (female based hormone) in men, it can be hard to identify what the actual problem is unless you get tested. However, you can expect things like; obesity, testicular atrophy (small nuts), infertility, gynecomastia (moobs - man boobs), mood swings, baldness, erectile dysfunction and premature death. It’s obviously not something to mess around with.
Congrats! You now know the basics of testosterone, so it’s time to throw you a curveball. We all know women go through big hormonal changes of menopause around midlife (their dreaded M word). So what If I told you the phenomenon of the biological clock also applies to men? Our own Man-opause if you will, because It just so happens that men go through their own cycle with age related changes in sexual function, physical features and quality of life. Stayed tuned there is plenty more to come.