Hormones have a vital role in women’s and men’s health.
You may not know this, but women and men have the same hormone network – which is quite complex. Women’s hormone levels tend to fluctuate during their period, which men’s don’t. However, men’s hormones can still impact their health and well-being.
So, what are the essential male hormones, how do they work, and how can they affect male health?
How do hormones work?
Hormones are chemicals made by the endocrine gland, which then pass into our bloodstream. They act like messages, either:
- between two endocrine glands
- between an endocrine gland and a target organ
These messages tell your body what to do and when to do it.
Although most male hormones are associated with fertility, there are other hormones it is important to know about to stay physically and mentally healthy.
What are the primary male hormones?
Much information about women’s hormones is available, but not much is written about male hormones – except testosterone.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone made in the testicles and controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. Testosterone regulates several processes in the male body, including bone mass, fat distribution, muscle size and strength, red blood cell production and sex drive. If men don’t have enough testosterone, they can become infertile.
Some of the other primary male hormones that affect male health include:
- Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – this hormone is produced in both women and men. In men, the production of FSH is controlled by the circulating testosterone levels produced by the testes. The FSH hormone is essential for the production and maintenance of sperm.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – the luteinizing hormone travels from the pituitary gland to the testes via the bloodstream. It is responsible for stimulating the testicles to make testosterone.
- Oestradiol – this hormone is a type of oestrogen known as the female sex hormone. It is converted to oestradiol in men and is the hormone that regulates libido, erectile function and the production of sperm.
- Prolactin – is also produced in the pituitary gland. High levels of this hormone can dampen the male hormone system and cause erectile dysfunction and low sex drive.
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) – SHBG is the hormone responsible for transporting oestradiol and testosterone around the body and controlling the amount of testosterone the body can use.
How to keep an eye on your hormone health
Men can gain valuable insight into their health by using the Test2Go Male Hormones Test to check for the full range of male hormones, including information about fertility and other hormone-related issues.
Our male hormone test measures eleven biomarkers, including critical markers such as Cortisol, FSH, LH, and testosterone. It also looks at Albumin levels (which can indicate a disorder of the kidneys or liver), High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (to check for indicators of cardiovascular disease), and a Full Blood Count (to indicate your general health).
Hormones influence all aspects of male health, so it is essential to understand what these hormones are and how they work together. Although testosterone is the principal hormone in male health, other hormones also have essential functions and assist with testosterone production.
NB. It is important to note that our tests are not a substitute for seeing a doctor, particularly if you have symptoms. You should not make a diagnosis or start any treatment without a consultation with a doctor or a suitably trained health professional.