What is free testosterone and what is the norm for men and women?
Hello, dear readers! Nowadays, when the propaganda of a healthy lifestyle and fitness is gaining momentum, people began to pay more attention to their health and try to learn about the factors that contribute to it. Both specialists and newcomers who only come to the gym understand that all the processes in the body, and consequently, the changes, are controlled by a combination of hormones. One of the most important hormones is testosterone and it is very important to know such a parameter as free testosterone in men and free testosterone in women.
What is this hormone?
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone that has an androgenic effect. Despite the fact that the hormone is called masculine, it is present in the body of both men and women, differing in quantity. In the male body, it is synthesized from cholesterol due to the sex glands of the testes. In the female body, the ovaries respond to the production of testosterone, giving it in much lower concentrations (normal). In organisms of both sexes it is synthesized due to the adrenal cortex. In men, the hormone is responsible for the masculinization (that is, the totality of features originally inherent only in men), and in the female – for androgenization (the appearance of atypical changes for the lady).
What are the properties of testosterone
The effects of this hormone are indispensable, because testosterone has many positive effects:
- Promotes the development of male sexual organs (this occurs even in the intrauterine period);
- Thanks to him develop secondary sexual characteristics in men (this coarsening of the voice, growth of hair on the body and face, the development of male features, a powerful muscle corset – all that makes it possible to distinguish a man from a woman);
- Has an anabolic effect, contributing to the buildup of muscle mass (that is why testosterone in its various forms is used in sports pharmacology);
- Affects the sex drive;
- Plays a role in phosphorus and nitrogen metabolism.
But with insufficient or decreased levels of this hormone, there may be side effects:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure);
- The appearance of edemas;
- Masculinization (concerning ladies);
- Development of infertility;
- Tendency to frequent mood changes, as well as manifestations of aggression, instability of behavior, excessive excitability;
- Partial or complete alopecia;
- Problems with skin (fat, acne).
Variety of testosterone forms
Testosterone is present in the human body in two forms: free and bound. There is also an intermediate variant, where testosterone is called conditionally free, or bioavailable. This conditional form is a combination of testosterone, bound to albumin, with a free.
The most informative is the free indicator, since only in this form the hormone will be active and can interact with androgen receptors, and also participate in many biochemical processes.
Surely you once were in the medical laboratory and saw among the list of tests “testosterone total.” Thus, doctors determine the entire sex hormone (bound + free) in the body. But it will be more useful to know the level of only free, because its fluctuations will affect health and appearance in a much more visible way.
What are the norms of free testosterone?
The level of this hormone is different not only for men and women, but for different ages of the same sex. It is logical that an ardent boy of 20 years of age testosterone level is higher than that of a solid adult man who has already exchanged the sixth decade. It is still the laws of nature.
Consider free testosterone in men
The data of specialists-endocrinologists read:
- At the age of 20 to 39 years, men should normally have an average of 10.75 ng / dL;
- At the age of 40-49 years – 7-26 ng / dL;
- At the age of 50-59 – 5-22 ng / dL;
- And at the age of 60 to 69 years – 5-19 ng / dL.
With further increase in age, the level drops lower.
Ng / dL (or ng / ml) is the common unit of measurement for hormonal assays. Since the venous blood sample is taken as a material for the analysis, this unit shows how much of the nanogram of the hormone falls on a small volume of blood (deciliter or milliliter).
For women, these indicators, of course, vary.
Normal for women
- Only when the baby is born and up to 5 months, the testosterone in girls should be within 0.2-0.8 ng / ml;
- From half a year and up to 6 years – 0,06 – 0,2 ng / ml;
- In 10-11 years – 0,06 – 0,44 ng / ml;
- In 12-16 – 0,07 – 0,75 ng / ml;
- In 17-18, 0.2-0.75 ng / ml;
- Older than 19 years – 0.08 – 0.6 ng / ml;
- During the period during and after menopause – 0,15 – 0,7 ng / ml.
See also: Increased testosterone in women
Why is it important to know the level of free testosterone?
To control their hormonal background, doctors advise all men to avoid unpleasant consequences and, if necessary, to start treatment.
This is important, as increasing the level of free testosterone causes such problems:
- Risk of adrenal hyperplasia. This pathology means that organs and tissues will grow disproportionately (for example, the penis grows and the testicles do not).
- Growth accelerates, not taking into account the age and maturity of other body systems.
- There is a risk of a testicular tumor;
- Risk of infertility;
- There are problems with sleep.
If the hormone is deficient, on the contrary, the person will experience:
- Weakness, lethargy;
- Delay in muscle growth, strength;
- Sexual impotence;
- Deficiency, as well as imbalance of hormones, can lead to gynecomastia – a problem that arose because of the increase in the level of female hormones in the male body.
So from time to time monitoring the level of testosterone, you run the risk of maintaining your health for many years. And taking into account the anabolic effect of the hormone, you can maintain the body in excellent shape.
Now, hoping that this information has benefited you, I say goodbye to you, dear readers. Do not forget to subscribe to my blog updates and leave comments. Be healthy!