Androgens are hormones that majorly influence the development of the male reproductive system.
What is Androgen Hormone
Androgens are a group of hormones that play a vital role in male traits and reproductive activity. The interstitial cells that are located in the intertubular space produce a collection of hormones known as androgens.
Androgen is a natural or synthetic sex steroid hormone produced in both male and females reproductive organs. In women, androgens are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells.
Functions of Androgen Hormone
Androgens play a key role in the hormonal cascade that stimulates puberty, hair growth in the pubic and underarm areas. It also regulates the functioning of many organs, including the bones and muscles, reproductive tract, kidneys and liver. Androgens are also necessary for the synthesis of estrogen hormones and play an important role in controlling sexual desire, keeping your bones strong, etc. Other important functions of Androgens hormones include:
- They generate anabolic effects on carbohydrate metabolism and protein.
- These play a critical stimulatory role in the phenomena of spermatogenesis.
- They act on the central neural system, influencing male sexual behaviour.
- Sex hormones like estrogen and androgens stimulate the secretion of growth hormone at the time of puberty.
- These trigger the growth of muscles, facial and axillary hair, low pitch of voice, aggressiveness, etc.
- Checks the maturation, development and functions of the male accessory sex organs such as vas deferens, epididymis, seminal vesicles, urethra, prostate gland, etc.
Apart from sexual health, this hormone is also involved in maintaining the body metabolism, our insulin sensitivity, and possibly our body composition.
Androgens also affect bone density and cardiovascular health in women, and some research suggests that they may have an impact on brain function and mood.
Also Refer: Hormones and Hormonal Disorders
In women, there is a fluctuation in hormonal levels during the menstrual cycle. The changes in the hormonal levels vary with the sex and age of an individual. The level of hormonal production decreases with age.
As per medical records, the level of hormonal production increases during pregnancy and will be higher when a person is pregnant with a male fetus.
Causes for the changes in hormonal levels include:
- Adrenal insufficiency.
- Very early menopause.
- Surgically-induced menopause.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency.
- Side effects for medication including birth control and other hormone therapy containing estrogen.
Increased or High Level of Androgen hormones
Symptoms of high androgen levels include:
- Absent periods.
- Irregular periods.
- Excess hair growth.
Decreased or Low Level of Androgen hormones
The low-level androgen in the body causes a wide range of symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of androgen deficiency include:
- Hot flushes.
- Mood swings.
- Loss of body hair.
- Breast development.
- Lethargy and fatigue.
- Reduced sexual desire.
- Reduced amount of ejaculate.
- weaker erections and orgasms.
- Reduced muscle mass and strength.
- Increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen.
This article concludes an introduction to the androgen hormone, their functions, disorders caused by their level of production and their symptoms.