Testosterone is responsible for the distinguishing characteristics of the masculine body. Testosterone is produced during fetal life and a few weeks after birth, then essentially no testosterone is produced during childhood until the age of 10 to 13 year. Then the testosterone production starts and remains almost throughout life.
FUNCTIONS OF TESTOSTERONE
- Development of male sex characters during fetal life
- Testosterone, secreted by the genital ridge and developing testes, is responsible for the development of male sex characters including the growth of penis and scrotum.
- Testosterone causes the development of prostate gland, the seminal vesicles and the male genital ducts.
- Testosterone is helpful in suppressing the formation of female genital organs.
- Testosterone is responsible for the descent of the testes into the scrotum during the last two months of fetal life.
- Development of Primary Sexual Characteristics in an Adult
- Testosterone secretion after puberty causes the testes, the scrotum and the penis to enlarge about 8 fold until the age of 20.
- Development of Secondary Sexual Characteristics:
- Distribution of Body hair: Testosterone causes growth of hair over the pubis, chest, face, umbilicus region and above.
- Baldness: Testosterone decreases the growth of hair on the top of the head.
- Effect on the voice: Testosterone is responsible for the typical masculine bass voice.
- Effect on the skin, and development of acne: Testosterone increases the thickness and ruggedness of the subcutaneous tissue.
- It also increases the rate of secretion of the sebaceous gland and over secretion of this gland on the face can result in acne formation.
- Muscular development: Testosterone is responsible for development of increasing musculature following puberty.
- Bone growth and calcium retention: Testosterone increases the total quantity of bone matrix and it also helps in calcium retention.
- Effect on metabolism: During active sexual life, rate of metabolism increases to somewhat 5 to 10 % above the normal value.
- Effect on electrolyte and water balance: Testosterone has a slight effect on sodium retention and this results in a slight increase of extracellular fluid.
Reference: Textbook of Practice of Medicine with Homoeopathic Therapeutics by Kamal Kansal & Rakesh Kaushal