How is testosterone excreted


Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone (androgen). It occurs in both sexes, but in significantly lower concentrations in women.

Short version:

  • In the male embryo, testosterone contributes to the formation of the penis, scrotum and prostate.
  • A high testosterone level leads to the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as increased hair and a deeper voice. In men, this usually occurs at puberty, in women only in certain cases when the testosterone level is high.
  • In both sexes, testosterone leads to muscle growth, higher bone density and affects the metabolism of fat and sugar.
  • Testosterone is measured in the blood, ideally in the morning, since this is where the level is highest.
  • Testosterone levels that are too low or too high should be clarified and are often the result of hormonal changes or illnesses.

Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone. It occurs in both sexes, but in significantly lower concentrations in women. In the male body, testosterone is mainly produced in the testes, and in small amounts in the adrenal cortex as well. In women, the hormone comes from the ovaries and adrenal cortex. In the blood, testosterone is largely bound to proteins and in this way transported to the various organs, where it unfolds its effect.

The testosterone level in males fluctuates over the course of the day, and is usually highest in the morning. Therefore, measurements should also be made between 08:00 and 10:00 a.m.

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What is the function of testosterone?

In men

In the male embryo, the penis, scrotum and prostate are formed under the influence of testosterone. During puberty, testosterone leads to the growth of the sexual organs, the maturation of the sperm and the development of a male appearance:

  • The shoulders and chest become wider
  • the larynx grows (Adam's apple)
  • the voice gets deeper (broken voice)
  • hair increases (beard, armpit and pubic hair)
  • the facial features change (protruding chin, wide jaw).

In addition, testosterone increases sexual desire (libido), drive, but also aggressive behavior.

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In men and women

In both sexes, the hormone increases muscle mass and strength as well as bone density and bone maturity and influences the metabolism of fat and sugar.

In women

  • Increase in body and facial hair (hirsutism)
  • acne
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Clitoral growth

When can the testosterone level be changed?

Elevated values

Decreased values

When are testosterone levels too low in men?

The production of androgens in men steadily decreases with age. While there is a massive drop in female sex hormones in women over a short period of time, testosterone in men only gradually decreases. The testosterone level begins to decrease slowly in the fourth decade of life, annually by about one to two percent.

Age-dependent testosterone levels

Age-corrected testosterone levels
Age (years)Testosterone (ng / ml)
20 - 293,1 - 8,3
30 - 393,0 - 8,3
40 - 492,8 - 7,0
50 - 592,4 - 6,3
60 - 692,1 - 5,4
70 - 891,7 - 4,9

How is a testosterone deficiency noticeable?

A testosterone deficiency is only treated if it also causes symptoms. The treatment can take place by injection, tablets or also with a hormone patch.

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When should testosterone levels be measured?

  • long-term use of certain medications (glucocorticoids, opioids)
  • infertility
  • Pituitary gland disorders
  • kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • COPD
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis

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Dr. med. Matthias Thalhammer

Status of medical information:

Shalender Bhasin et al: Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. In: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 91 (6) 2006, pp. 1995-2010.
Margaret E. Wierman et al: Androgen Therapy in Women: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. In: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 91 (10) 2006, pp. 3697-3710.
Kratzik, Dollezal, Davoudi, Ponholzer, Lackner: Guideline for partial androgen deficit in aging men. In: Journal for Urology and Urogynaecology 2008; 15 (special issue 6), pp. 5-6.

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