The Difference between Testosterone and Libido

by Nick Swanson

Difference Between Testosterone and Libido
First before attempting to distinguish testosterone and libido it is best we discuss each of them in detail to understand them better. Testosterone is the hormone that is usually responsible a man’s libido and so having it in low levels may affect your sex drive. Find out from the explanations below about the difference between testosterone and libido:

So What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that is usually produced by the gonad glands by cells referred to as the Leydig cells in the testes in men and ovaries in women. Testosterone is also produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands in both sexes. The hormone is an androgen which means that it helps to stimulate the growth of male characteristics. The hormone is usually available in large quantities in men as compared to women and it helps to bring about the development of the male internal and external organs that are responsible for reproduction at the time of fetal growth and is also vital for the production of sperm for adult males. Testosterone also informs the body to make new blood cells, ensures that bones and muscles remain strong at the time of puberty and even after puberty. The hormone also helps to enhance libido for men and women. It is testosterone that is behind the many changes often seen in adolescent boys that include things like growing tall, body and pubic hair growth, enlargement of the penis and testis, and also changes witnessed in their behaviors.

Testosterone also helps to regulate the emission of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. In order for it to achieve these changes, testosterone is changed into another androgen referred to as dihydrotestosterone. Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands in women and most of it that is produced in the ovaries is converted to the chief female sex hormone called oestradiol.

Can Testosterone Be Controlled?

Usually testosterone production in the body is tightly regulated to ensure normal levels in the blood. The hormone levels in the blood usually peak in the morning and then normalize later on in the day. It is the hypothalamus gland and the pituitary gland that control the levels of testosterone that is produced in the testis. The pituitary gland usually produces luteinizing hormone as a response to the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone secreted by the hypothalamus gland. When this occurs the luteinizing hormone usually travels in the bloodstream to the gonads and then triggers the production and emission of testosterone.

With the increase of the levels of testosterone in the blood what happens is that the production of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus is suppressed thus also suppressing the production of luteinizing hormone by the pituitary gland. This makes the levels of testosterone to drop in the blood. This cycle is what keeps the balance of the levels of the hormone in the blood not to be too high and also not to be too low.

Consequences of Having Very High Levels of Testosterone

The effects of high levels of the hormone on the body of person will depend on age and sex. Adult men are very unlikely to suffer from a disorder in which their bodies produce too much of the hormone. The condition usually occurs in some young children who will experience a sudden growth spurt showing early signs of early puberty. In girls the case may involve abnormal changes to the appearance to their genitalia. Too much of testosterone in both girls and boys may lead to infertility disorder.

Symptoms of Too Much Testosterone in Girls:

  • Too much acne.
  • Body and facial hair growth.
  • An increase in muscle bulk.
  • A deepening voice

What May Cause Over Production Of Testosterone In The Body?

The factors that may cause the body to produce too much testosterone include androgen resistance, ovarian cancer in women, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

What is Libido?

Libido is a term used to refer to sexual desire. Both men and women can have either high or low libidos or medium libidos. In most instances women tend to suffer from low libido than men. The causes of low libido in women can be attributed to depression, anxiety, a history of sexual abuse in childhood and also stressful living conditions. There are also physical causes of low libido in women like anemia, prescription drugs, e.g. tranquilizers, and diabetes drugs too.

In men libido reduces with age however most men will still desire sex until they are aged 70 years or more. In most instances men usually experience either high or low libido in the course of his life due to several factors which may include depression, anxiety, stress, and reduced levels of the male sex hormones in the body. Studies have also found out that men suffering from erectile dysfunction also experience a decrease in their libidos.