A mysterious hormone
This enigmatic hormone plays a role in both men’s and women’s reproductive health. People often think of testosterone as a “male” hormone, which is produced in the testes. However, girls and women also produce a small amount of testosterone in their ovaries, which is necessary to support reproduction. In both men and women, testosterone supports energy levels, brain function, libido, and sexual function.
Studies have shown that in general, on a global scale, testosterone levels are decreasing – and many people are not even aware of it happening.
Further research has revealed that this is a problem on more than one level, for example – in tandem with lower T levels, sperm counts are also reducing. This points to putting reproductive health risks at a higher stake.
How the reproduction process can be put at risk
There is a need for certain levels of testosterone at certain times in a woman’s life. For example, during pregnancy, in order for the baby to develop, it needs to be exposed to the right amount of testosterone in the womb at the right time. Research has indicated that if a male foetus gets too little testosterone in the womb, his genitals and brain may become less male-oriented.
By contrast, if a female foetus is exposed to too much testosterone in the womb, her brain may be less female-oriented after birth.
Studies have also revealed that once these children begin to grow up, the effects of the unbalanced hormones in the womb, may cause them to perceive themselves in a different way in terms of gender or activity preferences.
Why are testosterone levels steadily losing ground?
The reproductive changes that have been occurring in recent years in many individuals are partly due to poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, a bad diet, and a lack of exercise. However, globally it is more the result of hormone-disrupting chemicals, which are used in the manufacture of countless consumer products such as plastic containers, plastic food-wrappings, non-stick cooking ware, cosmetics, personal items, and cleaning products – to name but a few.
Most of these chemicals added to manufactured products are predominantly unregulated, which gives manufacturers almost free rein. This is unlike drugs which have to have a proven track record before they are allowed on the market. In fact, most countries presume chemicals to be safe unless proven otherwise.
Note that these harmful chemicals are also present in the environment, and in the air we breathe.
The hormone-disrupting chemicals (which includes estrogen) began to be produced in ever-increasing numbers during the 1950s. Studies have proved that it is also about the time when the levels of testosterone and estrogen began to decline, impacting negatively on fertility issues. It was also shown that these chemicals may have a knock-on effect on unborn babies. It was agreed by researchers that these chemicals may be affecting the reproduction health of the entire human race.
We can help
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