Testosterone is key
‘Men’s lives, thoughts and actions are affected by hormonal development. In this regard, the male sex hormone testosterone is a key player and, depending on a man’s age, tends to set the agenda’, says Dr Germar-Michael Pinggera. From childhood until old age, sexual development, genital determination and penis growth are influenced by the sex hormone testosterone. Early teenage stubble growth is a tangible example. With increasing age, the role of testosterone becomes much more differentiated. It may not be visible, but its effect on the male organism is no less important. There are interesting correlations: a number of studies indicate that high levels of testosterone increase a man’s attractiveness and ability to be assertive. Likewise, successful business leaders across all industries present with higher testosterone levels than less successful businessmen’, says Pinggera. Another interesting detail about testosterone is that seeing attractive women causes men’s testosterone levels to spike – not a myth but scientific fact.
Infertility is a major social issue. In Germany alone, there are around six million involuntarily childless people. ‘In Austria, every seventh couple is affected. For up to a third of cases, the cause may lie in both partners’, explains Dr Germar-Michael Pinggera. When the cause lies in the man, it is usually hormonal imbalances that are to blame.
Signs of hormone deficiency
Are my hormones balanced? What are the symptoms that might indicate hormonal imbalance? Signs of hormone deficiency include excessive sweating, frequent feelings of exhaustion, tiredness at the end of the day or after eating, excess weight, lethargy, hair loss and erectile dysfunction. Ultimately, only an examination by a specialist can bring certainty. Current studies show that the greater a man’s age, the higher his risk of hormone deficiency – or male hypogonadism, as it is also known. What is the medical cause? ‘Put simply, it’s a reduction in testosterone production – although sometimes it’s a decline in the sex hormone’s effectiveness. This is a result of increased blood concentrations of SHBG, the sex-hormone-binding globulin protein. At the same time, the concentration of bioavailable, free testosterone reduces’, says Dr Pinggera.