Men, Women and the Three Hormones They Both Need
Men and women are different in a lot of ways.
Books have been written about it…like that one about how men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But it’s actually simpler than that.
The difference between men and women boils down to three hormones:
Both men and women need all three…but in different amounts and sometimes for different reasons.
How men and women age is to a great degree controlled by the balance between these three key hormones. So let’s take a look at what they do.
It’s not a stretch to say men are testosterone machines. Their brains and bodies are designed to work best in a high-testosterone environment.
Testosterone is responsible for a man’s sex drive and is critical to sperm production. It also affects male sexual development and secondary sexual characteristics like body hair. Testosterone supports muscle growth, determines where men store body fat, and even strengthens the immune system.
A man’s mood, energy level and sense of well-being are all strongly affected by testosterone.
But testosterone isn’t just for men. Women need it too.
A woman’s ovaries produce a much smaller amount of testosterone than a man’s testes (about one-tenth as much). As with men, testosterone strengthens a woman’s libido and supports muscle growth. It also helps maintain reproductive tissues and bone mass.
Men’s testosterone levels typically begin to decline in their late 20’s. Women usually experience a drop in testosterone levels during perimenopause; but in many women it can happen earlier. In both men and women, a decline in testosterone is usually accompanied by a drop in libido, reduced muscle mass, and declining energy levels.
If men run on testosterone…women run on estrogen.
Produced by the ovaries, estrogen regulates a woman’s sexual development and reproductive system. It’s also vitally important for proper bone growth and maintenance, as well as cardiovascular and brain health. In addition, estrogen strongly affects women’s moods. In fact, it’s an essential “feel good” hormone for women.
But what about men? Like women need just a little testosterone, men need just a little estrogen.
In men, estrogen is produced from the breakdown of testosterone. In other words, some of a man’s testosterone is converted to estrogen. Men need estrogen for proper brain function, healthy bones, optimal cardiovascular function, and to regulate libido and erectile function.
It would be easy to think of progesterone as strictly a women’s hormone. Its primary job is to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus to accept a fertilized egg.
But that’s just the beginning. Studies suggest progesterone supports cardiovascular and nervous system health in women, as well. It also promotes quality sleep, stabilizes moods, and keeps estrogen balanced.
But men need progesterone too.
This “female” hormone actually helps to preserve masculinity in men by acting as a precursor for testosterone and by counteracting the effects of estrogen in men’s bodies.
It’s All About Balance
All three of these essential hormones play important roles for both men and women.
However, it’s the relationship between them that drives many of the changes men and women experience as they get older. These changes can have major effects on health and well-being.
Both sexes lose testosterone with age…which leads to declining libido, loss of muscle and bone mass, and reduced energy.
Women lose estrogen and progesterone leading up to and during menopause. This causes a host of problems including weight gain, bone loss, hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, and painful sex.
Men don’t typically lose estrogen as they age…but their loss of testosterone and progesterone during andropause (aka male menopause) can result in estrogen having too much influence. Coupled with the loss of testosterone, this lowers sex drive, contributes to erectile dysfunction, causes fatigue, and can result in belly fat that is impossible to lose.
It’s not about one specific hormone. It’s about maintaining a healthy balance between all three…for women and men.
What Should You Do?
Whether you’re a woman or a man, you will experience changes in the balance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone…as well as other hormones…as you get older. No one escapes it, and symptoms can begin to appear as early as your 30’s.
Properly supervised hormone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones can help you restore and maintain proper hormone balance.
Are you ready to discover…or rediscover…a new, youthful you?
Renew Youth is here to help. Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.
Your mind and body will thank you.