Androgens

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Testosterone
Skeletal formula for testosterone; the primary masculinizing hormone in humans.

Drug class: Sex hormone
Dosage range:
Injections
25mg - 40mg per week[1]
Gel
5mg - 10mg per day[2]
Patches
5mg - 10mg per day[3]
Brand names: Androgel, Androderm, Depo-testosterone, Proviron, Arimidex

Androgens are sex hormones. They bind to the androgen receptor and are the primary sex hormones in men. Conversely, they have only a minimal role in women. Androgens include testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Antiandrogens like spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, and bicalutamide oppose the effects of androgens.

Bioidentical androgens[edit]

Androgens are the main masculinizing hormones in the human body, and of them testosterone in particular often used by transgender people to induce masculinization. They are produced endogenously in humans with functional testes in several different variants.

  • Testosterone (T) is the major androgen contributing to pubertal development in people with functional testes. It is also main masculinizing hormone used by some trans people.
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a metabolite of testosterone, and binds much more strongly to the androgen receptors.[4] In adults it is known to cause many androgen related medical conditions like acne, hirsutism, male-pattern balding and various prostate conditions. [5]
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) A primary precursor of natural sex hormones. [6] Also known as dehydroisoandrosterone or dehydroandrosterone.
  • Androstenedione (A4) is a weak androgenic steroid produced by the testes, adrenal cortex, and ovaries. While androstenediones are converted metabolically to testosterone and other androgens, they are also the parent structure of estrone.
  • Androstenediol (A5) is a weak androgen produced as a metabolite of DHEA.
  • Androsterone is a chemical byproduct created during the breakdown of androgens, or derived from progesterone, that also exerts minor masculinising effects, but with one-seventh the intensity of testosterone. It is found in approximately equal amounts in the plasma and urine of both males and females.

Xenoandrogens[edit]

Xenoandrogens are hormones which interact with the androgen receptors but do not appear naturally in the human body. They are in widespread underground use by body builders and athletes for preformance enhancement, often in the form of various anabolic androgenic steroids.

In medical treatment bio-identical testosterone is preferred over xenoandrogens due to it's action in the body being much more understood and predictable. Many of the xenoandrogens used for performance enhancement have very little history of human use as new ones are constantly being formulated for the athletes abusing them to avoid detection.

Blood tests[edit]

Testosterone levels in blood tests are typically reported in nmol/L or ng/dL. The molar mass of testosterone is 288.431 g/mol[7], so to convert from nmol/L to ng/dL you would multiply by 28.8431. (And to convert from ng/dL to nmol/L, divide by 28.8431.)

  • Total testosterone: The total amount of testosterone in the blood serum, regardless of whether or not it is bound to SHBG, serum albumin, or corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG).
  • Free testosterone: The amount of testosterone in the blood serum that is not bound to SHBG, serum albumin, or CBG.
  • Bioavailable testosterone: The amount of testosterone in the blood serum that is not bound to SHBG. This value includes testosterone that is bound to serum albumin and CBG, as those bind more weakly to testosterone than SHBG does.

References[edit]