The sex hormone, testosterone, is important for both men and women, as well as other animals. While it is called a sex hormone, testosterone has other functions in the body, and when testosterone levels vary too much, patients can experience both physical and mental issues. Accordingly, knowing a patient’s testosterone levels can help clinicians make accurate diagnoses.
The typical way of measuring testosterone is through blood or plasma, which requires a needle. Now, a study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research reports that an improved chromatography method (called ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) removes the need for needles by analyzing testosterone in both plasma and saliva.
Testosterone is part of a class of hormones called androgens; in males, the testicles produce testosterone, and in women, the ovaries produce it. In the brain, the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland how much testosterone is needed, and that message is passed along to the testicles or ovaries.
In men especially, testosterone plays many roles. It helps develop the sex organs, it is responsible for puberty and plays an important role in sperm production, sex drive, and the production of red blood cells.