Testosterone Produced By Which Gland

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Quick Bite:
Testosterone levels in your body are controlled by your brain's hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
The former produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), stimulating the latter to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), both messenger hormones that travel to gonads such as testicles in men (ovaries for women) where Leydig cells produce testosterone.


In a world dominated by discussions about hormones and their impact on our bodies, one gland stands out as being pivotal in determining masculine characteristics.

The powerhouse behind testosterone production, the male sex hormone, is none other than the testes. Testosterone is widely recognized as the hormone responsible for male attributes such as muscle mass, deep voices, and facial hair.

Understanding the process of testosterone production sheds light on the intricacies of the male body and its functions.

The testes, commonly referred to as the testicles, are the essential organs responsible for testosterone production.

Deep within these male reproductive organs lies a network of tiny cells called Leydig cells. These cells are the primary producers of testosterone.

As the body's testosterone "factory," Leydig cells respond to signals from the brain's pituitary gland. When the pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone, it prompts Leydig cells to manufacture testosterone.

This delicate interaction between the brain and the testes is crucial for maintaining healthy hormone levels.

Unlocking the secrets of testosterone production offers profound insights into the inner workings of the male body. 

The Importance of Testosterone in the Body

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone produced by both males (AMAB) and females at birth (AFAB), acting as an androgen or masculinizing hormone to produce secondary male characteristics, such as facial hair growth, deepened vocal range and bone development, in both groups of people.

Furthermore, testosterone stimulates erythropoiesis or red blood cell production.

Low levels of testosterone have been linked with several health issues, such as:

A healthy diet, regular physical activity and proper medical attention can all help keep testosterone levels optimally elevated.

Understanding the Endocrine System

In response to certain stimuli, glands in our bodies release chemicals called hormones into the bloodstream.

These hormones act like chemical messengers and travel directly to cells throughout our bodies wherever blood flows; where they cause changes (paracrine effect).

Hormones may affect multiple cell types or only specific target tissues at once.

The effects of hormones can either be immediate (such as insulin signaling causing muscle cells to rapidly uptake glucose), or more long-lasting (such as cortisol's binding with receptors on kidney and liver walls which changes metabolism).

Numerous factors can alter how much of a given hormone is released into the blood, such as levels of other hormones or substances such as calcium.

To keep levels within optimal limits, the endocrine system uses feedback loops in which signals from the hypothalamus send to pituitary, adrenal and gonad glands (testes and ovaries).

These signals can have either positive or negative feedback loops.

For instance, during a woman's menstrual cycle, rising estrogen levels stimulate rather than inhibit the release of hormones from her hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

Thus leading to increased production of estrogen by her ovaries which then triggers ovulation - creating a negative feedback cycle which allows her body to regulate itself by maintaining optimal hormonal levels.

The Role of the Pituitary Glands in Testosterone Production

Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland regulate its production by controlling levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).

When levels drop too low, GnRH triggers your gonads to release LH into the bloodstream which binds with LH receptors on Leydig cells within your testicles and stimulates its production - leading directly to greater testosterone production.

FSH, produced by the ovaries and acting together with estrogen to stimulate egg-bearing follicle growth in girls, plays an integral part in supporting sperm production through spermatogenesis in boys.

Your brain sends signals to the pituitary gland at the base of your skull, which then transmits them onward to your gonads via an automated feedback loop.

If blood hormone levels become excessively high, your brain sends signals back to reduce production by your pituitary gland.

Your pituitary gland consists of two main parts, or lobes.

Your anterior lobe produces thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which regulates your energy levels and nervous system.

In addition, this area also produces antidiuretic hormone that maintains body water/salt balance as well as oxytocin to stimulate labor for those assigned female at birth and allow breast milk production after delivery.

Pathologies of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis

The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis (HPG Axis) is the neuroendocrine system responsible for controlling production and secretion of hormones to control both male and female reproductive health systems.

Fluctuations of this system occur during menstrual cycles as well as significant times such as pregnancy or menopause and can have profound impacts on individual's psychiatric symptoms.

Its reactivity can also be altered by early life stressors affecting neurotransmitter systems that alter sensitivity as well as neural circuitry function resulting in altered HPG Axis reactivity.

Neuroendocrine cells within the hypothalamus, Paraventricular Nucleus (PVN), and pre-autonomic lateral region of the hypothalamus produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, which travels through vasculature at median eminence into the hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal vasculature to reach the anterior pituitary gland and stimulate the secretion of gonadotropins FSH and LH.

Once in there, GnRH stimulates secretion of gonadotropins FSH initiates FSH initiates its action while LH controls testicular Leydig cells to produce LH as anandrogen source.

The HPG axis is fundamental for the survival of species and must be strictly managed.

Pubertal and reproductive conditions like puberty, menstrual disorders and infertility have been linked with abnormal activation of this axis.

Pathologies that influence it also impact its activation; this review highlights baseline and dynamic tests used clinically to investigate hypothalamic, pituitary, and gonadal function.

The Role of the Adrenal Gland in Testosterone Production

The adrenal glands produce hormones that directly enter your bloodstream, playing an integral part in managing stress responses, illness or injury recovery and sexual characteristics.

Their outer section, the cortex, produces glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids while their inner section (medulla) produces catecholamines such as adrenaline and norepinephrine which all play crucial roles.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is converted to testosterone by 3-b-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3bHSD), an enzyme encoded by HSD3B2.

3bHSD expression peaks during gestational week 8-9 before becoming undetectable around 14 gestational weeks; at that time the fetal adrenal gland also produces mineralocorticoids such as cortisol.

These hormones aid the body by controlling metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

They suppress inflammation; regulate blood pressure and levels of salt (sodium chloride) and potassium in your system.

These hormones also increase glucose (blood sugar) metabolism and slow bone formation.

They're especially helpful during physical or emotional strain that could otherwise result in illness or even death; being activated when physically or emotionally stressful situations arise can save lives!

Adrenal tumors such as pheochromocytomas are rare and are usually discovered only accidentally during routine medical tests.

Such tumors produce or secrete excess adrenal hormones that may lead to high blood pressure, headaches, sweating, tremors and rapid heart rates - symptoms often found during such medical assessments.

The Role of the Ovaries in Testosterone Production

Testosterone regulates secretions of LH and FSH which in turn leads to decreased production levels.

Low levels may be caused by cancer of ovaries or adrenal glands.

In addition, hypogonadism may be caused by treatment with estrogen-containing female hormone estrogen treatment levels or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), long-term illnesses or issues with testicles such as slow development or injury or abnormalities in pituitary glands causing low levels.

Premenopausal women's ovaries provide significant sources of androgens such as androstenedione and LH/FSH which is then converted to estrogen within their bodies.

The ovaries produce testosterone in cells known as theca and interstitial cells. Theca cells are endocrine follicular cells associated with ovarian cells.

They play a vital role in fertility, by producing androgen substrate for ovarian estradiol biosynthesis. Theca cells are differentiated from the interfollicular tissue in response to secreted proteins from follicles.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates both androstenedione and steroids synthesis by the zona fasciculata and zona reticularis of the adrenal cortex, increasing expression of androgen receptors on leydig cellS.

ACTH regulates the production of cortisol, androgen and other hormones. ACTH is associated with addison, Cushing syndrome and Cushing Disease.

Factors That Affect Testosterone Production

As we know, testosterone production takes place both within gonads (testicles for those assigned male at birth and ovaries in those assigned female) and adrenal glands, with testosterone eventually being converted to estradiol by your body - the primary female sexual hormone.

Testosterone levels are controlled by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and gonads with input from gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Diseases in any of these organs may lead to abnormally elevated testosterone levels.

Primary hypogonadism, or low testosterone production, may be caused by disease in either the ovaries or testicles, an inherited condition known as Klinefelter syndrome or infection with the mumps orchitis that leads to swelling of testicles.

Radiation therapy treatments or cancer therapies that damage hypothalamus or pituitary gland can result in secondary hypogonadism while normal aging and other factors may also impact testosterone levels in individuals.

Diets high in fat and sugar can reduce testosterone levels, along with smoking and lack of sleep, drinking too much alcohol, poor sleeping patterns, drinking too much alcohol, high stress levels increases cortisol, which suppresses hormone production leading to imbalance.

To promote optimal hormone balance it's important to eat a well balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains fruits vegetables with regular exercise.

Also try getting at least seven-eight hours of rest every night.

Common Testosterone Disorders and Their Causes

There can be various causes for men experiencing low levels of testosterone.

One such reason could be an inherited disorder known as primary hypogonadism; other possible triggers for low testosterone levels might include:


With normal aging comes a decrease in testosterone levels, particularly after the age of 40.

Males are most often affected by reduced levels of testosterone but this condition may also impact women.

Other Hormonal and Genetic Conditions

Other disorders which can disrupt testosterone levels include Klinefelter syndrome (a condition whereby someone has three of each chromosome).

Kallmann syndrome, and hemochromatosis (when there are excess iron levels).

Certain medications, such as antidepressants, diuretics, leuprolide or androgen biosynthesis inhibitors used for prostate cancer treatment may help lower testosterone levels as well.

Conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, may also lower testosterone levels over time.

Diabetes impairs your body's ability to use glucose as fuel for your cells - too much glucose means too little energy being provided and eventually stops functioning altogether!

Testosterone helps your cells increase activity and use of glucose.

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Testing and Diagnosing Testosterone Levels

If symptoms arise a testosterone test can also provide essential information regarding treatment recommendations if needed.

A blood test is the standard way for doctors to measure testosterone. This test measures both free and attached testosterone in your sample of blood, reporting results as nanograms per deciliter of blood (ng/dL).

Sometimes doctors also use another measurement called bioavailable testosterone that refers to how the testosterone can be utilized by your body.

An endocrinologist can be the most reliable source for guidance in diagnosing an issue by discussing your results with them and explaining what they mean, including any symptoms experienced and recommendations for next steps.

At-home test kits also give an accurate snapshot of testosterone levels at any given moment; kits come complete with everything needed for collecting saliva or blood samples for analysis.

You can find out more information available about testosterone levels by age by clicking the link.

Treatment Options For Testosterone Imbalances

If your doctor diagnoses you with hypogonadism (low testosterone), there are various treatment options available to restore equilibrium in your body.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), for instance, involves taking prescribed testosterone medication via patch, pellets, gel or injection.

As part of your TRT therapy, regular checkups are necessary to assess how well it's working for you and any possible side effects.

Your physician may order blood tests to measure testosterone levels as well as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or hematocrit tests.

Doctors remain uncertain as to whether the benefits outweigh its long-term side effects, though.

Some of these include prostate diseases such as:

  • benign prostatic hyperplasia and cancer
  • increased cholesterol
  • risk of cardiovascular disease
  • high blood pressure
  • gynecomastia
  • liver disease

Although research is underway into better ways of measuring this hormone and predicting which patients might be at a greater risk from adverse side effects.

Military Muscle Testosterone Booster

An ever-increasing selection of testosterone boosters are now on the market, yet many aren't tested on service members and/or contain misleading claims.

While such products may increase testosterone levels, their effects don't always correlate to increased strength or performance gains.

Military Muscle's testosterone booster was developed to provide enhance tactical athlete performance.

We provide ample scientific evidence linking their ingredients to numerous benefits, including increasing libido, supporting testosterone production, and helping users of all ages reach their optimal physiques.

Military Muscle is made with natural nutrient-rich ingredients and free from synthetic chemicals; suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Military Muscle contains 14 key ingredients to support testosterone production.

Conclusion - The Glands That Produce Testosterone

Testosterone is an important male sex steroid that plays an essential role in your reproductive system and menstrual cycle function, while also supporting cardiovascular health and normal brain functions such as memory retention and concentration.

The primary sources of testosterone production are found within both male gonads (testicles in men and ovaries in women) and adrenal glands.

Testosterone is produced in your gonads by cells known as Leydig cells and released into the bloodstream.

Furthermore, two glands - the hypothalamus at the base of your brain, and pituitary in the middle of it - control how much testosterone your gonads produce by sending messages through feedback loops.

When your testosterone level becomes excessively high, these signals from hypothalamus and pituitary send out signals to reduce production.

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