Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone

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Testosterone levels drop with age. That means your risk for low testosterone (called low T) goes up as you get older. After age 60, about 20% of men have low T. About half of all men older than 80 have it. 

Doctors use a blood test to determine if a man has low T. They test the blood in the morning. That's when testosterone levels tend to be the highest. To be sure, they test the blood on two different mornings. Both tests have to show a low level for a low T diagnosis. 

Low T also causes signs and symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Think of signs as things that you can see. Symptoms are things that you can feel. Low T can cause both. 

Some signs and symptoms of low T are so common that men often ignore them. Or, they think they're just part of getting older. Some of them are related to sexual function. Low T can cause physical and emotional changes, too.  

Sexual Signs and Symptoms of Low T

These are the sexual signs and symptoms to look out for: 

  • Loss of interest in sex, called low libido

  • Erectile dysfunction, which means not being able to achieve or maintain an erection

  • Inability to father a child because of a low sperm count

Non-Sexual Symptoms of Low T

Some symptoms occur with many conditions, but they can also be from low T. These include: 

Physical Signs of Low T

Testosterone helps men keep their masculine physical traits. Over time, low T can lead to some visible changes in your body, such as: 

  • Loss of body hair

  • Increased body fat

  • Loss of muscle

  • Shrinking testicles

  • Increased breast size

  • Thinning of bones (osteoporosis)—a bone test can detect this condition

What to Do If You Have Signs or Symptoms of Low T

Talk with your doctor if you notice any of these signs or symptoms. If you also have blood test results that show low T, your doctor may consider starting you on treatment. Consult your doctor regarding the potential risks and known benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. By taking testosterone replacement, you could experience more energy and an enhanced sex drive. Treatment may also improve your mood. Over time, you might also see a loss of fat and an increase in muscle mass.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Aug 4
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. What is Low Testosterone (Hypogonadism)? Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone-(hypogonadism)

  2. Hypogonadism. Hormone Health Network. http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/mens-health/hypogonadism