Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
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.
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
Some symptoms occur with many conditions, but they can also be from low T. These include:
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
Increased breast size
Thinning of bones (osteoporosis)—a bone test can detect this condition
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.