Testosterone is a naturally produced hormone that’s found in both men and women along with many animals.1 While men have a much higher percentage of testosterone than women, the hormone helps keep bodily functions working in balance for both sexes. In males, the testicles make the majority of testosterone and in women, the ovaries make small amounts of testosterone.1 The endocrine system monitors your body’s hormone levels and sends signals to your organs to produce testosterone when needed. In addition to the sex organs, the adrenal glands of both men and women also contribute to producing testosterone.
When speaking about testosterone levels, we primarily associate it with men, as it’s directly linked to puberty, sex drive, and mood.1 When testosterone levels are too high, it can cause changes in behavior and increased sex drives. When testosterone levels are too low, men will often experience a range of symptoms.2 The problem is, many of these symptoms are subtle, so it’s difficult to notice them unless you know what to look out for. In this article, we’ll cover 11 signs of low testosterone in men.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Before diving into the primary 11 signs of low testosterone in men, it’s important to understand what testosterone does. Testosterone affects many different parts of the body, from cognitive functioning to metabolism. It regulates fertility, muscle mass, and how our blood cells replicate.3 When testosterone levels get too low in men, men become infertile.3 In general, testosterone imbalances can have a wide ray of effects on the body depending on the person, so if you suspect that you have an imbalance3, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options.
There are a number of different reasons that testicular imbalances occur. Injury or infection could be the cause along with hormone disorders, medications, chronic disease, or genetic disease.3 Because of the wide variety of potential causes, talking to your doctor is essential to find out the underlying problem. To make sure that you’re staying healthy and getting enough testosterone, look out for common symptoms and signs of decreased testosterone, especially as you start to get older. Here are 11 of the most common symptoms and signs of low testosterone in men.
- Decreased Libido Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in libido or sex drive. While it’s normal for a man’s libido to decrease with age, low testosterone levels can also greatly reduce the desire to have sex.2 If low testosterone is the reason for a decrease in libido, it will be much more apparent than when a decreased libido occurs with aging. Since low testosterone can occur at any age, for a number of reasons, if you notice a change in your sexual desires, it’s beneficial to talk to your doctor about the possibility of testosterone imbalances. There are many ways that testosterone levels can be restored to normal, but you should always talk to your doctor before getting treatment or taking any supplements.
- 2- Low Semen Output
- Low Semen Output If you don’t notice any major changes with your sex drive, but notice that your semen output is lower than usual, low testosterone may be to blame. Testosterone plays an integral role in how your body produces semen and a reduction in this hormone will cause your semen volume to decline over time.
3-Difficulty with Getting or Maintaining an Erection
- Difficulty with Getting or Maintaining an Erection One of the most common signs of low testosterone is having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. Testosterone levels aren’t the driving factor behind getting an erection, but the hormone works to stimulate the receptors in the brain the produce nitric oxide—a chemical necessary to getting and maintaining an erection.3 Nitric oxide is one of the main molecules that stimulate the chemical reaction that causes an erection.3 When a man experiences low testosterone, the chemical reaction is hindered, and therefore having an erection becomes more difficult. Before you turn to supplements, it’s important to understand the entire chemical process behind erections. Testosterone is not the driving force behind erections. There are a number of health problems that contribute to your ability to get or maintain an erection including:3
- Alcohol use
- High Cholesterol
- Thyroid Problems
- High Blood pressure you’re having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, don’t jump to testosterone supplements. Talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause and then discuss testosterone treatment options.
4- Reduced Testicular Size
- Reduced Testicular Size A physical sign or symptom of low testosterone levels is reduced testicular size. If you’re suffering from low testosterone levels, you will likely notice a significant reduction in testicular size.4 You may also notice that your scrotum feels softer than usual.4
- 5-Hair Loss
- Hair Loss Hair loss is another symptom of low testosterone that’s associated with aging. This can make low testosterone difficult to diagnose solely based on hair loss. However, low testosterone has been proven to cause hair loss in individuals, regardless of aging factors.4
- General Fatigue While everyone seems to feel exhaustion regularly these days, a low level of testosterone could be the culprit of a general sense of fatigue. In fact, many men have visited the doctor and said that they’ve felt extreme levels of fatigue and severely decreased energy levels only to find out that it was hormone-related.2 If you’re getting 7.5-8 hours of sleep regularly and still feel too tired to function, talk to your doctor about testing your testosterone levels.
7- Problems Sleeping
- Problems Sleeping Millions of adults have trouble getting the recommended amount of sleep every night, regardless of if they have normal testosterone levels. When you add a low testosterone balance, it’s not uncommon to suffer even more. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, even while maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, talk to your doctor about getting tested for low testosterone. A lot of men who experience low testosterone also suffer from sleep apnea, which can make things even worse.4
8-Decreased Muscle Mass
- Decreased Muscle Mass If you suffer from low testosterone for long periods of time, it will likely have an effect on your muscle mass. Testosterone is one of the major factors of building and maintaining muscle mass in men, so even if you’re going to the gym every day, low testosterone is going to hinder your efforts.4
9-Increase in Body Fat
- Increase in Body Fat When men continue eating a diet that’s meant to aid in muscle mass, but are suffering from low testosterone and therefore aren’t building muscle, it will be stored as fat. Similarly, when testosterone levels drop, gynecomastia is very common.2 This is when the breast tissues start to grow due to the improper balance between testosterone and estrogen in their bodies.2
10- Loss of Bone Mass
- Loss of Bone Mass Another internal factor that’s affected by low testosterone is bone density. While osteoporosis is more common in women, men with low testosterone levels have been found to have lower bone volume than those with normal levels.2
11-Mood Swings and Memory
- Mood Swings and Memory
Testosterone can help regulate your mood, so low levels of testosterone could be to blame for increased irritability, periods of depression, and a general lack of focus.4 There have also been studies that show a correlation between testosterone levels and memory—low testosterone could negatively affect memory.2 More studies are needed to confirm this, but it’s worth noting here.
Treatment for Low Testosterone
If you’re experiencing any of the signs of low testosterone, it’s important to first talk to your doctor. Many of these signs are common and could be reflective of other problems. To ensure that you’re getting the proper treatment, a medical diagnosis is needed. If your doctor concludes that your suffering from low testosterone, only then should you consider treatment. Never try to self-treat low testosterone with medications that have not been approved by your doctor—it’s too risky. Instead, talk to your doctor about treatment options to find one that works for you.
You know your body best, so if you start to notice any of these signs of low testosterone don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to test for testosterone imbalances and then help you correct them to mitigate these signs of symptoms. If you need any urological supplies or educational resources, visit our educational support page or our product selection guide. Byram Healthcare is proud to offer full-service urological care and we have all the high-quality urological supplies that you need. If you need to order any urological supplies, all of your orders can be discreetly delivered to your home. If you have any urological questions or need personalized, confidential services, our customer service team is here to help.