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Signs and symptoms of low Testosterone

Admin - Sep 01, 2023

As men get older, their testosterone levels may decrease. Certain health conditions can also impact this hormone. The symptoms of low Testosterone can be subtle, but if they affect your lifestyle, then treatment is necessary. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a vital role in males. It handles male appearance and sexual development and stimulates sperm production and sex drive. Also, it helps in building muscles and bone mass. The testicles produce Testosterone in people assigned male at birth. 

 However, having low levels of Testosterone may cause various types of symptoms. Its production typically starts with age. According to the American Urological Association, almost 40% of men aged 45 and older face low deficiency. Read to know more about the effects of low Testosterone and what signs and symptoms may appear.

Signs and symptoms of low Testosterone

If you have low Testosterone, you may experience various symptoms due to it. Signs of low Testosterone are often subtle but can significantly impact men's lives. It may include-

Low sex drive

Men with low Testosterone generally face issues with their sex drive or libido. As men age, they typically have a lower sex drive. But, those with low testosterone experience a more severe decline in their sex drive. 

Difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection(Erectile Dysfunction)

If you have a low testosterone level, you are more likely to face sexual problems like Erectile dysfunction. The condition involves issues in getting or keeping an erection during sexual intercourse. Hormone like Testosterone tells the brain receptors to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide trigger a series of chemical reaction to lead to an erection. However, having low Testosterone may cause difficulty in achieving an erection. 

But, it's unclear if testosterone therapy can help with erectile dysfunction in men. In 2016, studies were reviewed on this therapy for men with erection problems. Almost half of them did not respond to the treatment and did not show signs of improvement in their erection.

Some other health conditions may lead to erection difficulties. For example-

  • Thyroid disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption may also cause erection problems.

Hot flashes

  • As a sign of low Testosterone, you may experience hot flashes. 
  • You may feel a sudden sensation of warmth and can also experience-
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Night sweats

Hair loss

Hormones like Testosterone also play a role in hair production. As men get older, some may experience baldness, and in some, it can be due to hereditary. But males with low Testosterone can also lose body and facial hair. 

Mood changes

Having a low testosterone level can cause symptoms like mood changes. Testosterone in our body affects many physical processes, influencing mood and mental capacity. 


Males with low Testosterone usually report extreme fatigue and a decrease in energy. When you have low Testosterone, you often get tired even after enough sleep. Or you find it challenging to get motivated for exercise and physical activities. 

Decreased muscle mass

A study review in 2016 found that Testosterone may affect muscle mass. However, it is not necessary to have a link with the strength or function of the muscles. So, males with a testosterone deficiency may experience a decrease in muscle mass. 

Increased body fat

Males facing testosterone deficiency may have an increased risk of gaining body fat or gynecomastia(enlarged breast tissue). Condition like Gynecomastia may occur during the imbalance of Testosterone and estrogen in the body.

Decreased bone mass

The testosterone hormone also helps to produce and strengthen bone in males. So males with low Testosterone, especially older men, may face low bone volume problems. These men are more at risk of bone fractures. 

Mood changes

Having a low testosterone level can cause symptoms like mood changes. Testosterone in our body affects many physical processes, influencing mood and mental capacity. 


Testosterone levels and cognitive functions, particularly memory, can decline in men with age. It is the reason that low levels of Testosterone may affect your memory. A 2019 review of studies found that testosterone supplementation can improve memory in older men. 

Smaller testicle and penis size

A man's body needs Testosterone to develop the penis and testicles. So low testosterone levels can lead to disproportionately smaller penis or testicles in males. Some other conditions are also known to cause a smaller penis and testicles. 

Low blood counts

A study in 2017 found that low Testosterone may increase the risk of anemia. Researchers gave testosterone gel to males with low Testosterone and anemia. As a result, they found that these males had better blood counts than males who used a placebo. So, it improved blood counts in males with known causes of anemia, like iron deficiency.

Causes of low Testosterone

As you have read above, men can have a decrease in levels of Testosterone as they get older. However, several conditions and circumstances may cause low Testosterone. These may include-

  • Stress
  • Testicle injuries
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Use of certain medications
  • Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy
  • AIDS
  • Kidney disease
  • Infections
  • Pituitary gland disease
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol use disorder

How is low Testosterone diagnosed?

The average testosterone levels in males typically range from 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter(ng/dL). You deal with low Testosterone if your Testosterone falls below 300 ng/dL. A blood test called a serum testosterone test may help determine the testosterone levels. 

Some tests that may help to determine the cause of low Testosterone are-

  • Blood prolactin level
  • Serum testosterone
  • Luteinizing hormone

Treatment for Low Testosterone

Testosterone replacement therapy is a common treatment for men with low Testosterone. If you experience low Testosterone symptoms, you must consult your doctor. They may advise you on treatment after knowing the exact cause leading to low T levels. 

Treatment like Testosterone replacement therapy(TRT) is a lifelong treatment. If you stop the TRT, then your testosterone levels will drop, and in some people, the treatment may also include some side effects, such as

  • Shrinking testicles
  • Acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Decrease in sperm count
  • High red blood cell count

Testosterone replacement therapy may not be suitable for men who have conditions like-

  • Breast or prostate cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Untreated heart condition
  • Plan to have children
  • Elevated red blood cell counts

A low testosterone problem may also increase the risk of developing other health conditions. So, a treatment at the right time is essential to prevent the future risk due to low Testosterone. Also, you may need to track your testosterone levels during the therapy.

Final lines on the Topic

Men gradually experience a decrease in their testosterone levels as they get older. But there are also a variety of factors that may also cause low Testosterone. A doctor will check your testosterone levels if you are concerned about it due to your signs and symptoms. If they find a deficiency of Testosterone in you, then a doctor may advise you for testosterone replacement therapy.

Consult a doctor before getting TRT and know the potential risks and benefits of the therapy.

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