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Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, but both sexes produce it. Levels fluctuate by age — peaking around puberty and then gradually declining after the age of 30.
Are you experiencing low energy, perhaps even a decreased sex drive? It may be that your testosterone levels are running low.
Let’s shed some light on testosterone levels by age, answering all your burning questions.
Testosterone is the sex hormone behind the male sex drive, but it also helps with bone mass, muscle mass, strength, and fat distribution. Testosterone even has a hand in the production of sperm and red blood cells .
Primary hypogonadism is when the testicles are underactive. Age is not the only cause, below are three more predisposing factors:
Primary hypogonadism may also occur following injury:
Secondary hypogonadism can be triggered by several other factors:
Secondary hypogonadism can also arise from an inherited condition or disease, such as:
When exactly testosterone levels begin to decrease varies between individuals. Some men may not experience a noticeable decline until they are 80, sometimes older.
However, for the general male population, levels start to decline at around 40 . The decline is gradual, only about one percent every year.
The body begins producing testosterone during the embryonic stage in the womb. Throughout gestation, levels fluctuate in both boys and girls but remain slightly higher in the males . Medical professionals measure testosterone in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl.)
Let’s break up the normal ranges of this hormone by age:
Throughout the infant stage and early childhood, we’ll see significant fluctuations in the hormone’s production.
In adolescence, we see a spike in the boys’ hormone production. Here’s the breakdown:
Once we reach adulthood, production slows down, particularly in women.
Healthy levels may look like:
Doctors diagnose low testosterone when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter in adult men . However, you may not experience any deficiency symptoms until it falls below 200 to 100 nanograms per deciliter.
Because this hormone helps regulate various parts of the body, symptoms of a testosterone deficiency vary. Low levels may lead to:
When you have low testosterone, it could mean a chronic or genetic disease. Sometimes, a problem in the pituitary gland. .
In adult men, high testosterone is anything over 900 ng/dl. It’s usually due to the use of anabolic steroids, like what bodybuilders and athletes use to improve their performance .
Men with high testosterone levels may experience some of the following:
High amounts of testosterone may indicate a tumor in the adrenal glands or testicles .
Your doctor may check your testosterone once in a while, or when you exhibit concerning symptoms. If they discover that your levels are low, your doctor will likely ask you to get tested every three to six months .
When testing your testosterone levels, the best time is the morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. The levels are usually higher in the morning, giving the best indication.
Testosterone is present in the bloodstream, so to test the levels, your doctor requires a blood sample. There are two kinds:
If you have low testosterone, your doctor will likely recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It’s generally applied either through injections, gels, or patches. TRT should help restore energy, increase your muscle mass and improve your sexual function .
Treating high testosterone may require a different approach. There isn’t some pill you can take; rather, it’s about making lifestyle changes; this includes stopping the use of anabolic steroids.
If the surge in levels is due to a tumor, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Steroids are a synthetic form of testosterone . You may take steroids to treat a muscle-wasting illness. Bodybuilders take steroids, or anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), to increase muscle mass and strength.
Conversely, when taking steroids, you’re increasing the testosterone in your body. That can increase your risk of heart attacks, behavioral issues, and even decrease testosterone production over time .
Although testosterone is an androgen, i.e., a male sex hormone, it plays an important part in women’s health, too.
In women, it helps with reproductive health, growth, and maintenance of a healthy body. Women produce testosterone in the ovaries, fat, skin cells, and the adrenal glands .
Women produce a lot less testosterone than men. Still, low or high levels can still affect the female body.
Treating either high or low testosterone levels in women usually requires treating the underlying cause. Testosterone therapy isn’t ideal for women, so medical advice is essential .
Testosterone is a crucial sex hormone produced by both men and women. It helps regulate our reproductive health and energy levels, among other bodily functions.
Too much or too little can lead to adverse effects, like mood swings, low or high sex drive, and infertility.
Luckily, testosterone level tests are quick, treatment is readily available, and there are plenty of testosterone enhancers to choose from. If you enjoyed our article, you could also find interesting our research about how to increase testosterone naturally.
We hope that you found our guide helpful. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.