Low Testosterone - Symptom Overview
A range of symptoms can occur when testosterone production drops. Signs of low testosterone (also called hypogonadism) are often subtle and can be mistaken for a natural part of aging.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, a simple blood test can determine if low testosterone is the cause.
Low Sex Drive
Testosterone plays a key role in libido (sex drive). Men may experience some decline in sex drive as they age. However, those with low testosterone will likely experience a more drastic decline in their desire to have sex.
Difficulty Achieving Erection
Testosterone stimulates a man’s sex drive — and it also aids in achieving an erection. Testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide — a molecule that helps trigger an erection. When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex.
Low Semen Volume
Testosterone plays a role in the production of semen, the milky fluid that aids in the motility of sperm. It’s pretty simple: the more testosterone a man has, the more semen he produces. Men with low testosterone will notice a decrease in the volume of their sperm during ejaculation.
Testosterone plays a role in several body functions, including hair production. Balding is a natural part of aging for many men. However, men with low testosterone may experience a more rapid loss of body and facial hair.
Fatigue & Lack of Energy
Men with low testosterone have reported extreme fatigue and a noticeable decrease in energy levels. If you are tired much of the time, despite getting plenty of sleep, or if you are finding it harder to get motivated to hit the gym or exercise, low testosterone may be the cause.
Loss of Muscle Mass
Because testosterone plays a role in the building and strengthening of muscle, men with low testosterone might notice a decrease in both muscle mass and strength. Those who try to reverse the muscle loss through weight training may find it difficult to build or rebuild muscle.
Increase in Body Fat
Men with low testosterone may experience an increase in body fat. In particular, they sometimes develop “gynecomastia,” a condition that results in the development of enlarged breasts.
Decrease in Bone Mass
The thinning of bone mass (osteoporosis) is often thought of as a condition primarily experienced by women. However, men with low testosterone can also experience bone loss because testosterone aids in the production and strengthening of our bones. Men with low testosterone — especially older men who have had low testosterone for years — are more susceptible to bone fractures as a result.
Testosterone can influence mood and mental capacity. Research suggests that men with low testosterone are more likely to experience depression, irritability, or a lack of focus.
Take the Next Step
Testosterone levels decrease naturally over time, so you may experience some degree of change in these symptoms as you age. Your doctor can conduct a blood test, recommend treatment as needed, and discuss benefits and risks.
Act now to improve your quality of life.