The production of testosterone drops gradually as men grow older and men over the age of 60 may develop symptoms of low testosterone. There are, however, instances where the production of testosterone slows down and falls below the required levels for reasons other than aging. Such men are said to be suffering from low testosterone. The level of testosterone can be measured through a simple blood test. In a normally functioning male, the level fluctuates between 300 ng/dL to 1000 ng/dL. If the level is below 300 ng/dL, then he may have low testosterone, also called hypogonadism.
Impacts of Low Testosterone on Men
1. Reduced Sex Drive
A drastic decrease in a man’s urge to have sex may point to low testosterone. Often this will be accompanied by a failure to achieve or maintain an erection, or erectile dysfunction. It is common for men mistakenly to attribute a reduced sex drive to aging. While it is true that the older you are the less interest you may have in sex, this is a gradual process that keeps pace with other bodily changes so when it happens, it is not that much of a surprise. It does not happen abruptly.
2. Shrinking Testicles
Testosterone causes the increase in size of the testicles and the penis during puberty. If the levels go down, it is to be expected that these organs may shrink. The testicles also may feel much softer.
3. Low semen Volume
Testosterone stimulates the production of semen, so low levels of testosterone inhibit the normal production of semen.
4. General Fatigue
Low testosterone levels also may cause a proportionate decrease in energy levels, leading to fatigue. This may be accompanied by a dislike for physical activity and movement.
If left untreated, the symptoms of low testosterone increase in severity and with time may cause hair loss, infertility, low bone density that can develop into osteoporosis, loss of muscle and a marked increase in weight because fat distribution remains unregulated.
The symptoms experienced by patients with low testosterone can mimic symptoms of other conditions. It is therefore necessary for one to undergo diagnostic tests with a trained urologist to determine the cause. Men also should schedule regular screening sessions where their testosterone levels are measured. And it is important to note that hypogonadism is treatable. The Advanced Urology Institute has a highly qualified staff of specialists that can offer a wide variety of treatment options as well as answer any questions. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.