Understanding the normal testosterone levels in men is critical at all ages.
Having low testosterone (hypogonadism) could lead to serious health issues, especially in men. When your testosterone level drops, you could lose your sex drive, decrease sperm production, have less muscle mass, and feel less energetic.
That begs the question: What are normal testosterone levels in men to begin with?
Here’s everything you need to know about testosterone including what it is, what it does, and what you could do if your body isn’t producing enough of it.
What Is Testosterone?
Men produce testosterone through the testicles. This hormone is responsible for a person’s sexual development and appearance. For instance, a man with healthy levels of testosterone can grow facial hair. There is also a relationship between testosterone and muscle mass.
It is rare for individuals to have naturally high levels of testosterone, especially elderly folks. The opposite is far more likely.
As men grow older, they’re bound to produce less testosterone.
The Side Effects of Low Testosterone
When a man’s testosterone gets too low, they can experience any number of symptoms. These include:
- Declining Sex Drive: Those with low testosterone tend to lose any desire to have sex.
- Less Semen: Testosterone aids in the production of semen.
- Low Energy: People with low testosterone experience fatigue more easily.
- Hair Loss: You can experience hair loss in your head, face, or body if you have low testosterone.
- Weight Gain: It’s also possible for men to gain weight if they don’t produce enough testosterone.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can also be a problem for men with low testosterone.
Testosterone does not have a direct impact on erections. However, it does stimulate receptors in the brain that trigger arousal.
A study suggests that low testosterone can also be linked to other chronic diseases even in men 40 years old and younger. A separate study even links low testosterone to more severe cases of Covid-19.
We should note that just because you’re having trouble getting and maintaining erections does not necessarily mean that you have low testosterone. There are various reasons—physiological and psychological—as to why a man couldhave trouble getting an erection. Even having high blood pressure could cause ED.
What Are Normal Testosterone Levels in Men By Age?
Testosterone is measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
According to the American Urological Association, a man should have a testosterone level of at least 300 ng/dL — getting any result below that number is an indication that a patient has a low testosterone level.
It’s expected for peak testosterone levels to arrive in a man’s teenage years—around 18 or 19—before it starts to decline.
But the human body can start producing testosterone even during infancy as it’s responsible for the development of the male reproductive system.
Here are the acceptable testosterone levels for men by age group.
- Children: The first couple of months, a male baby should produce 75-400 ng/dL. By the time he’s 10 to 11 years old, that should change to 7-130 ng/dL.
- Early Teens: Between 12 to 13 years old, a person should have 7-800 ng/dL. But by 15 to 16 years old, the ng/dL should be 100-1,200.
- Late Teens: Anyone between 17 to 18 years old should have testosterone levels between 300 and 1,200 ng/dL.
- Adults: An adult (19 years and older) should have anywhere between 240 and 950 ng/dL.
To confirm your testosterone levels, a doctor will have to perform a blood test.
The best time to test testosterone is in the morning between 7 and 10 AM because that’s when your testosterone levels are at their highest.
Low Testosterone Treatments for Men
If you have low testosterone production, your doctor can recommend different solutions including low testosterone therapy.
This can come in different forms — an injection, patches, creams, gels, or pellets.
Those interested in testosterone therapy should consult an expert. This type of treatment should be conducted by a medical professional.
While it’s perfectly normal to lose testosterone as people age, having an abnormal testosterone level could lead to more complicated health problems. For instance, people with low testosterone could find weight loss a challenge due to low energy levels among other issues.
Natural Ways to Increase Testosterone
You can take action to improve your testosterone levels that can support medical treatments, such as testosterone replacement therapy.
Exercising can prevent the loss of testosterone — or even better, raise it back to a more acceptable level.
People who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels than those who don’t.
Research shows that there is a significant difference in testosterone levels (among other functions) between men who exercise regularly and men who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Weight lifting, in particular, is said to be the best type of exercise for boosting testosterone and addressing weight gain.
Change Your Diet
Losing fat can improve your testosterone levels in adult males.
So if you suffer from testosterone deficiency, switching your diet to lose weight is a good option. Doctors recommend that you eat a good amount of protein.
If coupled with high-resistance training, you can also try eating more carbohydrates.
Lower Your Stress Levels
Stress can raise your cortisol, a hormone that can lower your testosterone if left elevated. You need to do what you can to lower your stress. This includes getting enough sleep and living a more balanced lifestyle.
Spending time under the sun can also help since vitamin D is necessary to boost a guy’s testosterone.
Potential Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
While Testosterone Replacement Therapy is useful for a majority of men with testosterone issues, it isn’t for everyone, such as men with pre-existing health conditions.
Men who could have certain types of cancer (prostate cancer, for example) should find alternate testosterone treatments. The same goes for those that have severe kidney, heart, or liver problems.
That’s why it’s highly recommended for men with testosterone issues to consult a medical Testosterone Replacement Therapy professional to assess what medications they can take if any.
When Should You Have Your Testosterone Level Checked?
Doctors recommend that men should get their testosterone level checked when they reach 35 and every 5 years after that.
If the patient undergoes testosterone replacement therapy, however, then their levels should be closely monitored so that it doesn’t get too high. Once treatments start, it becomes a balancing act. You’d have to take some precautions to make sure that you don’t go over the normal testosterone range. This is part of why an experienced medical professional should be consulted if testosterone levels are outside of a normal range.
If you’re having issues or symptoms with low testosterone, call the team at Premier Men’s Medical Center in Orlandonow to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff.