Testosterone is a hormone mainly produced by men. It is involved in the development of a man’s physical and sexual features. It also stimulates sperm production and affects libido.
Like every other hormone in the human body, having the right levels of testosterone is really important. When testosterone levels fall lower than the normal range, it could increase the risk of several serious conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Typically, a man’s testosterone production decreases as he grows older, but some men can experience a drop in their testosterone levels even before they reach middle age.
Below are 9 signs of low testosterone in males to look out for.
1. Low Sex Drive
Testosterone is the main hormone that fuels a man’s sex drive. If a man has low levels of testosterone, he will be less interested in having sex.
However, a diminishing sex drive occurs naturally as a man ages. And also, there are many other factors – like stress that can lower a man’s stress drove. A low sex drive could only signal low testosterone levels if it comes suddenly.
2. Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone plays an important role in sustaining a man’s erection. For an erection to occur, the hormone must stimulate the penile tissues to release nitric oxide which triggers the erection. When there’s not enough testosterone, a man may not be able to get an erection, but if he eventually gets an erection, it won’t be firm enough for intercourse.
3. Decreased Energy Level
A significant drop in energy levels could be a symptom of many health conditions including low testosterone. You might have low testosterone if you find yourself tired all the time despite getting adequate rest and sleep. Also, you might feel reluctant or less motivated to exercise or move around.
4. Mood Swings
Mood problems aren’t only common with women, men can have them too, but when a man has low levels of testosterone, mood swings become more common. Men with low testosterone are more likely to face depression, irritability or lose focus.
The changes in mood are due to the absence of testosterone which is required in many body processes including mood and mental capacity.
5. Reduced Muscle Mass
Testosterone is required for the production of bone tissue and the maintenance of bone volume. Men with low levels of testosterone could experience reduced bone mass – a condition known as osteoporosis. If you’ve noticed shrinkage in your arm and leg muscles, and in your chest, it could be due to the lack of enough testosterone in your body. Also, if you find it difficult to build muscle mass, you could be experiencing low levels of testosterone
6. Increased Body Fat
A man with low testosterone is more likely to gain weight than a man with the right amounts. In some cases, the imbalance of testosterone and estrogen in the man’s body could cause him to develop gynecomastia or enlarged breasts.
7. Hair Loss
Hair loss is caused by many factors including genetics, aging, and the use of medications. While low testosterone is not one of the major causes of hair loss, men with low testosterone could experience a loss of body and facial hair.
8. Low Semen Volume
Testosterone is actively involved in the production of semen – the milky fluid that aids in the motility of sperm. Men with low testosterone will have a reduced level of semen which could lead to problems with fertility.
Note that, the level of semen typically reduces after the first ejaculation, this doesn’t necessarily signal a lower level of testosterone or any other condition.
9. Reduced Testicle Size
Testosterone is needed for the development of the penis and testicles. A man with low testosterone may notice a reduction in the size of their testicles. Also, the scrotum could feel softer than usual.
Normally, the testicles shrink during cold temperatures. This is more of a natural response than a health condition. Other health conditions could also cause the testicles to shrink, so it isn’t always a symptom of lower levels of testosterone.
If you notice any of the signs and symptoms above you should conduct your doctor immediately. Fortunately, testosterone can be treated with several medications including testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)