Testosterone is a hormone in the human body that’s responsible for regulating male characteristics. Because it affects sexual function, muscle bulk, and hair growth, it’s often called the male hormone.
Hormones are essential for healthy body function, but hormone levels, including testosterone, naturally begin dropping as you get older. While declining testosterone levels are a normal part of aging, but sometimes, testosterone levels can drop too low. About 40% of men over age 45 have low testosterone, and numbers increase with age.
Low testosterone is linked to a range of unpleasant side effects. Many men assume this is an inevitable part of getting older, but low testosterone is a treatable medical condition. Stuart Shoengold, MD, and our team at the Center for Female and Male Sexual Medicine are here to help.
The symptoms of low testosterone impact every man differently, but there’s no denying that it can have a severe impact on your overall well-being. You could be suffering from low testosterone if you’ve noticed any of the symptoms in this list.
Testosterone plays an important part in male sexual function. Low testosterone can cause low libido -- decreased sex drive. It’s normal for your libido to gradually decline with age, but a sudden drop or extreme disinterest in sex could indicate low testosterone.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition that occurs when you’re unable to achieve or sustain an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse. Having ED can make sex difficult or impossible, leading to frustration and even decreased interest in sex. Although ED can have a number of causes, one of the most common is low testosterone levels.
Low testosterone can trigger low sex drive and ED, and it may also contribute to male infertility. Men with low testosterone levels may have low sperm count and decreased semen volume upon ejaculation. Low testosterone can also cause changes in testicle size.
Along with sexual function, testosterone influences other male characteristics like muscle mass. Men typically build muscle differently than women, and low testosterone may cause loss of muscle mass and changes in body composition. Having low testosterone may also increase your risk of osteoporosis, because testosterone is crucial for bone strength.
Low testosterone can also cause weight gain. As muscle mass wanes, body fat increases. Men with low testosterone may notice weight gain in areas that women often have extra weight, such as their hips. Low testosterone levels can also cause gynecomastia, which is enlarged breast tissue.
Testosterone is responsible for male-pattern hair growth — think facial hair and body hair. Losing head hair as you get older is normal, but thinning body hair or a sparse beard could be a sign that you’re suffering from a testosterone deficiency.
Low testosterone levels can also impact your mood. You might find that you’re feeling more irritable than usual or you experience swift mood swings. Some men with low testosterone are more likely to suffer depression.
Hot flashes are sudden feelings of intense heat. When they happen at night, they’re known as night sweats. Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of menopause in women, but these unpleasant episodes can also affect men suffering from low testosterone.
If you’re consistently battling fatigue or low energy, it could be linked to testosterone deficiency. Testosterone influences energy levels, and having low testosterone could leave you feeling exhausted even if you’re getting plenty of sleep at night.
Many men with low testosterone find that they struggle with concentration and memory. Fatigue also plays a role in concentration. But if you have a testosterone deficiency, you might find that you’re getting more forgetful or your performance at work is suffering even if you’re not feeling tired.
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Stop suffering in silence. It’s time to find out if they could be caused by low testosterone.
Low testosterone has the power to affect your quality of life, but hormone replacement therapy and other treatments can help you feel like yourself again. Schedule a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Shoengold and our team to learn more about your options.
Call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, at 973-218-9400 or book an appointment with the online scheduling tool.