Most men know that testosterone is definitely needed in order to have a healthy libido. Unfortunately, some men wait until their sexual performance is already badly affected before they get their testosterone levels tested.
You don’t have to wait until you’re already experiencing fewer morning erections before you start taking steps to increase your testosterone levels. If you want to know how low your testosterone levels should be before it’s safe for you to start taking testosterone boosters, continue reading.
Normal Testosterone Levels
Depending on your age, the amount of testosterone you need will vary throughout your life. To find out whether you’re producing enough testosterone, you need to take a test. It only takes a blood sample, usually drawn in the morning, for you to know whether you’re low on testosterone or not.
Women also need testosterone because their bodies need the hormone to maintain hormonal balance, and to regulate their sex drive and fertility. As with men, women also need testosterone in order to produce new blood cells. However, the quantity of testosterone needed by women is much lower than what men need.
For infants below six months old, for instance, male babies need 75-400 ng/dL while female babies need only 20-80 ng/dL. From 6 months to 9 years old, however, both male and female children need only about 7-20 ng/dL of testosterone.
Then when they enter puberty, they’ll need more testosterone to fuel the development and maturation of their sexual and reproductive systems. Male babies actually need more testosterone during the first few months of their lives because that’s when their sex and reproductive organs start developing.
A male baby with extremely low testosterone levels may end up having underdeveloped sex organs, which could then lead to more problems as the child becomes an adult. For instance, his penis may be underdeveloped, or his testicular functions may be impaired, resulting in infertility.
Young boys aged 10-11 years old need around 7-130 ng/dL of testosterone. At this age, their bodies are already starting to prepare for adolescence. Boys aged 12 to 13 years old need more testosterone, at around 7-800 ng/dL.
Adolescence for boys usually happens when they’re around 14 years old, and that’s when their need for testosterone shoots up, with normal levels at around 7-1,200 ng/dL. At 15-16 years old, male adolescents need 100-1,200 ng/dL of testosterone.
From 17-18 years old, there’s still a need for high levels of testosterone as this is the time when a young man’s reproductive system fully matures. However, from 19 years onward, the normal testosterone level for men is pegged at 240-950 ng/dL.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone is often accompanied by various symptoms, although the condition is usually associated with poor sexual performance. It’s true that having low testosterone levels can definitely affect your libido and erectile function. However, there are many other symptoms that you can suffer from if your testosterone levels are low.
For example, you could experience premature hair loss if your levels of testosterone are below the normal range. In fact, having low testosterone is one of the most common reasons why young men below 35 years old are already balding.
Other physical changes you may experience when you’re low on testosterone include decreased body hair, increased body fat, and declining muscle and bone mass. The latter is something that you really need to watch out for since it can lead to testosterone-related osteoporosis.
On top of that, low testosterone can also make you feel fatigued, depressed, less confident, and unable to concentrate. Low testosterone levels are also linked to swollen or enlarged breasts in men, a condition often referred to as gynecomastia.
Of course, the adverse effects of low testosterone levels on male sexual performance are also very worrisome. If you notice that your morning erections are getting less frequent, and you’re already starting to have problems achieving or maintaining an erection, then you should get your testosterone levels measured right away.
When Should You Start Taking Testosterone Supplements?
Many doctors are quite strict when it comes to screening those who qualify for testosterone therapy. This means that if your testosterone levels are not below 240 ng/dL, your doctor most likely won’t recommend testosterone therapy for you, especially if you’re still below 65 years old.
One of the reasons why doctors usually advise against testosterone replacement therapy for young patients is that there are many risks involved. For instance, long-term use of endogenous testosterone or testosterone coming from external sources such as patches, gels, and injections can inhibit your internal production of the hormone.
However, if your low testosterone symptoms are already causing great distress to you, especially if your sexual performance is already suffering, you can try herb-based testosterone supplements as an alternative.
For example, Tongkat Ali is a known effective herb-based testosterone booster. In fact, in one study among men with late-onset hypogonadism, Tongkat Ali was found to help boost internal testosterone production, relieve hypogonadism symptoms, and raise testosterone levels.
Because of its positive effects on testicular functions, Tongkat Ali is able to increase not only testosterone synthesis but also sperm production. Plus, the herb has also been scientifically shown to benefit men with erectile dysfunction and low libido.
Aside from Tongkat Ali, other herbal supplements that have also been proven safe in elevating testosterone levels include Tribulus Terrestris, Ashwagandha, and fenugreek. For increasing free testosterone levels, fenugreek is particularly effective due to its aromatase-inhibiting effects.
Tribulus Terrestris, just like Tongkat Ali, also has multiple benefits for male sexual and reproductive health. Similar to Tongkat Ali, Tribulus Terrestris has also been repeatedly shown to help raise testosterone levels and improve erectile function. In addition, the herb is also known to enhance male fertility by increasing sperm count and improving sperm motility.
If stress is a contributing factor to your low testosterone levels, Ashwagandha will be extremely beneficial for you. It’s an excellent adaptogen and it can help improve your stress hormone profile by lowering your cortisol levels and increasing your testosterone production.