Testosterone is the main sex hormone in males. It is primarily produced in the testicles and is essential in the growth and development of men, physically and sexually. Among its most important roles in the body are:
Growth of body hair
Body hair, such as pubic hair, facial hair, underarm hair, and chest hair, can grow naturally with enough testosterone in the body.
Development of muscles and bones
For strong muscles and bones and reduced risk of muscle and bone loss, weakening, injuries, and other problems, there has to be sufficient testosterone produced by the body.
A man’s desire for sex is influenced by his testosterone levels, so for high libido, he has to have testosterone levels that are within the normal or ideal range.
Deepening of the voice
During puberty, a male goes through various bodily changes, including the deepening of the voice, which is made possible by testosterone.
Body fat distribution
To avoid body fat problems, high cholesterol, obesity, and other health problems, enough testosterone should be present in the body.
What are the Normal Testosterone Levels in Men?
The normal testosterone levels in men vary according to age.
From birth to 9 years
- Before the puberty stage, the normal testosterone levels range from 7 nanograms per deciliter to 400 nanograms per deciliter. During this time, testosterone facilitates the formation of bones and muscles, and the enlargement of the male genitalia.
From 10 years to 14 years
- During puberty, the normal testosterone levels range from 130 nanograms per deciliter to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. Testosterone makes possible the various bodily changes that occur during puberty, such as body hair growth, deepening of the voice, increase in height, and increase in penis and testicular size. Libido or sex drive is also enhanced.
From 15 years to 17 years
- Shortly after puberty, the normal testosterone levels range from 300 nanograms per deciliter to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. The male body continues to develop.
From 18 years to 20 years
- During these years, the normal testosterone levels are at their highest, usually around 300 nanograms per deciliter to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. Usually, at this point, sex drive in males also reaches its peak.
From 20 years to 30 years
- After reaching their peak levels, normal testosterone levels start to slowly drop to around 240 nanograms per deciliter to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter, with an average of 700 nanograms per deciliter. Men, at this age, continue to gain more sexual experience.
From 31 years to 39 years
- Once in their 30s, men’s normal testosterone levels range from 200 nanograms per deciliter to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter, with an average of 550 nanograms per deciliter. Some men may start experiencing a gradual decline in their sex drive and problems with erectile function due to the decrease in testosterone.
From 40 years to 49 years
- In their 40s, men’s normal testosterone levels range from 200 nanograms per deciliter to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, with an average of 520 nanograms per deciliter. The odds of getting afflicted with erectile and sexual issues increase as testosterone levels decrease.
From 50 years to 59 years
- In their 50s, men’s normal testosterone levels drop to around 170 nanograms per deciliter to 900 nanograms per deciliter, with an average of 500 nanograms per deciliter. According to studies, about 7% of men in their 50s suffer from erectile dysfunction.
60 years and older
- At 60 years old, men’s normal testosterone levels continue to decline by about 1% each year. At this point, many sexual health problems arise, including erectile dysfunction and low sperm count, and there is an increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and others.
What are the side effects of low testosterone?
There are numerous side effects that may occur if a man’s testosterone levels are low. Some of the most common are:
- Low libido – Low testosterone levels in the body can cause a decrease in libido or lack of desire for sex.
- Fragile bones – Low testosterone can make it difficult for your body to grow and develop strong bones, resulting to increased risk of fractures, sprains, and other injuries.
- Muscle loss – Low testosterone can cause a decrease in muscle mass and strength.
- Hot flashes – Low testosterone can trigger hot flashes or the sudden feeling of warmth in the face, chest, or neck.
- Slow cholesterol metabolism – Low testosterone can impair your body’s ability to digest cholesterol efficiently, leading to high cholesterol, and other health problems.
- Mood swings – Low testosterone can make you more stressed, anxious, or depressed, leaving you in an unhealthy emotional state.
How is low testosterone treated?
It is recommended that you seek professional medical help if you have low testosterone. If you consult a doctor, you can talk about which of the different treatment options available is best suited for your situation.
Your doctor may advise you to take testosterone supplements to boost your body’s testosterone levels. Nowadays, testosterone supplements come in a variety of forms, such as injections, pills, gels, and skin patches. Before purchasing any of them, you should make sure that you have a doctor’s prescription. When taking them, you should follow your doctor’s prescribed dosage.
Your doctor may also advise you to start living a healthy lifestyle. There are many habits that can negatively impact testosterone levels in the body, and, if you can get rid of them from your routine, your body will thank you so much for that.
Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and drugs are examples of these bad habits that you should eliminate right away if you want to improve your testosterone levels. It will be difficult in the beginning, but quitting is the right thing to do not only for your testosterone but also for your overall health and wellbeing.
Lack of sleep, not exercising, and poor diet are also contributing factors to impaired testosterone production. To remedy that, you should find ways to get enough sleep each night, exercise regularly, and start replacing unhealthy foods in your diet with fruits and vegetables to improve your testosterone.