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As they get older, low testosterone is common. If the symptoms affect your lifestyle, there is treatment available.

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles. Testosterone affects your appearance and sexual development, stimulates sperm production and sex drive, and helps build muscle and bone mass.

Testosterone production typically decreases with age. According to the American Urological Association, about 40 percent of males ages 45 and older have low testosterone.

If your testosterone production goes down, you may experience a number of symptoms. Low testosterone can be subtle and can include:

Language matters

Though sex and gender exist on a spectrum, the studies and surveys below used the terms “male” and “men” and did not report data on, or include, participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless.

The article will use the terms “male” and “men” throughout to maintain the accuracy of the research.

Testosterone plays a key role in sex drive, also known as libido. Some people may experience a decline in sex drive as they get older, but those with low testosterone will likely experience a more drastic drop.

Testosterone helps in maintaining an erection. It tells the brain to produce a molecule called nitric oxide that helps cause an erection.

If testosterone levels are too low, you may have trouble getting an erection before sex or having a erection during sleep.

However, research is inconclusive on whether testosterone replacement therapy can successfully treat erectile dysfunction. In a 2016 review of studies that looked at the benefit of testosterone in men with erection difficulties, nearly half showed no improvement with testosterone treatment.

Other health conditions can cause problems. These include:

Smoking and alcohol use can also contribute.

Experiencing hot flashes can be a sign of low testosterone. This can feel like a sudden sensation of warmth. You may also experience heavy sweating, reddening of the skin, and night sweats.

Testosterone plays a role in several body functions, including hair production. Balding is a natural part of growing older for many men, and while it can be hereditary, those with low testosterone may lose body and facial hair as well.

Males with low testosterone may report extreme fatigue and decreased energy. You may have low testosterone if you’re consistently tired despite getting plenty of sleep or if you find it harder to get motivated to exercise.

Males with low testosterone may notice a decrease in muscle mass, as testosterone contributes to building muscle. A 2016 review found that testosterone affects muscle mass but not necessarily strength or function.

Males with low testosterone may experience increased body fat or develop gynecomastia, which is enlarged breast tissue. Gynecomastia can occur when there is an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen in the body.

Osteoporosis is a condition many people often associate with females, but males with low testosterone can also experience bone loss. Testosterone helps produce and strengthen bone, so males with low testosterone, especially older men, may have lower bone volume and be more susceptible to bone fractures.

Males with low testosterone can experience mood changes. Since testosterone influences many of the body’s physical processes, it can also influence mood and mental capacity.

testosterone levels and cognitive functions decline with age Doctors theorize that lower testosterone levels could affect memory.

According to a 2019 review of studies, testosterone supplementation is linked with improved memory in older men with low testosterone though the effect may be small.

However, a 2017 study on testosterone supplementation did not find memory improvements in 493 men with low testosterone levels who took testosterone or a placebo.

The body requires testosterone to grow the penis and testicles, so low levels could contribute to a smaller penis or testicles. There are other conditions that can cause a smaller penis.

These include:

Doctors have linked low testosterone with an increased risk for anemia, according to a 2017 study. When the researchers administered testosterone gel to anemic men with low testosterone, they saw improved blood counts compared to men who used a placebo.

Some symptoms of anemia are listed.

  • Difficult concentrating
  • dizziness
  • leg pain
  • Difficult sleeping
  • rapid heart rate

Testosterone levels naturally decrease as males get older, but other conditions or circumstances may also cause low testosterone. These may include:

It is possible that having low testosterone increases your risk of developing other health conditions.

These conditions are included.

  • Osteoporosis.
  • There is a disease called There is a disease called diabetes..
  • The heart disease is very serious.

Testosterone levels are typically 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Low testosterone is when testosterone levels fall below 300 ng/dL. A blood test called a The testosterone is in the serum. test can determine your testosterone level.

Other tests can be performed to determine the cause of low testosterone.

Low testosterone can be diagnosed with tests.

  • The testosterone is in the serum.
  • The hormone leptin.
  • The prolactin level is high.

Testosterone replacement therapy is a common treatment.

Testosterone replacement therapy

If you have low testosterone symptoms, you can talk to a doctor to see if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you. Testosterone replacement therapy can be used in a variety of ways.

  • The oral medications are not in pill form.
  • The skin gel is made from skin.
  • There are injections.
  • The pellets are placed under your skin.
  • There are patches.

Testosterone replacement therapy is a lifelong treatment. If you stop treatment, your testosterone levels will go down.

There are side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.

  • There is a problem with the skin
  • enlarged urethra
  • Shrinking testicles.
  • sperm count has decreased
  • high red blood cell count.
  • Retaining fluid is a topic of discussion.
  • swollen feet or ankle.

If you are a Testosterone replacement therapy may not be right for you.

  • Have a heart condition.
  • Have a family member who has breast or prostrate cancer.
  • Have sleep problems.
  • Have elevated red blood cell counts.
  • plan to have children

As they get older, males experience a gradual decrease in testosterone. You are more likely to have low testosterone if you are older.

There are a variety of factors that can cause low testosterone. Some men may experience symptoms if their testosterone levels are below 300 ng/dL. A doctor can check your testosterone level with a blood test.

testosterone replacement therapy is a common treatment for low testosterone.

If you would like to know your testosterone levels, LetsGetChecked offers male hormone tests at home at various price points.

This article is in Spanish.