Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on September 21, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Have you been feeling “off” in some way—maybe your energy levels have taken a dip or your sex drive has dwindled—and suspect it could be because of low testosterone? If so, you might be interested in learning about the common signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels, which is what we’re covering here. Read on to find out more about low testosterone symptoms in both men and women, possible reasons for low testosterone production, and some of the treatment options that exist.
Let’s start by diving into low testosterone symptoms to look out for in men.
In men, testosterone is made in the testicles and is an important part of a male’s sexual function and development. It’s what helps the development of features like facial and body hair, muscle strength, and a deeper voice among men. Testosterone also supports sperm production.
Also called male hypogonadism or low T, low testosterone is estimated to affect almost 40% of men aged 45 and older.
Low testosterone symptoms are a bit different in men compared to women, and they may include:
Some men may also experience additional low testosterone level symptoms, such as:
As men age, the amount of total testosterone produced in the body gradually declines. If levels fall too low, symptoms may occur.
There are several other possible reasons for testosterone deficiency. These include injury that interferes with the blood supply going to the testes; dysfunction or tumors of the pituitary gland; medications; and chemotherapy for cancer. Things like kidney failure, obesity or extreme weight loss, and obstructive sleep apnea can also lead to low testosterone.
Although low testosterone is sometimes seen as a male issue, women can also experience an imbalance in testosterone hormone levels. Low testosterone symptoms in women can vary and can range from low sex drive to loss of strength.
Here are some low testosterone symptoms to be aware of in women:
If you’re experiencing low testosterone symptoms, there are several possible causes for your imbalance, including:
If you do experience low testosterone symptoms, your healthcare provider may order a blood test to measure your total testosterone level, luteinizing hormone (LH), blood prolactin level, and blood hemoglobin or HgB.
Testosterone therapy (or TT) is sometimes prescribed if an individual has a testosterone deficiency. Typically, there are five different ways testosterone therapy can be done:
Low testosterone symptoms can significantly impact your day-to-day life. If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms highlighted in this article, have a conversation with your healthcare provider to find out what route for low testosterone treatment they recommend for you.
You may also be interested in checking your testosterone level to see whether it’s normal—or too low. Taking the Everlywell at-home Testosterone Test is one easy way you can do that. The test lets you measure your free testosterone—from the comfort of home—and only requires a saliva sample. You collect your sample with the collection tube that’s included with the kit, then send your sample to the lab for testing (shipping is free). You’ll then get your easy-to-understand results on our secure, online platform—which you can download and share with your healthcare provider if you’d like.
Unhealthy testosterone levels in men: causes and symptoms
Unhealthy testosterone levels in women: causes and symptoms
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4. Testosterone Levels Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed September 21, 2020.
5. Reed BG, Bou Nemer L, Carr BR. Has testosterone passed the test in premenopausal women with low libido? A systematic review. Int J Womens Health. 2016;8:599-607. doi:10.2147/IJWH.S116212
6. Rubin RT, Poland RE, Sobel I, Tower BB, Odell WD. Effects of prolactin and prolactin plus luteinizing hormone on plasma testosterone levels in normal adult men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1978 Aug;47(2):447-52. doi: 10.1210/jcem-47-2-447. PMID: 122406.
7. Male hypogonadism - diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed September 21, 2020.