Testosterone: Five signs of low testosterone levels every man should know

Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced in men. It is responsible for giving men their male characteristics, which is what determines them as ‘males’. Production of testosterone starts to increase significantly in men during puberty, but begins to dip after they reach the age of 30. While it’s natural for testosterone levels to decrease gradually as men age, some men will experience greater reductions than others, which can lead to levels being too low. But how do you know if you have low testosterone levels? Dr Ferran Garcia, head of Andrology at fertility clinic Institut Marques, lists five signs:

When levels of testosterone drop below levels that are healthy, they can also lead to infertility

Dr Ferran Garcia

Decrease in sexual performance

Testosterone is key for sexual function and for the production of sperm, and men with higher levels of the hormone usually have a greater sex drive.

Therefore, if you experience low libido, erectile dysfunction or loss of sexual desire, it could be a sign of low testosterone levels.

Weak bones

Testosterone manages bone mineral density, which will decrease as a man ages and his testosterone levels drop.

This raises the risk of weak bones and osteoporosis. Men with very low levels of testosterone are therefore more likely to suffer from bone fractures and breakages.

Heart problems

Testosterone helps red blood cell production through the bone marrow, keeping the heart and circulatory system healthy.

As a result, low testosterone levels have been linked to increased cardiovascular risks.

Low mood

Lower testosterone levels have also been linked to altering men’s moods and could cause low mood and mood swings.

This can also lead to health problems including depression, fatigue and irritability and apathy.

10 ways to boost your fertility

10 ways to boost your fertility.

10 ways to boost your fertility

Hair reduction

Testosterone is what gives men facial hair, as well as hair on other areas of the body.

Low testosterone levels may therefore lead to a decrease in hair on the face, pubic area and armpits.

“Testosterone has the same protective effect on men as oestrogen has on women. Hence, if its levels are below usual, the risk of cardiovascular disorders, osteoporosis and other undesirable conditions increases,” said Dr Garcia.

“Men may also develop ‘andropause’ – a condition that is associated with a decrease in testosterone – for which the symptoms are very similar to those of the menopause.

“Andropause in men typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 when the ageing process gradually diminishes their testosterone, however men as young as 30 may begin to experience the symptoms.”

“When levels of testosterone drop below levels that are healthy, they can also lead to infertility – so you may find that you struggle to fall pregnant when you come to try for a baby.”

Luckily, there are ways to increase testosterone levels.

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