Quick answers to common questions about low testosterone.

What is low testosterone?

Low testosterone occurs when the body does not naturally produce enough testosterone to meet its normal daily requirements. Testosterone has widespread effects in men, and having levels below the normal range can cause physical, sexual, and psychological symptoms, such as decreased muscle mass, fatigue, irritability, and erectile dysfunction.

Why does low testosterone occur?

Low testosterone can be caused by multiple factors. Your age, family history, and certain medical issues can all contribute to the development of low testosterone. You and your doctor will work together to identify exactly what is causing your low testosterone.

How do I know if I have low testosterone?

Your doctor will use a blood test to measure the testosterone concentration in your serum (blood) and confirm if it is below the normal range. If you are having symptoms consistent with the effects of low testosterone, it is important you talk to your doctor about what they may mean. Common symptoms of low testosterone can include:

  • erectile dysfunction or decreased sexual desire
  • reduced energy
  • sleep disturbances
  • reduced muscle mass and increased body fat
  • depressed, irritable feelings

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is an important male sex hormone and is responsible for a man's growth and development. Testosterone plays a wide range of roles in the male body. Click here to learn more about testosterone.

Is low testosterone a normal part of aging?

Testosterone levels in men do begin to naturally decline as they age. On average, testosterone levels in the body decrease at a rate of 1% to 2% per year after the age of 40. However, all men are different and some maintain normal levels of testosterone well into their 70s. While it is natural for the level of testosterone in your body to decline, development of low testosterone will not happen to everyone and doesn't have to be accepted as a normal part of aging.

How common is low testosterone?

You are not alone! Approximately 40% of men over the age of 45 have low testosterone.*

Is low testosterone permanent?

You don't have to live with the symptoms of low testosterone forever. There are many lifestyle changes and treatment options available to help raise your testosterone levels to normal levels.

How is low testosterone treated?

The treatment option that you and your doctor decide on together will depend on the cause of your low testosterone. One option available to you is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRTs are the only pharmacological treatment available for low testosterone and are available in a variety of different delivery methods, including topical, oral, and injectable options. Patient preference is one of the key factors in deciding which option is best for you. So, consider which treatments you think would be both convenient and comfortable for your lifestyle. Picking a treatment that fits into your daily routine can help ensure you get the most out of your low testosterone treatment plan. Click here to read more about your treatment options.

Can my lifestyle habits affect testosterone levels in my body?

Being overweight, certain types of foods (such as sugar or soya products), drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana are factors that may cause decreases in the natural amount of testosterone your body produces. It is important to ensure that your daily habits are not causing a decline in your testosterone. Click here to learn more about the effects of your lifestyle on testosterone levels.

Can low testosterone go away without treatment?

In most cases, treatment is required to bring testosterone levels back to the normal range in your body. While it may be possible that changes to your daily life, such as exercising and eating healthier, can have a positive effect on your overall health, testosterone replacement therapy is the only pharmacological treatment available for low testosterone. Speak with your doctor to see what your best options are.

What will happen when I talk to my doctor?

Your doctor will ask you a few questions about how you've been feeling and how the symptoms you're experiencing are affecting your life. Your doctor will then conduct a routine physical examination. If your doctor suspects that you may have low testosterone, he or she will order a blood test to determine the testosterone concentration in your serum (blood) and confirm if it is below the normal range.

How do I talk to my doctor?

Talking about low testosterone with anyone can be intimidating, and even awkward, so it can be hard to know where to start the discussion with your doctor. It is important to remember that this is a common condition in older men and your doctor has a lot of experience in this area. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and speaking with your doctor openly and honestly about your concerns is the first major step towards feeling like yourself again. If you don't know where to begin, click here to get some tips on opening the conversation with your doctor.