What is Low Testosterone and its Symptoms?

It’s nearly impossible to watch a sports program on TV without seeing commercials telling men low testosterone may be the reason they’re feeling tired or run down. But what is low testosterone? And how do you know if your testosterone levels are low?

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone, which helps the body create and maintain adult male features, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As men get older, they produce less testosterone. If your testosterone levels are low, sex drive, physical features and mood all can be affected, according to the NIH. About five million American men are affected by low testosterone.

Low testosterone in men is called andropause. Think of it as menopause in women—only testosterone levels decrease much more gradually than estrogen levels do in women.

According to the NIH, symptoms of low testosterone can include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Increased breast size
  • Hot flashes
  • Being more irritable than usual

Extremely low testosterone may cause you to lose body hair and muscle, according to the NIH.

Talk to your doctor to find out more about symptoms of low testosterone and what to do if you have low levels.

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