Testosterone Levels: How It Affects The Human Body from The Womb To Old Age
Testosterone, it’s an extremely potent hormone that controls, regulates, boosts or influence a plethora of body functions such as sex drive, sperm production, energy, muscle mass and human behavior (think competitiveness and aggression). A drop in testosterone can also wreak havoc on the human body, but it happens the older a person gets.
What Happens To Testosterone In The 3 Main Stages Of Life
When a woman becomes pregnant, testosterone helps in the development of her fetus, such as the male reproductive system. It’s also responsible for giving the brain its masculinizing features. Of course, the levels of testosterone must drop to a minute amount for healthy fetal brain development.
While research has shown that high fetal testosterone levels can cause autism, additional research carried out shows that too low of fetal testosterone levels can increase one chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Puberty to Early Adulthood
The highest levels of testosterone occur during puberty and early adulthood. The first signs of testosterone are seen during puberty such as:
- A boy’s voice begins to deepen
- His shoulders start to broaden
- He’ll get a more masculine facial structure
As men age, the testosterone levels begin to drop – typically around 1% every year after 30.
|Age:||Test. Lvl. (ng/dL):||Age:||Test. Lvl. (ng/dL):|
|0-5 months||75-400||0-5 months||20-80|
|6 mts.-9 years||<7-20||6 mts.-9 years||<7-20|
|10-11 years||<7-130||10-11 years||<7-44|
|12-13 years||<7-800||12-16 years||<7-75|
|14 yrs.||<7-1,200||17-18 years||20-75|
|15-16 years||100-1,200||19+ years||8-60|
|Average Adult||270-1,070||Average Adult||15-70|
|30+ years||-1% per year|
What Are The Signs You’re Suffering From Low Testosterone?
Although many people see testosterone as the “fountain of youth” hormone and, the Mayo Clinic says a drop in its level is not a sign of aging. Low testosterone levels cause other problems. For instance, it can lead to sexual dysfunction issues such as:
- Drop in libido
- Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
- Not as many spontaneous erections
Other potential signs of low testosterone levels are:
- Sleep patterns are no longer the same
- Behavioral changes – no motivation, low self-confidence, etc.
- Physical changes – decrease in muscle strength and bulk, drop in bone density and rise in body fat
Men’s Testosterone Levels
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, a healthy adult male has a testosterone level range of 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter. If you’re suffering signs of low testosterone, it’s imperative to find out if the problem is the result of aging or if you’re suffering from an undiagnosed condition.
Keep in mind that the above ranges are a cross section of men 20 years of age to 80 years old – some of them suffering from diseases, are sick or have had unhealthy habits in their lifetime.
Women’s Testosterone Levels
Women are also affected by testosterone levels despite producing lower amounts. However, they’re also extremely sensitive to androgens. The levels of testosterone in women can vary significantly. The normal ranges, based on information from the University of Rochester Medical Center, is anywhere from 15 to 70 ng/dL.
When a woman goes into the menopause stage of her life, her levels of testosterone drop, which causes her androgen levels to rise. A woman who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome will have rising testosterone levels. Too much androgens in the blood can lead to physical symptoms such as:
- Facial hair growth
- Loss of hair
- Irregular periods
Other Reasons For Low Testosterone Levels
Yes, low testosterone levels can occur because of the aging process – the older you get, the lower your levels of testosterone levels. However, aging isn’t the only culprit. Low testosterone could be the result of thyroid gland disorders, reaction to certain prescriptions, excessive use of alcohol and depression.
When’s The Best Time For A Blood Test?
If you think that you’re suffering symptoms of low testosterone, it’s imperative to talk to your doctor, who will order a blood test. The best time to draw blood for a testosterone test is about 8 a.m. If the results came back out of range, your doctor will try to determine the cause such as:
- Testicular or ovarian cancer
- Testicles failure
- Delayed or early puberty
- Hypogonadism (sex glands not producing little to no hormones)
- Extreme obesity
- Chronic illness (kidney disease, diabetes, )
If you’re worried that you’re suffering from low testosterone levels, rest assured you’re not alone. It’s normal to see a minute decrease as you get older; but, if you feel your levels are dropping for other reasons besides aging, talk to your doctor.
What To Do If Your Doctor Refuses To Take Action
Sometimes, although rare, your doctor may feel your blood work doesn’t warrant any action on their part. However, you could be persuasive about the situation, ensuring them that you don’t feel right overall and something should be considered. If your doctor is the type to not listen to you, you may want to highlight your symptoms – loss of libido, loss of muscle strength and muscle mass – these should be warning signs for your doctor that something is off.
And, if your doctor still refuses to listen, you have two other options:
You can play the victim card – tell your doctor due to poor work performance, you may lose your job or that your wife/girlfriend may leave you because you lack the will to have sex.
The majority of doctors will conduct further tests and try to find a treatment plan (if the blood work does come back abnormal). If your doctor doesn’t take you seriously, it’s time to find someone who will listen to you.
If you want a personalized service, with a highly rated doctor in your area, specializing in hormone replacement therapy, fill the contact form on the ride side of this page and a professional will get to you within 24 hours.