Low Testosterone: 13 Signs in Men

Several hormones play a critical part in keeping the male body health. Among these, testosterone often gets the most attention. This is due to the significant role that this hormone plays in men.

Testosterone starts to play a role before birth. At puberty, a boy’s body depends on testosterone as he becomes a man.

The hormone helps to maintain several functions in the body during adulthood too. However, as men age, testosterone levels naturally decline.

What Is Low Testosterone?

Testosterone reaches a peak during the 20s. Once a man turns 30, testosterone production will gradually start to decline a little bit each year.

The decline is generally too insignificant for any severe symptoms to develop. In some cases, however, men experience a decrease of testosterone at an accelerated rate. This can be concerning and affect their health and well-being.

Some signs may signal the presence of low testosterone (primary hypogonadism). When a man recognizes these signs, they can implement actions against the rapid decline of this sex hormone. This may help to prevent a further reduction in testosterone levels. It could also help to improve testosterone productions at the same time.

We share some vital signs of low testosterone below. The presence of these does not guarantee a man has low testosterone. They are still, however, important signs to look out for.

1) Low Sex Drive

When it comes to men’s health, sex drive and sexual performance are critical. A low sex drive makes a man less interested in having sex. Prevalence studies show that about 5% of all men suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder1. This is a significant decline in their libido.

Men with low testosterone are likely to experience a poor sex drive too2. This is because testosterone stimulates the libido in men. The low sex drive may lead to other problems in the bedroom too. There are times when a decline in libido can also interfere with the man’s sexual relationships.

2) Low Semen Volume

Fertility refers to a man’s likeliness of making a woman pregnant during sex. Healthy sperm and semen are needed to achieve such a goal. Many factors may affect semen health in men. A low level of testosterone may be one important factor that some men overlook.

Sperm production relies on adequate levels of testosterone in the male body. Some several studies and publications show a link between infertility and low testosterone3. Semen volume is one of the first factors related to male fertility affected.

3) Difficulty Having Erection

An estimated 52% of the global male population is affected by signs of erectile dysfunction 4. Testosterone does not have a direct impact on a man’s ability to have a healthy erection. There are, however, indirect effects that this hormone may have on erectile function.

It has been found that testosterone assists in nitric oxide production. This is a gassy substance that is important for erectile function. Testosterone also affects libido. Low libido in a man can cause problems with their erectile function. The combination of these two effects seems to play a role in the development of sexual dysfunction among the male population.

4) Hair Loss

During puberty, testosterone causes body hair to start growing. This tends to include facial hair, as well as body hair. Testosterone continues to play a role in ensuring body hair can grow normally.

When it comes to hair loss, it is important to note that balding is a normal problem that comes with age for a large number of men. It may not have anything to do with testosterone. On the other hand, there is a loss of body hair; then it may be a sign of low testosterone. The same factor applies to facial hair.

5) Fatigue

Testosterone does not only affect erectile function, sexual health, and other features linked to masculinity. There are different systems of the male body affected too. This includes the body’s ability to produce energy.

Men who have a low level of testosterone in their body may experience weak energy levels. This can make them tired throughout the day.

Fatigue is also common in men with a deficiency in testosterone. The fatigue can lead to poor performance in both their professional and personal life. These effects would be present even if the man gets an adequate amount of sleep.

6) Increased Body Fat

Testosterone plays a role in the distribution of fat in the male body. For this reason, a decline in testosterone is often associated with an increase in body fat. This is one particular contributing fact to the higher prevalence of obesity and overweight in an older male population.

Men with low testosterone will often find that fat accumulates, particularly in their abdominal area. Fat cells in this region of the body are considered more harmful compared to other areas. In this area, it is referred to as visceral fat. The risk of cardiovascular disease is significantly increased with excess visceral fat5.

7) Reduction In Muscle Mass

Another critical change to body composition occurs with low testosterone. As men start to experience an increase in body fat, there will also be a loss of muscle mass.

The reason behind this is because testosterone has a critical role to play in the development of lean muscle mass. When a man’s testosterone levels decline, the hormone will not be able to promote the development of muscle mass as effectively. Several studies show a decrease in muscle mass in men who have a low level of testosterone in their body6.

8) Decreased Bone Mass

Bone health is critical for the everyday functions that a man participates in. When there is a decline in bone mass, complications can develop. Men who have a low serum testosterone level are at risk of a decrease in their bone density and mass.

When bone mass declines, there are several problems that a man may face. This may include a risk of bone fractures. There also seems to be an increased risk of osteoporosis among men with a low level of testosterone.

9) Poor Memory Performance

Testosterone does not only affect the physiological health of the male body. There are certain mental complications that a man may develop if they have insufficient levels of testosterone in their blood system too.

One of these adverse effects would be related to memory performance. Other cognitive functions may also be adversely affected. When a man has low testosterone, they may have a difficult time remembering names and numbers, among additional information. They could also find that their concentration and focus are affected adversely.

10) Mood Changes

Low testosterone may not only affect the cognitive function and performance of a male patient. Other mental problems can develop when a man experiences a decline in their testosterone levels. Mood changes have been found among men who have a low level of testosterone in their bodies.

Several studies have shown the mood changes that occur with a decline in testosterone. According to one study7, the mood changes may be accompanied by irritability. This may also further affect the man’s ability to focus. Furthermore, it could also increase the male patient’s risk of depression.

11) Low Blood Count

Testosterone also seems to play a role in the production of blood cells. There is some evidence that suggests a man who has a testosterone deficiency might be at risk of developing anemia. This is a condition where there is an insufficient number of red blood cells in the patient’s body.

One study8 found that male patients with anemia should be tested for testosterone deficiency. In such cases, the application of a testosterone gel seems to provide a significant improvement in blood cell count.

12) Change In Testicle Size

Testosterone assures the testicles descend as a boy reaches the age of puberty. The hormone also plays a role in the actual development of the testes. The size of the testes is another factor that seems to depend on the presence of testosterone.

Men who experience a decline in their testosterone levels may possibly experience a reduction in the size of their testicles. In fact, men who have a generally lower level of testosterone may also experience a penis that is disproportionately smaller than what would be considered average.

13) Man Boobs

There is yet another important sign of low testosterone in men. This comes in the form of a condition known as gynecomastia. Many people simply refer to gynecomastia as “man boobs.” This is exactly what the condition causes.

Gynecomastia is when there is an enlargement of the breast tissue in men. This particular symptom of low testosterone is contributed to by the changes in fat distribution and weight gain. The imbalance of testosterone hormone levels also causes it. As testosterone levels decline, many men will find that estrogen levels start to increase.

How Can You Naturally Increase Low Testosterone?

When testosterone is low in the male body, a man faces certain health-related risks. These are all concerning and may cause an increase in the risk of obesity and other conditions.

Conventional treatments are available. This usually includes testosterone replacement therapy. The treatment introduces synthetic testosterone hormones in the man’s body. This can lead to side-effects, however.

Several natural methods exist, too — these methods help to reduce the risk of a further reduction in testosterone. The strategies also help to boost testosterone levels.

Here are a few techniques that men can try to treat low testosterone naturally:

  • One of the most effective ways for men to increase testosterone is to participate in heavy weight lifting. Several studies have shown this is an effective way of not only stimulating an increase in muscle gain but also to boost the production of testosterone hormones.

  • Diet plays a significant role in testosterone production and the endocrine system. Eating the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat content can help to bring the endocrine system back into balance. Overeating (consuming too many calories) can also harm testosterone.

  • Stress has a major impact on testosterone and other hormones, especially when stress becomes long-term and chronic. Controlling stress is another excellent way of reducing the effect that it has on testosterone production.

  • Addressing certain nutritional deficiencies can help too. Vitamin D, for example, has been shown to play a major role in testosterone production. Several studies have already demonstrated that an increased intake of vitamin D might assist in elevating levels of serum testosterone in the male body. Zinc may also have a similar benefit for men who experience a reduction in their testosterone levels. This benefit, however, only seems to account in cases where zinc is deficient in the male body.

  • Sleep is another crucial element in the production of this essential male sex hormone. Adequate sleep may assist in restoring a balance to the endocrine system. It has previously been found that insufficient sleep could also have an adverse effect on testosterone production in men.

  • There are also a few natural supplements that might be able to help. Even though studies are still minimal, some positive evidence does exist. Studies have shown that a few natural plant extracts could possibly yield an increase in serum testosterone levels.

Some of these supplements include:


Testosterone is important for male health. As man ages, testosterone levels naturally decline.

A significant decline in testosterone can lead to health-related problems. This can cause many symptoms to develop. Men should understand the signs that may signal a low testosterone level. Recognizing these signs will allow the man to take appropriate action. Many strategies can help a man regain a healthy level of testosterone in


  1. ScienceDirect. (2011) Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/hypoactive-sexual-desire-disorder
  2. Journal of Sex Medicine. (2009) The associations between serum sex hormones, erectile function, and sex drive. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2586969/
  3. WebMD. Low Testosterone and Infertility. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/men/features/infertility#1
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2018) Erectile Dysfunction. [online] Available at: http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/endocrinology/erectile-dysfunction/
  5. American Journal of Health Promotion. (1993) A review of the association between abdominal fat distribution, health outcome measures, and modifiable risk factors. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10148711
  6. PLoS One. (2016) Treatment of Men for “Low Testosterone”: A Systematic Review. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031462/
  7. The World Journal of Mens Health. (2013) The Relationship between Testosterone Deficiency and Men’s Health. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3770847/
  8. JAMA Internal Medicine. (2017) Association of Testosterone Levels With Anemia in Older Men. [online] Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2604139

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