What are the symptoms and causes of low testosterone?

symptoms and causes of low testosterone?

Having too much testosterone can also cause health problems.

Excess testosterone in males

In boys, undergoing early puberty, also called precocious puberty, can cause development of:

  • facial hair
  • deepening of the voice
  • well-developed muscles
  • growth of the sexual organs

Early puberty can be caused by tumors and a condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Potential causes of excess testosterone in men include:

  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • taking anabolic steroids
  • tumors of the testicles or adrenal glands

Excess testosterone in women

In women, excess testosterone can cause a condition known as hirsutism. This causes a woman to develop body hair in a male fashion, including on the face. Virilization is another condition caused by excess testosterone. This causes a woman to have a masculine appearance. Symptoms can include male pattern baldness and a deep voice.

Ovary or adrenal gland tumors and polycystic ovarian syndrome are potential causes.

Taking certain medications can increase testosterone levels in both men and women. Examples of these medications include:

  • anticonvulsants
  • barbiturates
  • clomiphene
  • estrogen therapy

Talk to your doctor before you stop taking any medications.

A man’s testosterone levels will typically peak somewhere between age 20 and 30. After this time, they will gradually decrease for the rest of his life. Testosterone levels are estimated to decrease by 1 percent annually after age 30 to 40. Therefore, lower testosterone levels are more common among older men. This explains some of the age-related changes in men, such as loss of muscle mass.

Women’s testosterone levels peak in their 20s and then begin to slowly decline. When a woman starts to experience menopause, her testosterone levels are half of what they were at their peak. A woman’s adrenal glands will make less testosterone during menopause. The ovaries will continue to produce testosterone after menopause but stop producing estrogen and progesterone. Most age-related changes in women are caused by a lack of estrogen and progesterone.

Treating the condition that is causing high or low testosterone levels can help restore levels. But it’s not always possible to find a cause of testosterone imbalances. Your doctor can prescribe testosterone replacement to correct low levels.

There are several treatments for hypogonadism or low testosterone. Examples include:

  • topical gels
  • patches
  • injectable testosterone
  • implantable testosterone

Both men and women may take testosterone therapy. A woman may take testosterone to improve sex drive and reduce sexual dysfunction. However, women must have an appropriate level of estrogen before treatment. This is because testosterone can affect a woman’s estrogen levels.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can cause side effects, such as:

  • acne
  • breast tenderness or enlargement
  • increased amount of red blood cells
  • infertility
  • small testicles
  • swelling of the low extremities

You should have regular checkups with your doctor while undergoing TRT. This is to make sure your levels are increasing as they should.

Some older men with healthy testosterone levels take the supplement to increase strength and energy. But current research doesn’t support that testosterone supplements can provide these effects in men with healthy levels.

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