Low Testosterone—Symptoms and Treatment Options

Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for the development of male characteristics in the body. Both men and women naturally produce testosterone but at different levels. As men age or if they have certain health problems, testosterone levels can drop, causing a variety of symptoms. However, treatment is available and can be quite effective.

Symptoms of low testosterone in men

  • Decrease in libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in mood
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Decrease in muscle mass and bone density
  • Weight gain

Causes of low testosterone

  • Age
  • Testicular trauma or infection
  • Radiation or chemotherapy
  • Some medications
  • Chronic diseases (liver or kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.)
  • Genetic conditions

Treatment Options

  • Testosterone replacement therapy
    • Patches or gels on skin
    • Injections
    • Pellets placed under the skin
  • At-home treatment options may include:
    • Losing excess weight
    • Increasing physical activity
    • Weight training

If you have been diagnosed with hypogonadism (low testosterone), it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any treatments. Testosterone replacement therapy can cause side effects, so your doctor will likely recommend regular check-ups.