Symptoms and signs of low testosterone may include:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Mood swings
- Bone loss
- Slowing of hair growth
What is andropause?
Male hormonal decline, sometimes called andropause, often coincides with symptoms of aging in males. The term andropause refers to the male hormones known as androgens. This is comparable to menopause in women when production of estrogens and progesterone by the ovaries begins to decline. But the drop is more gradual in men than the hormonal “roller coaster” so often experienced by women during menopause.
Blood tests for low testosterone
Most of the testosterone in the blood is bound to proteins called albumin and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Your blood test may include free or total testosterone and SHBG.
Treatment of low testosterone
Like hormone replacement therapy in women, testosterone replacement therapy has risks and benefits. The benefits can include alleviation of the symptoms and signs listed above. The long-term risks of testosterone therapy are controversial in the scientific community, so the decision to start testosterone therapy should be discussed carefully with your endocrinologist. Testosterone is available as an injection, transdermal patch, gel, and as pellets inserted under the skin.