Signs of Low Levels of Testosterone in Men

Updated on February 11, 2020

When a young man in his 20s starts losing interest in sex and prematurely balding, he’s going to want answers. While it is normal for libido levels to fluctuate, low interest in sex for a long period of time could be an indicator that there is an underlying medical concern. 

For most men, low sex drive paired with issues such as hair loss is an indicator of low testosterone. While the loss of testosterone while aging is normal, it can be alarming to realize that it is happening—especially when a man is still a young adult. 

What is testosterone

Testosterone is the male sex hormone that affects a man’s appearance, sexual development, and sperm production. During puberty, testosterone plays a role in the development of reproductive tissues, promotes the growth of body hair, and increases bone and muscle mass. Even after puberty, this hormone is essential for healthy sexual and reproductive development. 

Women also have a small fraction of testosterone in them; it combines with the female sex hormone estrogen to help maintain reproductive organs. It also plays a role in their sex drive. 

Trouble having sex

Low testosterone can cause several problems when it comes to sex. It can lower sex drive and make it difficult to maintain an erection. Men might not have any desire to have sex—or if they do want to have sex, they might not be able to get an erection.

It can also lower semen production. If men are able to get an erection and ejaculate, they’ll notice a decrease in semen volume. Low sex drive paired with less semen can make it difficult for men to reproduce. 

Losing hair 

Since testosterone plays a role in hair growth, it is only natural that low testosterone levels result in hair loss. Men with low testosterone will notice themselves starting to bald. While hair loss is a part of aging, losing hair quickly or in clumps could be a sign of a problem.

Hair loss isn’t limited to head hair. Men may also find themselves losing facial hair or body hair. Some men might also not go bald completely, but do notice their hair thinning out. 

Trouble maintaining weight 

Since testosterone plays a role in developing muscle and bone mass, men with low testosterone may notice themselves struggling to maintain their current muscles. 

They might experience a loss of muscle mass and notice an increase in body fat. Some men might notice an increase in breast tissue. However, even with the loss of muscle mass, they typically retain their strength. They might also notice a loss in bone mass and find themselves struggling with an increase in fractures. 

Rapid mood shifts

Rapid changes in mood can also be a sign of low testosterone in men. Men might find themselves suddenly growing extremely irritable or not being able to focus. 

Some men might even find themselves growing depressed. Low testosterone and depression share a lot of the same symptoms, including fatigue and irritability. Distinguishing between the two can be challenging sometimes, which is why a doctor might order a blood test. A blood test can confirm low testosterone levels. 

Shrinking testicles 

Most men get embarrassed when they realize their penis and testicles are getting smaller. Since testosterone plays a role in increasing the sizes of sex organs, low testosterone levels can sometimes result in shrinking sex organs. 

Some men might notice their sex organs are shrinking. Other men might realize their penis and testicles have always been small in comparison to other men. It is also important to remember that low testosterone isn’t the only reason a penis might start shrinking. Men that notice visible changes to their sex organs should visit a doctor to rule out all medical possibilities. 

What to do 

Men that suspect they have low testosterone should visit their doctor for testing. Depending upon age, medical intervention such as hormone replacement therapy might be needed. 

Most men, however, will simply need to start practicing self-care. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating the right types of food can help increase testosterone levels. Foods rich in DAA, such as poultry and meat, are recommended. If you’re interested in learning about other types of testosterone boosting foods, check this list from

Final thoughts 

Often, men get embarrassed to learn that they have low testosterone. They might feel like it makes them less of a man or they might worry they won’t be able to have children. In addition to treating physical symptoms, some men might also need therapy to improve their mental health. 

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