Low testosterone can cause an obvious lack of male characteristics, or it can cause vague symptoms such as fatigue and diminished sex drive.
The symptoms of low testosterone (or “low T”) in males can vary depending on the cause of the low level and the age at which it occurs.
In male hypogonadism, a condition in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of the hormonetestosterone, symptoms may include underdeveloped genitalia, delayed puberty, and a lack of secondary sexual characteristics such as a deeper voice and facial hair.
In middle-aged or older men experiencing age-related decreases in testosterone, symptoms may include low energy, depressed mood, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction (ED or impotence).
In adult men, symptoms of hypogonadism include:
- Lack of fertility
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sparse facial or body hair
- Growth of breast tissue
Blood testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism are very low and do not fluctuate from day to day, the way they do in healthy men.
Symptoms of Age-Related Testosterone Decline
Low testosterone in men can also cause nonspecific symptoms such as:
- Sleep disturbances
Not all men with age-related low testosterone have — or are bothered by — symptoms. In addition, the level at which symptoms occur varies from man to man.
Nonspecific signs and symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, and low mood can also be caused by other factors such as medication side effects, depression, and excessive alcohol use.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Women
Women also produce testosterone — in the ovaries and adrenal glands — and they also experience a normal drop in testosterone levels in the time leading up to menopause.