Home General Info & Awareness Low Testosterone In Men : A Male Menopause Crisis

Low Testosterone In Men : A Male Menopause Crisis

by InvisiblyMe

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male hormone that’s produced in the testicles in men. It operates as an anabolic steroid and primary sex hormone, with crucial roles in developing sex characteristics and reproductive tissues. This hormone thus helps to develop the prostate, penis and testes, as well as to develop characteristics oft seen in men, such as greater body hair, bone and muscle mass, deeper voice, sperm production and sex drive. Testosterone may additionally help to regulate mood.

Testosterone (T, for use here) is also produced in the adrenal gland and ovaries in women, with roles in ovary function and libido. A healthy balance between oestrogen and androgens like testosterone is vital for normal function of the ovaries. 

For men, the brain sends signals to the pituitary gland, which then relays those signals to the testes to produce the T. A feedback loop regulates the amount of testosterone, with signals to produce more or less sent by the brain in order to maintain this hormone level in the blood. 

A gloved hand holds to eggs with sad faces drawn on them with black pen, suggestive of low testosterone or men's health.

What Happens With Too Much Testosterone?

Despite the social connotations between “too much testosterone” and high sex drive, violence and rage, it’s actually uncommon for men to have too much testosterone naturally occurring. This is thanks to that feedback loop of signals from the brain. 

However, measuring T isn’t that straightforward. Firstly, levels can vary throughout the day and over time. Secondly, “normal” levels are not objective and it’s not easy to define “normal” behaviour either. 

High testosterone is typically a result of artificially elevated levels, and it’s through such elevation where scientists have learned about the effects of too much of this hormone. High levels can be seen in individuals using hormone supplements, testosterone replacement therapy or anabolic steroids to increase their strength and muscle mass. The symptoms can vary from the more nuisance symptoms of acne and weight gain, to potentially vary serious and dangerous problems. Heightened risk of blood clots, high cholesterol, headaches and insomnia, liver disease, enlarged prostate and related urination difficulties, low sperm count, aggressive behaviour and mood abnormalities, fluid retention and swelling, high blood pressure, damage of the heart muscle, and heightened risk of heart attack.

How Does Testosterone Get Reduced? 

As we age, certain chemicals and hormones can reduce at differing speeds. For women, oestrogen can drop quite rapidly and lead to the menopause. For men, testosterone drops far more slowly, with a gradual decline each year of around 1% to 2%. A third of men or more over the age of 45 are likely to have reduced hormone levels that are lower than “normal”.

The reduction is a result of less signals from the pituitary, less production by the testes and an increase in SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). 

Lower levels can also be due to certain medications, tumours, injury to the testes, chemotherapy, particular infections, and genetic diseases. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone?

Lower levels of testosterone are normal with age but there’s a chance that the levels become deficient and provoke noticeable symptoms before one may expect them to occur naturally. 

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency can include: 

  • Mood dysfunction, including depression and irritability
  • Poor concentration 
  • Lower bone density, with increased risk of fractures
  • Lower libido 
  • Night sweats
  • Larger breast size
  • Less muscle mass
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced facial and body hair
  • Hot flushes
  • Smaller testicles and reduced sperm count that can affect fertility

Some research is also suggesting that men with low T could be more likely to suffer dementia, developed type 2 diabetes and even be five times more likely to die prematurely. 

In the case of early death, an older study has hinted at such a risk and further investigation is clearly warranted. In 2006, the University of Washington conducted a four year observation of 850 male veterans over the age of 40. The findings were eye-opening: men with lower testosterone had an 88% higher chance of prematurely dying. This was supported by further unrelated research in 2013 that found deficiency was associated with a greater risk of mortality, while T replacement was associated with greater survival in type 2 diabetic men. 

Lower levels can, oddly enough, be beneficial in some cases. For instance, testosterone can trigger the prostate gland and thus stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. This is why prostate cancer treatment can include testosterone-lowering medications as a result. It doesn’t mean that testosterone supplementation causes prostate cancer, but it might lead to the growth of it.

Can Testosterone Therapy Reverse Symptoms Of Deficiency?

In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to boost levels can reverse symptoms of deficiency. If a person has low levels of this active hormone, symptoms like fatigue, depression, thinning bones, lowered libido, etc could see an improvement. Unfortunately, not all men necessarily see improvement with TRT, and symptoms could be mistaken for another condition.

Some men can experience such testosterone deficiency symptoms despite having “normal” levels. In 2003, Harvard Medical School found that even those with normal testosterone levels experienced improved mood, loss of fat, enhanced muscle mass and reduced anxiety after receiving testosterone therapy. 

A man in a shirt is looking down, resting his face on his hand as though depressed, tired or unwell.

This further muddies the water of diagnosis and resulting treatment. It’s not always a straightforward case of measuring levels in the blood and as such, many men may miss out on TRT that could potentially help with their symptoms. 

There are, however, potential side-effects and risks that come with such therapy, much like with most medications or supplements. Use of patches and injections could cause some itching, irritation or a rash. T supplementation use may also increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, but large scale clinical trials have not been done to assess the risks versus benefits.

Male Hormone Deficiency Has Been Overlooked For Too Long

The British Society for Sexual Medicine have stated that testosterone deficiency “has been long neglected”. The lack of definitive links between symptoms and deficiency has led to the problem being under-addressed, and research is only now shining a more educated light on the potential problems caused by low levels.

The 2006 and 2013 studies of premature death surely deserves a deeper investigation. From more nuisance symptoms to being a debilitating or even life-limiting condition, low testosterone does appear to be a serious problem and it rarely gets a mention by media, in social conversation or by medical professionals. 

Low testosterone by itself may not need treatment, but if it is causing symptoms and interfering with life then replacement therapy could be helpful. However, if a medical professional considers the symptoms could be general ageing or anxiety, then patients may miss out on the right treatment for them.

A pen and clip board with the writing "diagnosis, low testosterone" with a tick box next to it.

Some Men Can’t Access Therapy

Given the aforementioned problems with defining a “normal” level and with testosterone levels varying throughout the day, it’s not always easy to interpret results. The hormone can be measured with a simple blood test, but if reliant on just the one sample, and at a time where testosterone is higher, the chance to identify deficiency at a different time of the day may be missed. 

There’s not enough research on the links between testosterone and symptoms of deficiency to categorically state the two are linked and to give credence to funding treatment that may or may not be useful. 

What You Can Do If You’re Concerned About Low Testosterone

If you have concerns about testosterone levels for yourself or a loved one, speak to your GP. You should be able to ask for a testosterone blood test. Be aware of the potential problem with fluctuating levels during the day and over time, because more than one test may be required. If you have problems getting adequately tested, you could also do an at-home test yourself. In the UK, you can buy a testosterone test from Medichecks. There’s a basic testosterone check for simplicity and value, or a more in-depth check with the male hormone test.

You can save 10% on your blood test order by using this link & the code  INVISME10  @ checkout.

Medichecks Testosterone Blood Test || Medichecks Male Hormone Blood Test

See my Medichecks review for further information.

Do you have symptoms of low testosterone? Try writing down the issues that bother you, but be mindful that you may not be aware of everything like bone density. Speak to your doctor and present the symptoms you’re aware of. Explain the impact they have on your life and your concern about current and future health as a result, and perhaps broach the potential for TRT if your doctor doesn’t. 

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy can come in various formats. These include transdermal patches that apply to the skin usually once a day, a mouth patch that adheres to the upper gums or a tooth next to the front teeth, injections, implants, and gels. 

Replacement therapy is not the same as synthetically increasing testosterone in the way some use anabolic steroids for bodybuilding. TRT doses will allow for natural levels of T in the blood. In contrast, illegally used testosterone or steroids are usually far higher doses and mixed with other substances. 

A man sits with his back against a wall, his face in his hands as though he's fatigued, fed up, depressed or unwell.
A black scroll divider.

Is this low testosterone male menopause crisis something you’ve heard about before?

Caz  ♥

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Marilee Wein March 21, 2023 - 3:49 pm

A well presented important article.

InvisiblyMe March 29, 2023 - 5:54 pm

Thank you very much 🙏

TheBackGardenNaturalist March 21, 2023 - 5:06 pm

Really interesting post Caz, thanks. Hormones play such a huge part in our health & wellbeing.

InvisiblyMe March 29, 2023 - 6:01 pm

Thanks very muchly 👍 They sure do play an important role and I think some just need a little more public attention because an imbalance of something like testosterone for guys can have a lot of ramifications. xx

Sandee March 21, 2023 - 5:13 pm

I knew some of this, but not all. Thank you for the well written information.

Have a fabulous day, Caz. Big hug. ♥

InvisiblyMe March 29, 2023 - 6:03 pm

That’s great you already knew some about this issue, Sandee. Hopefully you learned something new here too, as I did when researching for the article. Hope you’re holding up okay lovely and having a good week so far 🌺 x

Belladonna March 21, 2023 - 6:55 pm

I’m passing this along to every mana I know. You have detailed some great points and what low T means!!! So much deeper than men realize. Women aren’t the only ones that need yearly exams. I’m so glad that my husband listens to me and goes for his yearly.

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

InvisiblyMe April 4, 2023 - 5:28 pm

Well done to your husband, listening to us ladies in the smart move! 😉 I hadn’t known just how serious it could be either and it can happen at a younger age than typically expected too so it’s more likely to go undiagnosed. Thank you for offering to share the post and for your comment – you rock! 💚

Belladonna April 5, 2023 - 6:41 am

This post was all that!!!!

Nancy Homlitas March 22, 2023 - 12:21 am

What a refreshingly informative read about an ignored topic. Low testosterone is a “close to home” problem many men may prefer to ignore and hope to fix through sheer willpower.

InvisiblyMe April 4, 2023 - 5:30 pm

You’re right, it’s oft overlooked and under-appreciated. I think that contributes to the missed diagnoses because guys or their doctors don’t consider low Testosterone as a cause, and then there’s the issue of patients not seeking help to begin with. Sadly sheer willpower isn’t going to get them very far, but a blood test and therapy really could! Thank you for your comment, Nancy – I hope the week is treating you well so far 🌷

The Oceanside Animals March 22, 2023 - 3:17 pm

Charlee: “Hey, Chaplin & Bean, you guys both have low testosterone, don’t you?”
Chaplin: “Well yes, we do, but that’s because MAMA AND DADA HAD THE VETS CUT OFF OUR BA—”
Lulu: “We’re going to stop you right there.”

InvisiblyMe April 4, 2023 - 5:50 pm

Hahahaha awwww guys, it’s rough being a boy dog/cat when there’s always a vet ready to cut your bits off! 😆

Cheryl Batavia March 22, 2023 - 9:39 pm

Well-researched post, Caz! This a topic that needs further research,

InvisiblyMe April 6, 2023 - 2:56 pm

Thank you, Cheryl 🙏 I agree, it does deserve more research & attention. x

Sarah Warburton March 23, 2023 - 10:12 am

What an interesting post Caz, so much I didn’t know and it just isn’t a topic that gets talked about. Thank you

InvisiblyMe April 6, 2023 - 2:57 pm

I hadn’t heard it mentioned much at all either, it really is under-appreciated & I think that only contributes to lack of diagnoses being made & treatments being given out to patients. x

Despite Pain March 23, 2023 - 2:56 pm

Another well-researched and important post, Caz. I think women talk more about health then men so these sort of topics don’t get mentioned enough. Women have broken a lot of barriers over the years. It’s now acceptable to discuss things like menopause, periods, breast health and HRT. Men’s health is just as important though. Well done for writing about this.

InvisiblyMe April 6, 2023 - 4:17 pm

Thank you, Liz 🙏 You raise such a good point with the efforts done by women, work it has entailed to get women’s health issues into the public realm and talked about. Men’s health is just as important and sadly some conditions are still being under-appreciated, which means they also go under-diagnosed. x

Carolyn Page March 23, 2023 - 7:26 pm

Great information, Caz, about a subject that is probably not talked about enough. It’s so hard to get men to talk about ‘health issues’ in general. A little knowledge would, I’m sure, lead to healthier mindsets and outcomes. I do believe that is the case for us women! It is now not taboo to openly exchange info in regard our health concerns. Removing blocks such as misinformation, and increasing our knowledge (for both men and women) can only be to our overall benefit.

InvisiblyMe April 7, 2023 - 4:06 pm

Very well said, Carolyn, and I agree. Removing the blocks, the misunderstandings, stigma, embarrassment, can only be a brilliant thing. The more health issues are discussed, the better; more people will know about the potential for such problems and will start to know their bodies better, and be more likely to seek help when they need to. It’s great to see how things are changing even since when I was in my early 20s with more openness and less taboo than ever before. x

Lucy March 23, 2023 - 10:20 pm

This is such an interesting post Caz. So often hormone problems are typically thought of as being a female problem and low testosterone in men is rarely spoken about, in fact yours is the first post I’ve ever read addressing and informing people about it, normally people think of men as having lots of testosterone. This is such a well researched and informative post, thank you Caz.

InvisiblyMe April 8, 2023 - 2:55 pm

You’re right – hormones are typically thought of as a women’s thing, and testosterone gets overlooked unless it’s in terms of artificially elevated levels. I’m glad I managed to do the first post on this that you’ve read, that’s awesome! Thank you for such a lovely comment, Lucy, and I’m sorry for the delay replying – I hope you’re having a relaxing Easter weekend 🐰🐥 xx

Ellie Thompson March 25, 2023 - 4:04 pm

This is such a helpful and informative post, Caz. I wasn’t aware of many of the points you mentioned here. I thought I knew enough about testosterone, but now I realise my knowledge was lacking. I don’t have a ‘man in my life’, but I will pass these facts on to my adult son and son-in-law. Thank you for sharing all this information. Xx 💕

InvisiblyMe April 8, 2023 - 4:41 pm

I’m glad I could introduce you to something new – I learned a lot through researching for the post, so it’s quite eye-opening! I just hope the healthcare systems start to raise more awareness of testosterone and a lack of it because it’s barely ever talked about and that means less are getting diagnosed or getting the support they need. Thanks for offering to share the post to your son & son-in-law 🙏 I hope you have a relaxing Easter weekend lovely – sending gentle hugs your way xx

Mirela March 27, 2023 - 12:04 pm

Interesting and extensive article on testosterone!

InvisiblyMe April 8, 2023 - 4:41 pm

Thanks, hope it might help to bring this issue to light for those who read it 😊

Blanca March 28, 2023 - 6:34 pm

Very informative and well researched post, Caz. I wasn’t aware low testosterone could cause so many symptoms. Thank you so much for sharing!

InvisiblyMe April 9, 2023 - 2:53 pm

It seems to be such an under-appreciated issue that rarely (if ever) gets media and mainstream attention, which is strange considering it’ll affect so many guys and can have a big impact on their health. Thanks for the comment lovely – I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend 🌻 xx

Janet Gogerty April 4, 2023 - 8:12 am

Women’s hormones are Very complicated and we often feel they are not understood, but men’s health needs more attention as well and most men probably have little idea exactly how everything works! I always think it’s rather galling that our very personality seems to depend so much on hormones…

InvisiblyMe April 9, 2023 - 2:56 pm

You’re right, it’s all so complicated! I definitely think there needs to be more done to raise awareness of men’s health and hormones, especially as there’s a lot of stigma around discussing it all or seeking help. I’m glad to see there’s more open discussion around the menopause so hopefully word will spread about low testosterone as a potential issue men may face in their mid-life years. You make a good point about our personalities being affected by hormones, too. Just one element being a bit out of whack can unsettle a part of who we are.. Thanks for the great comment, Janet – I hope you’re having a lovely Easter weekend 🐰 xx

Cindy Georgakas April 4, 2023 - 4:18 pm

Hormones play such havoc Caz and this is so complete and such great information you shared. Thank you! 💗

InvisiblyMe April 9, 2023 - 2:57 pm

I’m really glad you like the post, thank you! It’s definitely a complex picture and I learned a lot researching it. I just hope there’s a greater push for awareness around hormones for guys and gals alike in future. xx

Cindy Georgakas April 9, 2023 - 4:05 pm

Indeed I did and you’re most welcome Caz. So great. Happy Easter! 🐣🙏🏼

Aloya April 9, 2023 - 7:10 am

Very informative sharing 😊

InvisiblyMe May 3, 2023 - 6:12 pm

Thank you for reading 👍

AJ May 3, 2023 - 3:14 am

Hopefully, articles like this would be an eye-opener. Andropause is not something that is discussed as openly as menopause. I’m at that age, but most of my peers wallow in mid-life crisis instead, desperately holding on to their virility in youth.

InvisiblyMe May 3, 2023 - 6:15 pm

Thanks, AJ, I really appreciate you reading and commenting. I hope that with time and more public coverage, that guys will consider hormones and testosterone a little more and get checked out 🙏


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