All humans, both male and female, have testosterone, which is essential to various bodily functions. The normal testosterone level in the human body varies throughout life. Plus, the needs for boosting testosterone levels also change according to age. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of how much testosterone is in their bodies at a certain point in life. It is essential to know the normal levels and the requirements at different ages as the hormone supports multiple body functions. Moreover, high or low testosterone can also lead to serious health issues in healthy adult men with products like serum testosterone concentrations.
With that said, when it comes to the level of testosterone, there is no one-size-fits-all rule that can determine the level. An individual’s testosterone level depends on various factors, including overall health, medical condition, weight, sex, and age. In general, males have higher testosterone levels compared to females. In addition, testosterone levels rise and fall in everyone naturally. This brings the question, what are the normal testosterone levels by age? In this post, we’ve jotted down everything you should know about the testosterone levels needed to stay healthy.
What Are The Normal Testosterone Levels In A Human Body?
Testosterone is the male sex hormone and is the most common androgen. Though it is the male hormone, females also require certain testosterone levels. In males, these hormone levels are necessary for strengthening bones, muscle mass production, development during puberty, heart health, and cognitive functions. In females, the hormone is needed for fertility and sex drive, making new blood cells, muscle mass, heart health, and cognitive functions.
The average level of testosterone in the blood of both men and women depends on protein status, thyroid function, and various other factors. These levels are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The American Urological Association (AUA) states that at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of testosterone levels in men are normal. Any level lower than this is considered testosterone deficiency. According to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, for a woman older than 19, the healthy testosterone level lies between 8 and 60 ng/dL.
The testosterone levels are at their peak during the teenage years until the age of 18 and 19, and they start declining gradually. However, the production of testosterone in the human body starts as early as infancy and helps develop the male reproductive system. Following is a breakdown of the normal testosterone levels by age:
- In the Womb
The need for testosterone starts when the baby is in the womb. A normal testosterone level is needed for proper fetal development and the normal development of the male reproductive system. Testosterone levels should also be in the healthy range for the fetal brain to function normally. According to a study, the level might also affect the left and proper functioning of the fetus’ brain. Another study states that a higher level of testosterone might cause autism.
How masculine you appear is also linked to how much testosterone was in the womb before birth. Professor Andrew Whitehouse from the University of Western Australia conducted detailed peer-reviewed studies in this regard. In one such study, he found that higher levels of testosterone in the womb are linked to more masculine features. In short, testosterone levels can affect how masculine or feminine you would look in the future.
Pregnant women tend to have higher testosterone levels than non-pregnant women. In non-pregnant women, the levels are below 50 ng/dL, but during pregnancy, the level lies between 50 and 120 ng/dL. However, this is not a fixed level and may vary from person to person. These levels are highest in the third trimester, and they play a role in maintaining pregnancy and, in the end, help during labor.
- Children and Early Teen
During the initial months after birth, the normal testosterone level in a male should be 75 to 400 ng/dL. This level continues to change. By the time a boy is around ten to eleven years old, the level changes to 7 to 130 ng/dL. During the early teens, this level rises, and the normal level is between 7 to 800 ng/dL. However, by the time a boy is 15 or 16, the normal testosterone level should be between 100 and 1200 ng/dL.
The production of testosterone in the body affects the physical changes in boys during their teenage years. For instance, it will affect various physical features in the body during the puberty stage. A boy’s facial structure changes to become more masculine, voice will change (deeper voice), and shoulders will broaden. During the late teens, that is, between 17 to 19 years, the testosterone levels are between 300 and 1200 ng/dL. This is when testosterone levels peak and remain high for the next couple of years. A healthy young man produces around 6 mg of testosterone daily.
During early adulthood, from 20 to 30, the healthy testosterone levels are 692 ng/dL on an average. The normal range in adult males is between 376 and 1008 ng/dL. However, as men get older, their levels of testosterone start declining gradually, that is, by 1% every year after the age of 30. On the contrary, in women, these levels decline after menopause, after age 45 or 50. Ovaries produce testosterone in females.
The testosterone levels by age keep declining in men; it decreases to 252 to 916 ng/dL during the 40s and 50s. During the sixties, the testosterone levels decrease, and men produce 196 to 859 ng/dL of testosterone. By the time a man is 70, the production of testosterone levels decreases to 30% below the peak level. However, this doesn’t mean that health also declines. Older men may have had low testosterone levels than young men, but if they take care of their health and are physically fit, it doesn’t affect them much.
What Are The Signs Of Low Testosterone Levels In A Human Body?
In the above section, we explained the normal testosterone levels according to age. If the testosterone production is between these ranges, a man will remain healthy and not experience any issues. However, for men who have low testosterone than the normal range, it might affect their sex drive, overall health and wellness. For instance, it can cause weight gain, fatigue, and depression if testosterone levels decline.
Low testosterone or Low T usually occurs due to any illness or if you’re born with any condition affecting testosterone production. You can also have low testosterone if any disease has caused damage to your testicles or ovaries, which produce the hormone. The symptoms of low testosterone, also known as ‘low-T,’ affect many body functions. Low-T can cause health conditions, including sexual issues. Following are the main signs of low testosterone levels:
- Low libido or low sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction
- Impotence and Infertility
- Fatigue and depression
- Large breasts in men
- Loss of facial and body hair
- Brittle bones and decrease in muscle mass
- Anxiety, depression, and lack of focus
Testosterone is essential in sexual functionality and can cause health problems if the levels are not normal. Plus, while balding may be hereditary in men, it can also be due to low testosterone. If the level of these hormones is too low, men may get bald quickly and might also lose facial and body hair. Besides that, men with low testosterone have also reported decreased energy and extreme fatigue. If you’re feeling weak and tired despite sleeping enough, you might not have enough testosterone in your body.
If you are facing two or three of these symptoms, you must consult your healthcare provider, who’ll recommend a test. This testosterone levels test determines the range of testosterone in your blood.
Testosterone in Women
Though testosterone is known as the male hormone, it also has some roles in the female body. Women also require normal testosterone levels for various body functions. However, the level of testosterone in a female body is too low compared to males. In females, testosterone production happens in the ovaries, and the circulating testosterone levels decline after that. Low testosterone in females can cause fertility, loss of libido, sexual health issues, and reduced bone density.
Generally, women who are obese have higher testosterone levels than women who have low body fat. Women with low body fat don’t produce enough sex hormone levels. Apart from that, in premenopausal women, the sudden drop in estrogen levels can cause various symptoms. A decrease in estrogen levels can cause night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal itching or dryness, and decreased sex drive. On the other hand, excess testosterone can cause acne, affects hair growth, infertility, growth of facial hair, and absence or irregularity in the menstrual cycle.
Normal levels of testosterone improve the overall health of women too. It keeps the bones healthy, promotes cognitive functions, and improves sex drive. Changes in testosterone levels can also cause high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. During puberty, the estrogen levels rise and cause changes in the female body to produce more feminine features. Thus, testosterone also plays a vital role in the female body, and it is essential to have them in normal ranges.
Testosterone Issues: Diagnosis and Tests
If you’re noticing any signs and symptoms of high or low testosterone, the best thing to do is visit a doctor. After a thorough physical examination, the doctor will recommend a blood test to determine the average testosterone levels in your body. Since these hormones are higher in the morning, the doctor will perform the test before 10 am. However, this is for young men only; men over 45 can have the test until 2 pm for accurate results. This test has no potential risks; it’s like a routine blood test. These tests are called serum testosterone tests and accurately measure testosterone in the body.
To determine low testosterone, there are a few diagnostic tests. For example, the doctor might conduct luteinizing hormone, blood prolactin level, and serum testosterone for diagnosis.
The test results will determine the total testosterone in the body. These results allow the doctors to measure testosterone in the body to compare with the typical testosterone levels. The doctor will later recommend a testosterone replacement therapy if the testosterone levels test are out of range.
For accurate results, your doctor will also ask about your medical history. Your doctor might discuss with you if you use any steroids and medicines. You should also tell your doctor about your personal development at puberty, waist size, and BMI. The doctor will inquire about your menstrual cycle, facial or body hair, acne, and other symptoms in females.
When Should You Have Your Testosterone Test Done?
According to doctors, you should have the test when you reach the age of 35. After that, you can have these levels checked every five years. The levels vary widely during different stages of life, but most testosterone ranges are according to the levels we discussed according to age group. The testosterone levels in men can be controlled through therapies and precautions. The male body needs a balance of testosterone for the body to function normally.
What Are The Effects Of Abnormal Testosterone Levels?
By abnormal testosterone ranges, we mean too high or too low testosterone. If your body has too much testosterone, it can cause various health conditions. For example, it can increase the risk of some diseases. Apart from weight gain, higher levels of testosterone can cause tumours in the testicular or adrenal glands. High testosterone also causes Pcos and congenital hyperplasia in women.
While low testosterone levels can be treated with testosterone therapy, they might indicate other health conditions too. Abnormal levels or changes in testosterone levels can also result from medical conditions and reactions to certain medications. Besides that, thyroid gland disorders, excessive use of alcohol, and depression can also cause disturbance in the production of free testosterone. Free testosterone is a tiny portion of your total testosterone. It is not linked to any protein and decreases as you age.
Erectile dysfunction is one of men’s main side effects of abnormal testosterone levels. This problem arises because there is not enough testosterone in the body to stimulate the brain receptors in the pituitary gland that cause arousal. This condition can also affect sperm production. However, trouble maintaining an erection is not just related to low testosterone; there might be other issues too. You must consult wellness professionals so that your condition is closely monitored. This way, the doctors will determine if you have erectile dysfunction because of low testosterone levels.
Treatment: How To Increase Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone replacement therapy is the best way to deal with the situation if you have too high or low testosterone. This is a type of hormone replacement therapy used to relieve the symptoms of abnormal levels. The therapy comes in various forms, including oral medications, injections, skin gels, patches, and pallets that you can place under your skin. These methods boost testosterone to your body to maintain the levels. The National Institute conducted a study on older men to determine the therapy results and their effectiveness.
In this therapy, the injections are generally given to you in your muscles every two weeks. Apart from that, pills, tablets, and capsules come in the oral medication category, which you can consume with water. The gel is rubbed onto the skin and reaches your blood flow through the skin. You can try any of these methods of testosterone therapy according to your convenience.
The treatment can be short-term or long-term, depending on your condition. A testosterone replacement therapy is unsuitable for you if you have heart disease, breast or prostate cancer, sleep apnea, increased RBCs, or are planning to have children. Testosterone therapy might have some side effects too, and thus it is essential to consult with your doctor before going for one.
Besides these therapies, you can also increase the levels naturally. Certain lifestyle changes and healthy habits can help in this regard. If you gain weight quickly, you must regularly exercise; otherwise, high testosterone will cause various health issues. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle is also a factor contributing to abnormal levels of testosterone in the body. A healthy lifestyle includes exercising regularly, lowering stress levels, getting good sleep, and having a balanced diet. Losing fat can also help in regulating the level of testosterone in your body.
Conclusion: What Is Average Testosterone Level By Age In Humans?
The level of testosterone declines as you age. Your level at 19 will be different from what you have at 58. This doesn’t mean you should panic; you just must observe the signs and symptoms. The decrease in this level is very gradual, and many people might not even notice the effects. The effects are prominent only when there are sudden changes in the levels. You can increase your testosterone levels by eating testosterone boosting foods in natural ways.
If you are concerned about low or high testosterone, you must talk to your doctor and discuss the best