What is a Normal Testosterone Level for your Age? – Review the Latest Research

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In the UK, testosterone prescriptions went up nearly 90 percent between 2000 and the year 2010. There are a variety of reasons for this, such as the influence of media; however, testosterone deficiencies may be actually in the ascendancy.

Do declining testosterone levels mean it is simply a regular occurrence of aging?

Yes, to a certain degree. However, testosterone levels differ significantly among men, so finding out whether you have a high or low testosterone level isn't always straightforward. This article will examine how testosterone levels alter as you age, the best way to determine your testosterone levels, and when it's worth looking into it more.

How do you define testosterone?

Testosterone is the most prominent male sex hormone. It is most well-known for its part in the development of sexual characteristics in males and also helps regulate:

  • Sex drive (libido)
  • Strength and mass of muscles
  • The composition of the body and distribution of fat
  • Body hair growth
  • Production of red blood cells
  • Production of Sperm

Due to its multiple roles, low testosterone levels can trigger a variety of symptoms, including low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and a decrease in strength and mass of muscles.

Testosterone performs different roles at various stages of your life. It is particularly crucial during puberty when it triggers various metabolic and physical changes within the body. Because of this, testosterone levels naturally alter as time passes.

Testosterone levels throughout your life

As early as the time you're born, your testes begin producing tiny quantities of testosterone. It is just as important to find out what is the average testosterone level for a male. Its levels rise throughout childhood, and perhaps they increase in the adolescent years. In your 20s, testosterone levels will be the most elevated they've ever been naturally.

Most males' testosterone levels slowly decrease for the remainder of their lives, though this may be different than you would expect.

A study that examined more than 50k male blood samples revealed that testosterone levels only gradually decreased after age 30; however, this decrease was more evident after age 80.

How come testosterone levels decrease?

Knowing how testosterone levels are managed is essential to understand why they decrease.

Two brain regions are involved: the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus directs the pituitary glands to produce the hormone luteinizing (LH), which triggers the testes' Leydig cells to produce testosterone.

As you get older, the process of aging is impacted by the brain and also in tests:

  • Leydig cells shrink in number and become less responsive to LH.
  • The hypothalamus releases less gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is necessary to stimulate the pituitary gland and produce LH.

As you age, you are more susceptible to specific ailments that can alter the way that these glands and organs communicate like:

  • Kidney disease and liver problems
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Normally, when testosterone levels are excessively high, our body notices this and stops further testosterone production. In the end, it is believed that this feedback loop becomes extremely sensitive over time, stopping testosterone production even if testosterone levels aren't particularly increased.

What is the average testosterone level by age?

The healthy level of testosterone for adult men is 8.7-29 numol/L (250-836 Ng/L). The majority of UK labs will employ the same reference intervals. These numbers don't take any symptoms or baseline values or decline due to age into account. However, your doctor will take this into account when interpreting your level. When your testosterone levels are lower than 12 nmol/L, and you suffer from symptoms, you might benefit from TRT. (TRT).

A study in 2022 examined testosterone levels in 1,486 men aged between 20 to 44. They examined the middle third of men to determine the normal testosterone hormone level for each age bracket. They classified the results as usual (according to the definitions of testosterone normal by American Urological Associates):

  • Age 20–24
    • Testosterone (nmol/L): 14.2–19.3
    • Testosterone (ng/dL): 409–558
  • Age 25–30
    • Testosterone (nmol/L): 14.3–19.9
    • Testosterone (ng/dL): 413–575
  • Age 30–34
    • Testosterone (nmol/L): 12.4–17.3
    • Testosterone (ng/dL): 359–498
  • Age 35–40
    • Testosterone (nmol/L): 12.2–16.5
    • Testosterone (ng/dL): 352–478
  • Age 40–44
    • Testosterone (nmol/L): 12.1–16.4
    • Testosterone (ng/dL): 350–473

As usual, this data takes the middle third of the spectrum, so the normal ranges could be too small. As more information becomes available, testosterone's reference ranges will likely be expanded to include the age-specific value.

However, what's perhaps crucial is the general direction of your testosterone levels and if you're suffering from symptoms. It could be expected for you if you don't have any symptoms but are at the lower end of the normal range.

A cross-sectional study of 434 men revealed signs were more likely to occur when testosterone levels dropped below the levels:

  • 15 nmol/L, reduced energy levels
  • 12 nmol/L – – weight gain
  • 10 nmol/L Low mood
  • 8 nmol/L – erectile dysfunction

Do I require TRT?

Low testosterone on its own does not necessarily warrant alarm. For instance, a 50-year-old man with testosterone levels of 8.5 numol/l but without any symptoms will likely not be able to benefit from treatment even if his levels are outside of the normal range. Most of the time, changing to a healthier way of life can boost your testosterone level naturally.

The decision to begin the testosterone replacement treatment (TRT) is contingent on the results of your consultation with your physician. However, these thresholds from the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) could be helpful to assist you in understanding the results you get:

  • Testosterone levels that are higher than 12 nanomol/L generally don't require treatment.
  • Levels of Testosterone between 8 and 12 Nmol/L (or between 8-14nmol/L in the case that you are pre-diabetic) could require a trial treatment with testosterone (TRT) in the event of signs that testosterone levels are low. In these situations, it is essential to test testosterone levels in the free range, usually along with other male sexual hormones.
  • Testosterone levels lower than 8 nmol/L typically need treatment.

Sometimes, testosterone levels are normal, but there are still signs of deficiency. In these situations, full screening for sex hormones helps determine testosterone levels, which include levels of free testosterone (FT) and the luteinizing hormone (LH) as well as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). LH may be raised in these situations, or SHBG could be low.

If you find the testosterone level is shallow, however, it does not necessarily mean you require treatment.

What can I do to check if I have a low testosterone level?

You can test your testosterone levels at home with an at-home Testosterone Blood Test. If you want a more complete assessment of your hormone levels, you can take the Male Hormone Test, which looks at the full range of male hormones.

Both tests are finger-prick tests you can perform at home. Be sure to do your test in the early morning (ideally between 7 and 10 a.m.) since the highest testosterone level is usually at this time of day. If the result is not normal or borderline, you could be asked to repeat the test to confirm the results.

What can I do to reduce the amount of testosterone that is declining?

There's no reason to be concerned when the testosterone level is slowly decreasing — it's routine as we age. But there are a few ways to alter your lifestyle to avoid testosterone levels decreasing more rapidly.

  • Lose weight if you're overweight — Being overweight decreases testosterone by increasing insulin resistance, reducing sex hormone binding globulin, and suppressing the testosterone-regulating centers in the brain. A low testosterone level increases body fat on the lean mass, creating a self-perpetuating cycle.
  • Stay active. Aerobic and high-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) are effective methods for boosting testosterone levels in older men.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol. The consumption of alcohol decreases testosterone levels and may cause weight growth. Therefore, avoid drinking more than the suggested 14,500 units each week.
  • Aim for a healthy, balanced diet. Reduce your intake of processed and fried foods. Instead, choose plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, and wholegrain foods.
  • Beware of anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids could cause longer-term issues, including lower testosterone levels in later years.

Even if you're leading the most healthy lifestyle you can, for a small portion of men, their levels may nevertheless fall into the range that can cause symptoms. This can be because of the root issue. In these situations, TRT (TRT) can be beneficial.

Testosterone levels and age

Despite the rising trends in treatments for testosterone levels, there's no reason to be concerned or pondering the testosterone level.

If you are experiencing symptoms of testosterone deficiency, test your levels and speak with your physician. If you are unsure, know that testosterone levels will gradually diminish as you age.

Where can I test for low testosterone?

If you're concerned that testosterone levels aren't as high and you'd like to be checked for low testosterone levels, then a basic blood test to check the testosterone levels is a great way to begin.

FAQs about Testosterone levels

What is the average testosterone level by age?

Testosterone levels vary significantly over a person's lifetime. Typically, testosterone levels are at their highest during adolescence and early adulthood. As men age, there is a natural and gradual decline in testosterone levels, which can vary from one individual to another. Here are some average ranges based on age:

  • Ages 20-24: Testosterone levels range from 14.2 to 19.3 nmol/L (409–558 ng/dL).
  • Ages 25-30: Levels are approximately 14.3 to 19.9 nmol/L (413–575 ng/dL).
  • Ages 30-34: The range drops slightly to 12.4 to 17.3 nmol/L (359–498 ng/dL).
  • Ages 35-40: Levels are typically between 12.2 to 16.5 nmol/L (352–478 ng/dL).
  • Ages 40-44: Testosterone levels might be around 12.1 to 16.4 nmol/L (350–473 ng/dL).

As men continue to age beyond 44, testosterone levels generally continue to decrease. This decline is more noticeable from age 50 and becomes significantly lower in men in their 70s and 80s.

What is a good testosterone level?

The normal range for testosterone levels in adult men is around 8.7 to 29 nmol/L (250 to 836 ng/dL). However, this range can be broad and doesn't account for individual variations or symptoms. For clinical purposes, doctors often focus on whether a man has symptoms of testosterone deficiency along with testosterone levels. For instance:

  • Testosterone levels >12 nmol/L: Generally considered normal and typically do not require testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
  • Testosterone levels between 8-12 nmol/L: Might suggest a trial of TRT if symptoms of testosterone deficiency are present.
  • Testosterone levels <8 nmol/L: Usually indicate a need for treatment.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone levels?

Low testosterone can lead to a variety of symptoms, some of which can significantly impact quality of life. Common symptoms associated with low testosterone include:

  • Sexual dysfunction: This can include reduced libido, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility.
  • Physical changes: Increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density are common. Men may also experience swollen or tender breasts and body hair loss.
  • Emotional changes: Low levels of testosterone can contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. Men might feel sad or depressed, or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.

How can I raise my testosterone level?

Several free testosterone-level lifestyle changes and interventions can help:

  • Weight management: Being overweight can affect hormone balance. Losing weight can help increase testosterone levels.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity, especially strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can boost testosterone levels.
  • Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains can support overall hormone health.
  • Reduce stress: Chronic stress can lead to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, which negatively impacts testosterone.
  • Sleep: Maintaining adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a decrease in testosterone production.

For individuals with clinically low testosterone levels, TRT can be considered. This should always be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional, as it involves potential risks and side effects.

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