Low Testosterone

Published: December 26, 2018

Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and is the hormone at play when males go through puberty. Low testosterone levels occur for a variety of reasons and may indicate an underlying health issue. 

What is it?

Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T) is defined by the American Urology Association as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter. (1) 

Symptoms: 

Many men who have Low-T experience a decreased sex drive, a dip in energy levels, and/or a reduction of muscle mass. Other symptoms include erectile dysfunction, depression, and mood changes

Causes: 

Certain medical conditions, injuries to the testicles, chemotherapy, radiation, certain medications, obesity, and aging can all be connected to low testosterone levels. Testosterone levels can also be low temporarily due to stress or illness. In many cases of Low-T however, the cause is not apparent. (2) 

Diagnosis:

If you or your doctor suspect low testosterone levels, your physician will conduct a thorough medical history, physical exam and blood work to determine if low testosterone is at play. (3) 

Treatment:

There are two approaches commonly used to treat low testosterone levels: Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) or an attempt to increase your body’s natural testosterone production.

Increasing your natural production of testosterone is possible with prescription medications like Clomid (clomiphene citrate). 

There are a variety of TRT options, including injections, gels, patches, and subcutaneous pellets. There are some risks of using TRT, including an interruption of normal sperm production – if you plan to have children, it’s important to discuss potential risks with your doctor. 

Next steps: 

If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, make an appointment with Virginia Urology. We can work with you to get to the bottom of your symptoms and create a treatment plan that will work best for you. 

(1) https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone

(2) https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone/causes

(3) https://www.urologyhealth.org/educational-materials