Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Low Testosterone: How to Talk to Your Doctor

By Stephanie Booth
WebMD Feature

It’s the hormone that helps turn boys into men. During puberty, it brings about facial hair, a deeper voice, and bigger muscles. In grown men, it helps to control sex drive and make sperm.

When your testosterone levels dip below what they should be, you can have problems with your sex drive and ability to have kids. Many men have this condition, which is called hypogonadism. Still, you may be too embarrassed to voice your concerns. WebMD offers these tips to help you talk to your doctor about it.

Recommended Related to Men

Acne Treatments for Men

The medical term — acne vulgaris — captures the condition pretty well: an ugly, vulgar scourge that ravages the faces of many unfortunate adolescents. Acne can leave lifelong scars, both physical and emotional. However, it’s something that most guys assume is behind them once they hit their twenties. But for some, that’s not the case. For some men, acne is like a bad credit rating — no matter what they do, it won’t go away, and it keeps on humiliating them. And like that of a bad credit rating,...

Read the Acne Treatments for Men article > >

What Causes It?

Testosterone levels drop in all men as they age. About 4 out of 10 men over age 45 have low testosterone.

“Nowadays, there’s a lot more attention paid to testosterone issues in men,” says S. Adam Ramin, MD, the medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles. “Some of my patients are proactive and come in to my office to find out about their levels. But others may not want to talk about it all.”

The symptoms of low testosterone can include:

Many men confuse low testosterone with erectile dysfunction. But “low testosterone doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the ability to get an erection,” Ramin says. “It’s more about low desire and libido.”

How It’s Tested

If your doctor suspects your testosterone levels are low, he’ll give you a blood test, probably first thing in the morning. Your levels go up and down during the day. Mornings are when they tend to be highest.

Still, you may need to have your blood taken more than once and at different times of the day. Once your results come back, your doctor may send you for other tests to gather more information.

A normal range of testosterone is anywhere between 300 to 1,000 ng/dL. But there’s no exact number it needs to fall below to be considered low, says Philip Werthman, MD, director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles. “Every lab has a different range of what’s ‘normal.’”

Men start having symptoms at different times, too. Some may notice changes around 250 ng/dL, for instance. Other men, Werthman says, “don’t get symptoms until their level is at 150 or even 100.”

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video