Introduction

While both men and women have the hormone testosterone in their bodies, it is much more prevalent in men.

In fact, the hormone is responsible for many of the more “masculine” traits that men tend to have, both physically and otherwise.

Certain symptoms are prevalent when the level of this hormone is too low, and when this happens, the first thing a doctor or clinic will do is complete a blood test so that the hormone levels can be determined.

If you’re curious about what these hormone levels should be and what numbers are considered normal, keep reading because this article will tell you everything you need to know about this phenomenon.

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What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both men and women, even though women’s levels are usually very low. The hormone is responsible for certain traits in both men and women. For men, it is associated with traits such as:

  • Puberty development
  • Sex drive
  • Strong muscles and bones
  • The creation of sperm

In females, the hormone is associated with:

  • Fertility and sex drive
  • The creation of new red blood cells
  • The maintenance of other hormones

As you can see, the sex drive in both men and women is linked to testosterone, and the good news is, the body naturally controls the levels of this hormone. That being said, the levels of testosterone tend to go down as people get older, and sometimes treatments are offered for their replacement, including testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT. Occasionally, the levels of this hormone can be too high, but it is much more likely that they will get too low and not too high at some point.

What Are Appropriate Levels of Testosterone?

Just like other hormones in the body, testosterone can be measured with a simple blood test.

While there are numerous things that can directly affect these numbers, below are some general numbers that are usually considered “normal.”

Ages 17 to 18 years: Men 300 to 1,200 ng/dL; women 20 to 75 ng/dL

Ages 19 and up: Men 240 to 950 ng/dL; women 8 to 60 ng/dL

Sometimes, the hormone is measured against the Tanner scale to get the right number.

The Tanner scale is a scale that tracks children’s visual development throughout puberty in five different stages, rather than measuring merely their age.

As an example, during Stage II on this scale, the development of a boy’s testicles or a girl’s breast buds are measured, instead of their exact age.

When comparing the hormone level alongside the Tanner scale, the test is more accurate because different people experience changes at many different times.

This way of measuring testosterone and other hormones is simply more personalized.

Because of these things, most doctors will take numerous things into consideration, not just the testosterone number, to determine if the number is indeed too low.

If this hormone is too low in either a man or a woman, some common symptoms can appear, and these include the following:

Symptoms in men:

  • Loss of hair on the face and body
  • Moodiness and depression
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Skin that becomes more fragile

Symptoms in women:

  • Fertility problems
  • Missed or irregular periods
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weakened bones

If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, you may want to talk to your doctor to determine if low testosterone, or low T, is the culprit.

A good doctor will provide you with a complete exam and determine your hormone levels to come up with a treatment plan that is personalized to meet your needs.

How Do Doctors Determine Your Hormone Level?

Your hormone level isn’t the only thing that doctors will check when you think you have low T.

To determine what your treatment plan should be, a doctor will take several blood tests, complete a physical exam, and take your entire medical history.

All of these things put together provide the doctor with a picture of your hormonal health so that they can determine if TRT is right for you.

Some other aspects that the doctor may consider include things such as:

  • Any hair loss or thinning of hair
  • Any opiates or steroids you may be taking
  • Checking the size of the prostate gland and testicles
  • Discussion of your development during puberty
  • Your body mass index (BMI) and waist size

As you can see, this is not a cut-and-dry process. It is a complex process that takes every part of your health into consideration so that together, the doctor can determine what to do next.

If TRT is determined to be the best course of action for you to take, it can be dispersed in various forms, although the most-common method is with regular injections.

As long as you’re getting the injections, your hormone levels should drastically improve and your testosterone should remain at an appropriate level.

It is a simple, relatively painless method that truly works wonders when you have low T.

Your hormone level isn’t the only thing that doctors will check when you think you have low T.

To determine what your treatment plan should be, a doctor will take several blood tests, complete a physical exam, and take your entire medical history.

All of these things put together provide the doctor with a picture of your hormonal health so that they can determine if TRT is right for you.

Some other aspects that the doctor may consider include things such as:

  • Any hair loss or thinning of hair
  • Any opiates or steroids you may be taking
  • Checking the size of the prostate gland and testicles
  • Discussion of your development during puberty
  • Your body mass index (BMI) and waist size

As you can see, this is not a cut-and-dry process.

It is a complex process that takes every part of your health into consideration so that together, the doctor can determine what to do next.

If TRT is determined to be the best course of action for you to take, it can be dispersed in various forms, although the most-common method is with regular injections.

As long as you’re getting the injections, your hormone levels should drastically improve and your testosterone should remain at an appropriate level.

It is a simple, relatively painless method that truly works wonders when you have low T.

What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)?

Low T can often cause numerous unpleasant symptoms, and since it can also affect your sex drive, it can be a big concern for any man suffering with this condition.

Many men choose the injection form of TRT, but if needles freak you out, not to worry because there are numerous ways to receive the treatment.

Here are a few of those ways:

  • Creams and gels
  • Natural testosterone boosters
  • Patches and pellets
  • Pills

Creams and gels are super easy because all you do is rub them into your skin.

Normally, it is applied to areas of the body that include the stomach, shoulders, or the upper arms.

Depending on the dosage, it is usually applied once or twice daily.

Naturally, your doctor will prescribe a dose that’s just right for you, so following the instructions exactly as they’re written is crucial.

As far as natural testosterone boosters go, most of them work by stimulating the natural release of the hormone, and most of them contain natural ingredients that include one or more of the following:

  • Boron
  • D-aspartic acid
  • Fenugreek
  • Luteolin
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zinc

The best part about natural remedies for low T is that you can take them in supplement form or simply eat foods that are high in these ingredients.

Many of these methods work extremely well, and both men and women tend to feel better about remedies that are more natural and less chemically filled.

Small testosterone patches can also be applied to a hairless part of your body and slowly release amounts of this hormone day after day.

The patches are kept on the skin for a certain amount of time, then they are replaced with a new patch.

Like patches, pellets release the hormone slowly, but pellets are a lot more invasive because they have to be surgically implanted directly under the skin.

This is perhaps the most-invasive type of TRT treatment, yet it is extremely effective.

Both patches and pellets use a synthetic form of testosterone for the body.

Finally, you can receive your TRT treatment in pill form, which is a very simple method. While you do have to remember to take the pills every day, this is a painless and uncomplicated way to receive your testosterone every day.

Many men prefer taking pills because of the simplicity and the fact that it is never uncomfortable or painful for them.

Are There Side Effects to TRT?

As mentioned earlier, TRT has to be considered a lifelong commitment because if you decide to stop the treatment, you’ll stop receiving the testosterone that you need for your body.

Only a doctor can prescribe these treatments, and only a doctor can determine the exact dosage that is right for you.

Each treatment plan is personalized to your specific needs, so side effects tend to be rare and minimal.

Nevertheless, some men do experience certain side effects, and these can include the following:

  • Acne or other skin problems
  • Cardiac problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Increased red blood cell count
  • Increased risk (though slight) of certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancer
  • Mouth and gum pain (when using patches)
  • Skin irritation (when using gels or creams)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Smaller testicles

There are other symptoms as well, but if you notice any physical or emotional changes once you start taking your treatment, make sure you discuss them with your doctor.

Your doctor may be able to adjust the dosage or change the treatment plan to another method so that your symptoms are either reduced or eliminated altogether.

Conclusion

Testosterone levels are easy to check with a simple blood test, and it’s a good idea to get your numbers checked regularly, especially since the levels tend to go down as you age.

It can be extremely discouraging to suffer from low sex drive, moodiness, or loss of body hair, but low T is a problem that won’t go away on its own.

Fortunately, testosterone replacement therapy is easy and very effective, and to get started, all you need to do is schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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