Low Testosterone (Low T)

Low testosterone (sometimes referred to as male hypogonadism) results when the body does not produce enough of the male sex hormone testosterone. Millions of American men experience this condition, often after age 50,when testosterone production declines.

Testosterone is mainly produced by the testicles and regulated by hormones released by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland located in the brain. Testosterone plays an important role in male sexual and physical development and helps maintain energy levels, fertility, sex drive and bone health in adults.


Low T can produce one or more of these symptoms:

  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • Growth in breast tissue (gynecomastia)
  • Infertility
  • Muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Bone loss
  • Diminished growth or loss of body hair
  • Depression or other mood disorders


Blood tests can determine the level of testosterone in your blood stream. These are usually taken in the morning, when testosterone levels should be at their highest. Additional testing may be needed if there is suspicion of a pituitary abnormality causing low testosterone.


Low T is often treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and available in a number of ways:

  • Gel - the testosterone is absorbed through the skin as the gel dries
  • Patch - you apply a patch containing testosterone to your skin each night
  • Injection - typically given every 2-4 weeks at home or in the doctor's office. Family members can learn to give the injections.
  • Oral medication – taken to help boost the natural production of testosterone by stimulating the pituitary gland
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