You asked, we answered: Do I need testosterone therapy?

Young male looking down


I think I might have low testosterone. Do I need testosterone therapy?

Answered by University Health Center provider Malik Ahmic, APRN:

Testosterone is a hormone typically prevalent in those assigned male at birth. The hormone maintains muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, sperm production, and sex drive and potency.

Testosterone deficiency is defined as testosterone blood levels less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). A hormone decline can result in symptoms like low motivation, decreased stamina and energy, sexual dysfunction, depression, hot flashes, loss of muscle mass and/or mood swings.

The reality is that only about 5% to 7% of people with a penis and testicles will experience a clinically significant drop in testosterone levels that  require treatment. This typically begins happening after age 40.

If you are concerned you have low testosterone, do not take over-the-counter testosterone boosters. They are not regulated, can cause harmful side effects, and simply don’t improve testosterone. Instead, the best thing you can do is consult with a doctor who can test your levels if needed. If your testosterone levels are low, they will talk to you about next steps, which may or may not include testosterone therapy.

Although testosterone therapy can be very effective at improving symptoms, it is not recommended for everyone. It can have side effects, including altered sexual function, infertility, and shrinking of the gonads. Therapy requires thorough evaluation and regular monitoring.

To schedule an appointment at the University Health Center, call 402.472.5000.