Hormones are powerful forces inside the body. They have the ability to affect our vital functions, physical development, and even our behaviors. Testosterone is considered as one of the most important hormones because of its potency and scope. The amount produced by the body is not static. It will vary throughout time and may go above or below what is deemed as normal. What are normal testosterone levels? Well, that depends on what your age and gender are. Generally, males have much higher T levels compared to females. This goes up as we grow older, reaches a peak, and then decreases gradually every year.
Breaking Down Normal Ranges
Testosterone level is usually measured in terms of nanograms per deciliter or ng/dL. A newborn male will have between 75-400 ng/dL. By the time he reaches puberty, this can be around 100-1,200 ng/dL. Things should stabilize during adulthood and range between 270 and 1,070 ng/dL. After the age of 30, there tends to be a 1% decrease every year. As for females, they do have 20-80 ng/dL as newborns. It then drops down after just a few months before gradually inching back up around puberty. An average adult female will have a T level of 15-70 ng/dL.
Factors that Affect Testosterone
Aside from age and gender, a number of other factors can affect testosterone production. This includes alcohol abuse. Those who drink too much over a prolonged period can exhibit irregular T. Other people might see their numbers plummet due to a disorder of the thyroid gland. Depression has also been linked to lower than normal levels of testosterone. Lastly, a dip can occur as a natural reaction to certain types of medication. This dip may be temporary with normal amounts returning right after cessation. It can also become a long-term effect, depending on the kind of drug is taken and the length of the treatment.
Exact numbers can be obtained if a person submits blood for testing. An average man will get just under 700 ng/dL which is in the middle of the normal range. Testing is recommended for men if they observe symptoms like hair loss, decreased sex drive, chronic fatigue, depression, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, muscular atrophy, reduced sperm count, and swollen breasts. As for women, doctors recommend the test if they encounter vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, amenorrhea, fertility issues, and low sex drive. Women may also want to get tested in case they have high T levels. The symptoms include acne, deepened voice, enlarged clitoris, amenorrhea, bald spots, and excessive body hair.
Disadvantages of Above Average Testosterone
Most men worry about having low T and not much about going too high. To be fair, having higher than normal testosterone does have some benefits such as a reduced chance of obesity and heart attack. The hormone can help to normalize blood pressure. However, there are distinct disadvantages as well. Men have a greater likelihood of sustaining an injury and a bigger chance of exhibiting risky behaviors. This is also correlated with smoking and heavy drinking.
About Testosterone Therapy
Since low T can lead to infertility and other undesirable conditions, individuals should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Testing is recommended every 5 years from the age of 35 to verify if suspicions are correct. Doctors will examine their case and recommend the most suitable approach. They could receive a boost through gels, injections, patches, or topical creams. The amount will be regulated depending on the patient’s response to the treatment. Doctors will be careful to increase testosterone levels without exceeding the normal threshold as this could trigger its own complications.