Defining Low Testosterone
Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood. The symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction (E.D.), mood problems, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Of all men with below-normal testosterone levels, about one-half to two-thirds report symptoms. Unlike female menopause, when estrogen levels plummet over months to very low levels, male andropause is a gradual decline of testosterone levels over years. The effects of low testosterone can often go unnoticed. Some men with low testosterone levels have symptoms without recognizing them. For instance, they may still have a sex drive, but not realize how much it has declined. Men with symptoms of low testosterone can have significant impairment in quality of life and should be treated.
Low testosterone can be replaced by using a daily skin gel, patches worn on the skin, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections. The general recommendations are to raise the blood testosterone level only into the normal range.
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