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Low Testosterone

Home » Specialties » Urology » Low Testosterone

Testosterone is the male hormone most frequently recognized for its role in reproduction. However, testosterone does not only regulate sex drive and sperm production, but also maintains bone density, fat distribution, muscle mass and red blood cell production.

Although testosterone levels in men decrease naturally with age, when they drop below a certain point, they may result in adverse effects.

Causes & Symptoms

Low testosterone may be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Chemotherapy
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Obesity
  • Chronic kidney failure

Not all men affected by low testosterone experience symptoms; if there are no symptoms, treatement is not required.

Symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Increased body fat
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating.


The treatment for low testosterone is hormone replacement therapy and can be administered in a number of ways. Testosterone replacement may be injected into the muscles, via a patch, topically through a gel, or in pellets placed under the skin.

Once a doctor has approved hormone replacement therapy, patients should be aware of its possible side effects, including:

  • Acne
  • Decreased urination stream or frequency of urination
  • Exacerbation of sleep apnea
  • Decreased testicle size
  • Breast enlargement
  • Fluid retention