What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in males, in the testicles. Testosterone is necessary for sexual development and for making sperm.
What is Low Testosterone?
If you have low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, it means you have a reduced amount of the hormone testosterone in your body. Among other symptoms, low testosterone can affect your desire and ability to have sex.
This condition is common; nearly 40 percent of men ages 45 and older are affected.
Low Testosterone Causes
Potential causes of low testosterone include:
- Autoimmune disease: Some autoimmune diseases have been linked to low levels of testosterone.
- Chemotherapy: Low testosterone is a common hormonal issue you may experience when undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
- Klinefelter syndrome: Affects testicular growth which can lead to lower production of testosterone.
- HIV/AIDS: Testosterone deficiency is sometimes seen in patients with HIV/AIDS.
- Injuries or infection of the testicles: Damage or infection may impact testosterone levels.
- Medications: A decrease in testosterone levels can be a side effect of some prescription medications.
- Metabolic disorders: Such as hemochromatosis, causing your body to absorb too much iron, which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Low Testosterone Risk Factors
After young adulthood, men's testosterone levels start to drop. If you're over 45, you may be at a higher risk of having low levels of testosterone. Risk factors of low testosterone include:
- Weight (obesity or extreme weight loss)