Effect Of Low Testosterone On Males And Females

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Testosterone is an androgen that controls functions like fertility, manly characteristics, muscle mass, etc. Hence, any changes in the T hormone level would impact an individual’s health.

The common consequences observed due to testosterone deficiency include low sex drive, fat deposition, low bone density, sperm production, etc. 

Generally, the T hormone gradually drops by 1% every year and may reach a significantly low level by old age. But, testosterone levels may drop by several other factors, including chemotherapy, obesity, excessive androgen, medications, etc.  

This article will cover different effects due to low testosterone levels so that you could seek timely medical attention.

Effect Of Low Testosterone On Males

  1. Declining Sexual Function

    Testosterone is a vital hormone responsible for driving sexual functions in men. Hence, low testosterone levels may impact an individual’s libido and sexual functions. 

    Generally, men with low testosterone experience a steady decline in sexual performance and desires, thus, impacting their intimate life. Sometimes such a condition may lead to sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction. 

    Erectile dysfunction is a severe condition in which a man fails to hold a firm erection or gets spontaneous erections that last for a short period.

    ED may occur due to low testosterone, but mainly, such a condition occurs due to several underlying health conditions. But, if you struggle to achieve a firm erection, it could show low testosterone in the body. 

  1. May Cause Infertility

    Testosterone plays a significant role in sperm production. T hormone regulates the function of two vital organs responsible for sperm production, i.e., the prostate and seminal vesicles.

    Hence, a drop in T levels would impact these organs’ function and an individual’s sperm production. Moreover, low testosterone may impact the overall health of sperm, resulting in unhealthy or distorted sperm production. 

    In some cases, low sperm count may lead to no sperm production resulting in male infertility. Here, a man would fail to make his partner pregnant, irrespective of his attempts.

    Thus, you should check your testosterone levels to find the cause of infertility. 

  1. May Affect Sleep

    Declining testosterone levels may impact an individual’s sleep. Men with low testosterone may experience a few sleeping illnesses like insomnia, low energy levels, and irregular sleeping patterns.

    There are a few testosterone replacement therapies for improving testosterone that could lead to sleep apnea, a health condition in which the breathing starts and stops unevenly during sleep.

    Sleep apnea causes several bodily changes that may reverse the low testosterone condition. Sleep apnea patients may experience disturbances in sleep patterns that may lead to severe complications like stroke.

  1. Hair Loss

    Hair loss in men could occur due to various reasons, including pollution, treatment, health conditions, etc. But, besides these common reasons, low testosterone levels could cause sudden hair loss and baldness in men.

    Generally, baldness due to aging occurs due to declining testosterone levels; thus, a sudden drop in the T hormone may impact the hair. 

    Testosterone and other androgens are also responsible for several manly characteristics, like the growth of facial and body hair.

    Lack or reduced growth of facial and body hair could be a sign of low testosterone. Moreover, you may observe changes in the thickness and density of the body hair due to declining testosterone levels. 

  1. Reduced Testicle Size

    Hormonal imbalances, especially testosterone, may lead to testicular atrophy. Testicular atrophy is a medical condition in which the testicles begin to shrink and get smaller.

    Generally, the changes aren’t mediated by the surrounding temperature and may sometimes change permanently. The primary cause of testicular atrophy could be low testosterone levels due to reduced T hormone production.

    The potential causes that lower T hormone production includes testosterone replacement therapy and the consumption of anabolic steroids, estrogen, and certain medications.

  1. May Increase Tiredness And Fatigue

    Testosterone is a vital hormone responsible for keeping you alert and energetic. A decline in testosterone levels would pull down an individual’s energy level, resulting in low productivity and difficulty managing various tasks.

    The person may feel exhausted and tired, irrespective of the sleep or rest he may get. Such tiredness and fatigue may put additional stress on an individual’s lifestyle, increasing cortisol levels.

    Persistent stress may keep cortisol levels high for a significant period, leading to adrenal fatigue. People with adrenal fatigue would experience problems with hormone regulation, especially testosterone. 

  1. May Make You Gain Fat

    The obese or fat man may experience low testosterone problems. Fat in the body produces an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen.

    Thus, people with excess fat may produce excess aromatase, resulting in faster conversion of the T hormone creating a difference in hormone levels.

    High estrogen and low testosterone may impact a man’s metabolism causing significant fat gain. People struggling with low testosterone may experience fat gain.

    Thus, the residual testosterone in the body would convert into estrogen, resulting in a drastic drop in T hormone levels. In severe low conditions, the man may experience uncontrolled weight gain. 

  1. May Affect Lean Muscle Mass Growth

    You may have seen people taking anabolic steroids or artificial testosterone to boost their performance and muscle mass. Moreover, testosterone is also responsible for increasing the muscle’s strength.

    Thus, a drop in testosterone levels would impact the overall muscle mass and strength. Generally, testosterone has a significant role in boosting an individual’s metabolism.

    Any changes in testosterone levels would impact metabolism and cause muscle degradation. Moreover, it would build fat instead of muscles. People with poor conditions may struggle to reverse the lost muscle and strength.

  1. May Lead To Osteoporosis

    Low testosterone increases the risk of developing osteoporosis in men. Generally, osteoporosis due to low testosterone is primarily observed in older men, but it may occur at an early age as well.

    Moreover, testosterone deficiency may trigger or worsen osteoporosis symptoms. Lack of sufficient testosterone results in low bone mineral density that weakens the bone, resulting in an increased risk of injuries and fractures.

    People with testosterone deficiency may experience delayed healing during bone injuries or fractures. You may easily judge the declining bone density by observing changes like stooped back, stress fracture, or decreasing height. 

  1. May Cause Mood Swings

    Optimum testosterone is essential to boost confidence, mood, and quality of life in men. Men with low testosterone may experience sudden mood swings and lack of confidence affecting their lifestyle.

    An extended period of testosterone deficiency may cause depression, anxiety, and other mental issues. In severe conditions, depression and sadness may become challenging to manage, requiring medical attention. 

    Testosterone is also linked with an individual’s emotional responses; hence, a drop in testosterone level may cause emotional reactions like anger, nervousness, and irritability.

  1. May Affect Brain Function

    Low testosterone levels may impact an individual’s cognitive function. Generally, men with low testosterone experience memory and concentration issues. 

    This could further cause brain fog, in which the individual’s memory and focus gradually decline. You may experience issues with focusing on given tasks or managing multiple tasks simultaneously. 

    Lack of focus or forgetfulness isn’t a primary symptom or effect of low testosterone. But you could consider it as a marker of declining testosterone levels. 

  1. Could Lead To Gynecomastia

    Gynecomastia is a medical condition that occurs due to an imbalance between estrogen and androgens in men. 

    Men with testosterone deficiency or high estrogen levels may experience breast growth, which is called gynecomastia.

    Men suffering from the condition may observe changes like swollen and tender nipples. Moreover, they may feel glandular tissue growth behind their nipples.

    The tissue growth may occur in one or both nipples, depending on the condition’s severity. The chest region may look pumped up with a firm and rubbery feel. 

Effect Of Low Testosterone On Females

As compared to men, females have lower testosterone levels. Hence, testosterone deficiency in females may experience a few effects.

  1. Vaginal Dryness

    It is a common issue faced by women after menopause. But, it may occur at an early age due to low estrogen and testosterone levels. 

  1. Irregular Menstruation

    Hormones play a significant role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Hence, changes in testosterone levels may impact the length of the cycle, i.e., more or less than 28 days.

  1. Hot Flashes

    Menopausal women experience frequent hot flashes. But women undergoing chemotherapy with no testosterone may experience hot flashes.

  1. Low Blood Count

    Low testosterone may impact an individual’s blood cell production and alter total blood count.

    In severe cases, low testosterone may cause a blood disorder called anemia, which occurs due to the low RBC count. The common symptoms of anemia include dizziness, headache, fatigue, fast heartbeat, and pale skin. 


Hormones have a vital role in regulating several bodily functions. Similarly, the primary sex hormone, testosterone, controls several functions in the male and female body.

Hence, testosterone deficiency may impact overall health and show several effects on the body.

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