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888.828.4300info@tctmed.com

Normal Testosterone Levels by Age — Does it Matter?

No matter your sex, there’s wide variation in testosterone levels by age.

Testosterone levels do vary by age, but normal reduction of testosterone over time, but it can never result in clinically low testosterone.

Both men and women experience a gradual decline in both total and free testosterone levels as they age, but these declines should be very gradual.

For instance, the generally accepted normal range for a man’s total testosterone is 300-1000 ng/dl, and it’s considered normal to lose 1% of production per year after age 30.

Now, since T levels should peak in your 20’s, let’s assume someone has a level of 750 ng/dl when they turn 30.

If you subtract 1% of production every year from a starting level of 750, you would have to live until you are 122 before your total testosterone levels would dip below 300 ng/dl.

Normal Testosterone Decline is Not Going to Lead to Low Testosterone—Measuring Testosterone Levels by Age isn’t very Useful

While I could provide you with a chart of “normal” testosterone levels (and how they gradually decline with age), I’m not sure it’s helpful, and it would not be based on any hard data.

Those studies simply have not been done.

Yes, testosterone does decline over time, but consider this: the average amount of testosterone in a man’s body between the ages of 85 and 100 is around 350. The natural decline of testosterone over time in a man’s body cannot by definition lead to low testosterone.

You see, a confirmed clinical diagnosis of low testosterone is made when your levels fall below a particular threshold for men (300 ng/dl for total testosterone and 9 ng/dl for free testosterone).

This needs to take place before 10 AM on two separate days.

For women, researchers aren’t even sure how to define low testosterone.

Here’s the important bit — when we treat women, we’re mostly looking at their symptoms because the total testosterone numbers don’t tell us much.

Diagnosing deficiency and directing therapy by managing your calculated free testosterone levels is much more precise.

My point is this — though you can look at testosterone levels by age and try to see where you fall, it doesn’t really matter.

Age-related testosterone decline is not the same as low testosterone. People with “normal” total testosterone levels may still exhibit symptoms of low testosterone, and people with “low” levels may not have any symptoms.

Testosterone levels are nothing more than a marker—they tell us where to start.

It can be Misleading to Worry about Testosterone Levels by Age — Symptoms are What Really Matter

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is designed to bring your testosterone levels back to what is normal for your body.

It’s not a cure all, a fountain of youth, or a bastion against aging — TRT is a therapy designed to bring abnormally low levels of testosterone back to where they should be.

It’s normal to slow down a bit as you age—it’s normal to be less active at 60 than you were at 20. Testosterone replacement therapy isn’t going to give you your youth back.

However, it’s not normal to experience extreme fatigue, sexual dysfunction, depression, weight problems, or any of the other symptoms of low testosterone. Aging naturally is one thing—falling apart along the way is quite another.

Abnormally low testosterone also has a variety of causes in both men and women, many of which are rooted in illness or disease.

Aging is not one of these causes—while we can debate “normal” testosterone levels by age until the end of time, all that matters is this:

If you’re suffering, if you’re experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, then you need to find out where you stand.

Click here to learn more about the symptoms of low testosterone to see if it’s behind the way you’ve been feeling.

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LOW T RESOURCES

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(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

36 Comments

  1. Ali on 07/12/2016 at 10:12 am

    Im a male ,18 and my results came out 4.42 ng/mL, I know its “normal” but I want to be at least average or above it.
    Is this the average for an 18 years old?
    I’m concerned because my bone structure is thin and small.
    Like for example I have a lower than average head size, my rib cage circumference is 31-32″ , that’s like a women’s rib cage circumference.
    If you could reply I’d be thankful.

    • Augie Galindo on 07/13/2016 at 12:22 am

      Ali,

      I just don’t have enough information here to give an opinion, other than the fact that you need to have you provider evaluate your calculated free testosterone levels.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  2. Ken on 08/11/2016 at 9:20 am

    I’m 49 years old. My total testosterone is 311 ng/dl and my free testosterone is 6.84 ng/dl. While in the “normal” range, I have many of the symptoms of low t (weight gain, low libido, poor performance). My doctor says my levels are normal and does not want to prescribe hormone replacement therapy. My understanding is that while my levels are “normal,” they are more “normal” for someone in their 80s, not their late 40s. Am I off base here?

    • Augie Galindo on 08/22/2016 at 2:18 pm

      Ken,

      Depending on the method utilized (we rely on a calculated free testosterone), your free testosterone isn’t normal. Again, our reference ranges may vary, but your case certainly seems to warrant more attention and probable treatment.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  3. Sardar on 09/11/2016 at 2:33 am

    Hi I am 32 y/o, have healthy life style. Exercise 5 times a week, eat organic and home made and yet for the past one year I have NO sex drive. I used to be really horny and now I can live without sex for months.

    My Free and Total T-levels came as 102.9 pg/mL & 431 ng/dL . Are my t-levels really low and causing a low Sex drive or it is something else? Considering my life style, I think they should be around 800 ng/dL- i may be totally off though.

    Please respond.

    • Augie Galindo on 10/02/2016 at 3:07 pm

      Sardar,

      What matters most is your calculated free testosterone levels. Unfortunately, good behavior doesn’t always yield good hormonal health. With your symptoms, it’s worth digging deeper.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  4. Kevin M on 09/13/2016 at 3:49 pm

    Hello,

    I am 39 years old and have experienced several of the symptoms of low T. I am probably 40-50 lbs overweight for my build. Never any sexual side effects until the last couple of years. My recent blood test indicated that my testosterone is 339 ng/dl and free testosterone is 10.9 ng/dl. I think they said my B12 level was at 79.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    • Augie Galindo on 10/02/2016 at 3:10 pm

      Kevin,

      Most practices run a “direct free testosterone” or analog free testosterone test, and The Endocrine Society has deemed this test unfit for clinical use. You have a borderline total T, and I would be that upon repeat and evaluation of your calculated free T, you would see a low level.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  5. Richard Gray on 09/26/2016 at 7:12 pm

    Is it true that once you start hormone therapy, the body stops producing testosterone? If so, is it permanent?

    • Augie Galindo on 10/02/2016 at 3:46 pm

      Richard,

      Yes, natural testosterone production is suppressed while on TRT, but that production typically returns to baseline if therapy is halted.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  6. John on 09/29/2016 at 8:36 pm

    Is a person considered hypogonadal if their total testosterone is normal & their free testosteone is low? I thought hypogonadism had something to do with the pituitary or testes. Correct me if I’m wrong please currently try to get this treated thanks.

    • Augie Galindo on 10/02/2016 at 4:00 pm

      John,

      Both are correct. This is a bit over-simplified but testicular failure is considered primary hypogonadism, and hypothalamic/pituitary failure is secondary hypogonadism.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  7. JJ on 10/06/2016 at 7:32 pm

    I had testicular cancer at 21 resulting in the removal of one testicle. I am now 43 and over the past 3 years have experienced reduced sex drive – to the point where I have little or no interest – extreme fatigue, joint pain and have gained about 90 pounds in that time even though I became more active with a new position that I took at work. Initial work was done to check thyroid levels which all came back in “normal” range. I then asked my Dr. about checking for low T because of my medical history. First sample was taken about a month ago and the lab only provided total testosterone level which was 209. Last week I had a serum retest done with the following results:
    Testosterone, Total 280 ng/dL
    Testosterone, Free, Calculated 65.0 pg/mL
    Testosterone, % Free 2.3 %
    Testosterone, Bioavailable, Calculated 153 ng/dL
    Testosterone, % Bioavailable 54.5 %
    Sex Hormone Binding Globulin 24 nmol/L

    It seems to me that these results may look normal but I have a feeling this is what is causing my issues. Do you have any thoughts and suggestions on how I can address this with my doctor during my follow up? Thanks for the time and I look forward to your feedback.

    • Augie Galindo on 10/10/2016 at 3:18 pm

      JJ,

      The guidelines that we work from state that, for a symptomatic patient, two morning samples that have EITHER a total testosterone of less than 300 ng/dL OR a calculated free testosterone of 9 ng/dl (yours converts to 6.5), qualify a patient as a candidate for TRT. The guidelines from The Endocrine Society are somewhat incomplete, but they are a decent start.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

      • JJ on 10/10/2016 at 3:24 pm

        Augie,
        Thank you for your feedback. Is there anything else in those results that look concerning to you? I appreciate your feedback and just want to be as informed as possible before I see my family doctor on the 1st.

        JJ

  8. Tony gage on 10/12/2016 at 9:56 am

    Component Your Value Standard Range
    Albumin 4.9 g/dL 3.6 – 5.1 g/dL
    (NOTE)
    TOTAL TESTOSTERONE; Confirmed by repeat analysis.
    Testosterone, Total 73 ng/dL 250 – 1100 ng/dL
    Testosterone, Free 10.6 pg/mL 46.0 – 224.0 pg/mL
    Testosterone, Bioavailable 23.7 ng/dL 110.0 – 575.0 ng/dL
    Sex Hormone Binding Globulin 24 nmol/L 10 – 50 nmol/L
    Test performed at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute, Valencia, 27027 Tourney Road Valencia, CA 91355-5386
    This was my last T lab, my primary care physician does not seem too concerned with these labs, but they seem low to me. Additionally, I am experiencing very low energy and sex drive, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    Tony

    • Augie Galindo on 10/20/2016 at 2:23 pm

      Tony,

      The free testosterone level that was run, is invalid. Your diagnosis and treatment should be guided by your calculated free testosterone. The algorithm used for this shows your Calculated Free Testosterone to be 1.48 ng/dl (normal reference range is 9-30 ng/dl). This is obviously, extremely low. These results, plus consistent symptoms would definitely warrant treatment in my opinion.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  9. Retired Combat Vet on 11/17/2016 at 6:12 am

    I’m 48 with 26 years service wNavy/Marines very active physical/sexual until about 15yrs ago. Viagra sucks, headache congestion and though hard difficult and sometimes no ejaculate despite lengthy effort. This is my recent lab results Dr says normal don’t worry but after insistence on further consideration im being referred to a urologist?
    TESTOSTERONE TOTAL 211 ng/dL 240 – 950 ng/dL L
    TESTOSTERONE BIOAVAILABLE 70 ng/dL 61 – 213 ng/dL
    What do you think?

    • Augie Galindo on 11/22/2016 at 11:47 am

      Retired Combat Vet,

      These numbers are definitely not normal. I don’t find any real utility in measuring bioavailable testosterone levels, because I believe the logic behind it is simply flawed. You will get a much clearer picture by looking at your calculated free testosterone levels. That being said, your total already shows you to be definitively low.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  10. B on 11/18/2016 at 7:30 am

    Hello,
    I’m 29 years old and have been bodybuilding since age 18. I have used and abused my HPTA. I am 6’2″ 300lbs. I would always cycle on and off so I wouldn’t kill my natural production. Usually something like 16 weeks on, 8 weeks off, 16 on, 8 off etc. Recently the side effects from the drugs became too much for me; hair loss, weird lipids (from orals), high BP to name a few. 4 months ago I stopped everything. In the last year I haven’t ran any long esters that would still be hanging out in my system. The good news is I have lots of new hair and my BP is normal, lipids are improving. The bad news is my sex drive is in the gutter and I have no energy. With training and diet I am keeping lots of muscle, but I am softer overall and I am not gaining new muscle. Getting a bit chubby. I got my T levels tested a few days ago. Serum = 221 and Free = 11. I see my serum is low but my free is in the bottom on the normal range. Will these numbers continue to improve if I keep eating and training? I am gun shy of taking more synthetic hormones for the rest of my life. I am also not in a big hurry to talk to my normal doctor about this stuff because my situation is embarrassing and his grasp on these concepts seems a bit limited. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Bear

    • Augie Galindo on 11/22/2016 at 12:00 pm

      Bear,

      Unfortunately, it sounds like it is time to bite the bullet. Typically, 3-6 months out from any use of anabolics, your body should have rebounded back to it’s baseline. So, what you are seeing now could very well be your “normal” and it is likely to worsen over time. Find a provider who specializes in TRT, and get a firm diagnosis, done within the recommendations set out by The Endocrine Society.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  11. Frank on 01/10/2017 at 7:48 am

    Is a total T level of 430 normal for a 17 year old?

    • Augie Galindo on 01/10/2017 at 11:56 am

      Frank,

      It can be. What matters most are symptoms and your calculated free testosterone levels.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  12. Dan on 01/17/2017 at 9:06 am

    Just got results for total T level which is 440 I am 62 years old, want to ask doc for freeT test, is 440 on the low level of total T for my age Thanks

    • Augie Galindo on 01/18/2017 at 8:39 am

      Dan,

      It may or may not be. The deciding factors are your symptoms and your calculated free testosterone levels.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  13. Rob on 02/01/2017 at 7:28 am

    I’m a male 56. At age of 10 I had my right testicle removed because it was not developing normally. It had to be surgically descended into the scrotum at age 7 – probably left undescended too long.

    I seem to have all the signs of low T so my Dr. ordered a T level blood test.

    My results are Testosterone level of 13.7 nmol/L and free Testosterone of 264 pmol/L – seems to be a different test results than what I’ve seen on the web with ng/dl being the norm.

    My question is – would this test result indicate testosterone therapy be required?

    • Augie Galindo on 02/06/2017 at 6:54 pm

      Rob,

      The single test alone can’t render the necessary information. You should have at least two tests done in the morning and make sure that your calculated free testosterone is evaluated. That being said, you had the same test, but the units of measure just need conversion. First, you much convert pmol to nmol (divide by 1000), then use the link provided. You will see that your total testosterone is normal, but your more important free testosterone level is low.

      If I had two results like this on a new, symptomatic patient with no contraindications, I would recommend therapy.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  14. Manuel Garza on 03/08/2017 at 11:43 pm

    I’m a 42 yr old male. Sex drive has decreased in the pass 6 months. If I am not up and doing something I just want to sleep. I no longer wake up with erections. I now have to workout every day or I lose muscle tone. My first test result was just total which was 411 ng/dl. The second test was total 417 ng/dl, free 6.6 ng/dl, and sex hormone binding globulin 49.7 nmol/L. My doctor tells me everything is normal. What do you think.

    • Augie Galindo on 03/30/2017 at 5:30 pm

      Mr. Garza,

      The criteria for diagnosis of hypogonadism starts with certain symptomatology which you definitely are exhibiting. In addition, two morning tests (performed before 10:00 AM) that show a total T of less than 300 ng/dl OR a calculated free T of less than 9 ng/dl, confirm the presence of clinically significant testosterone deficiency. Based on the information you provided, it looks like you have one set that meets criteria and that a second free testosterone should be assessed.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  15. Michael on 04/29/2017 at 2:58 pm

    Augie,

    I’m a 29 year old male and had a test come back with total testosterone at 535 ng/dl and 8.4 ng/dl free testosterone.

    I’m about 24% bodyfat. If i cut down the bodyfat to sub 15%, could i get my free T back up in the normal range naturally? Or what is your advice?

    Thanks,

    Mike

    • Augie Galindo on 05/12/2017 at 5:22 pm

      Michael,

      That is really difficult to say and it has a lot to do with HOW you cut the weight. Generally speaking, less body fat means less aromatization, and thereby less estradiol, but there are just too many moving parts to hazard a worthwhile guess.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  16. Saravanan on 05/08/2017 at 12:55 pm

    Hello sir,
    Iam 27 years old,Just i would like to clarify some information regarding serum testosterone.I have done blood check up with doctor’s advice.The normal range for male(adult) serum testosterone is 2.5 to 9.5.ng/ml..but iam having below the normal level ie.)2.0ng/ml in 2016,previous year 2.2ng/ml in 2015… i can’t go for the doctor to cure this due to some financial crisis..but after 2 year i may…is possible to get improve after 2 years otherwise i need to take immediate steps… what can i do sir…i don’t no where to ask the solution for it…please give some suggestion sir..
    Thanking you..

    • Augie Galindo on 05/12/2017 at 5:20 pm

      Saravanan,

      You are on the right track, it sounds like it is time to seek out a specialist, close to you, that can evaluate your candidacy for treatment. Certainly, your first steps should be to attempt to improve your levels naturally, but I have not found this to be satisfactory fix.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  17. saravanan on 05/13/2017 at 11:38 am

    Hello sir,
    This is saravanan
    First of all thank you so much for your kind replay…in your replay you told me that to increase the level naturally what can i do sir? sir i have already informed you that,iam having the serum testosterone below normal level…ie)2.0 ng/ml and iam having one small doubt sir,ie) if serum testosterone is low it leads to have sexual tempering problem ie)(tempering for some time,after that getting sexual feeling undesire,then gets tempering,,)…bcoz iam having this problem also sir… so iam asking sir..plese don’t mistake me .. but now i can’t go anywhere due to exam preparation and also having some financial problems..but after 2 year i can go for treatment..it’s ok sir after 2 years for treatment otherwise i have to take the step immediately…please give me some suggestion sir..iam waiting for your replay…
    Thanking you
    saravanan

  18. vijay on 09/04/2017 at 9:55 am

    T – 212 age 35
    what effect ( for a friend )

    • Augie Galindo on 09/12/2017 at 11:11 am

      Vijay,

      It is difficult to say without more information, but I would expect issues with fatigue, decreased libido, difficulty maintaining sleep, trouble concentrating, and/or difficulty losing weight.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

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