DEAR MAYO CLINIC:
I am a 52-year-old man. I recently had blood work done that showed my testosterone levels are slightly low, falling just below the “normal” range. Should I talk to my doctor about getting treatment even if I don’t have any symptoms? What are the side effects of prescription testosterone?
A mildly low level of testosterone alone, without any signs or symptoms, typically does not require treatment. But it would be a good idea for you to talk with your doctor in more detail about this test result. In some cases, low testosterone may be a sign of an underlying medical concern, or it could be a side effect from medication.
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testicles. Testosterone helps maintain men’s bone density, fat distribution, muscle strength and mass, red blood cell production, sex drive and sperm production. The normal range for testosterone is wide, and men’s testosterone levels usually change throughout their lives.