What Are Normal Testosterone Levels for Men and Women Throughout Life?
Testosterone Levels are dependent upon a variety of diverse factors. Most logically, Testosterone is dependent upon gender, but it is also contingent on age, health, lifestyle, and genetics. Males almost always have more Testosterone than women unless influenced by external factors such as Hormone Therapy or Hormone Suppression.
Testosterone belongs to a collection of critical hormones known as Androgens. Androgen is the catch-all term for sex hormones that are associated with male function and form. Although Androgens are expressed in higher concentrations in men, women also produce Androgens like Testosterone, though in much lower levels.
The opposite is also true. Men need Estradiol and other Estrogens for normal function but produce far less of the feminine Hormones. The majority of Testosterone produced by a woman's body is transformed into Estradiol. While the Adrenal glands produce small amounts of Testosterone for both men and women, the testes and ovaries are responsible for the majority of Testosterone secretion.
What Does Testosterone Do for Men?
Testosterone is central to the development of primary and secondary sex characteristic in men. It's responsible for the formation of the sex organs during fetal development and is responsible for spurring the maturation of the sex organs during puberty. Testosterone also plays an essential role in libido, metabolism, strength, energy level support, and reproduction.
What Does Testosterone Do for Women?
For women, Testosterone encourages fertility and facilitates libido while also promoting the creation of red blood cells and maintaining Hormone Homeostasis. Both sexes report issues with fertility and sex drive associated with Low Testosterone Levels.
What Are Healthy Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone is incredibly important, and the body thrives when Testosterone Levels are in the healthy range. While it is possible for men and women to have naturally high Testosterone Production, Low-T is the far more prevalent condition, and most people have Testosterone circulating within the healthy range, though men and women are more prone to issues related to diminishing Testosterone as they age. Testosterone is calculated using nanograms per deciliter by most physicians. Testosterone Levels are assessed via blood sample.
Abnormally Low Testosterone Levels during gestation can interfere with male fetal development. Suppressed Testosterone Levels during adolescence can delay or slow pubertal development. High Testosterone in boys can trigger early puberty.
Normal Testosterone Levels by Age
Early Development In Boys In Girls
0-5 Months Years 75-400 ng/dl 20-80 ng/dl
6 Months-9 Years Less than 20 ng/dl Less than 20 ng/dl
10-11 Years Less than 130 ng/dl Less than 44 ng/dl
During Puberty In Boys In Girls
12-13 Years Less than 800 ng/dl Less than 75 ng/dl
14 Years Less than 1200 ng/dl Less than 75 ng/dl
15-16Years 100-1200 ng/dl Less than 75 ng/dl
During Adulthood In Men In Women
17-18 Years 300-1200 ng/dl 20-75 ng/dl
19+ Years 240-950 ng/dl 8-60 ng/dl
Tanner Scale for Measuring Adolescent Development
While the guidelines above are generally correct, many physicians choose to evaluate Testosterone Levels in children and adolescents according to visual phase of development. In order to do this, doctors refer to a clinical schema known as the Tanner Scale. This scale is useful because children reach puberty and mature at different rates.
Stage I on the Tanner Scale is associated with the period before puberty, and Stage II is reached when visible signs of puberty first appear. The following provides information regarding the Testosterone Levels related to Tanner Stage in both boys and girls:
Tanner Stage In Boys In Girls
Stage I Less than 20 ng/dl Less than 20 ng/dl
Stage II 8-66 ng/dl Less than 47 ng/dl
Stage III 26-800 ng/dl 17-75 ng/dl
Stage IV 85-1,200 ng/dl 20-75 ng/dl
Stage V 300-950 ng/dl 12-60 ng/dl
What Are the Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency in Men?
Low Sex Drive
Thin, Easily Damaged Skin
Issues with Concentration and Memory
Thinning Hair on Head, Face, and Body
Depression and Anxiety
What Are the Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency in Women?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Testosterone Levels
One of the most common reasons for excessive Testosterone in women is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Women struggling with PCOS experience elevated Testosterone Levels, which can lead to issues such as the development of facial and body hair, acne, oily skin, and absent or irregular periods.
Steroid Use and Testosterone Levels
Steroids are anabolic organic compounds which share similarities with Testosterone. Steroids are commonly used to increase body mass and build muscle. They are often utilized illicitly by men and women looking to bulk up. Steroid use and abuse can have a dramatic effect on natural Testosterone Production.
When guys abuse steroids, it can cause Testosterone Levels to drop precipitously, leading to low libido, temporary infertility, increased body/facial hair, acne, and testicular shrinkage.
In women, Steroid abuse can disrupt fertility and period timing while also causing baldness, acne, unfortunate hair growth, and deepening of the voice.
Testing for Testosterone-Related Issues in Men and Women
If an individual believes that they are having issues related to Low-T or Elevated Testosterone Levels, they should strongly consider reaching out to a doctor or Hormone Specialist for evaluation.
When evaluating for Testosterone Abnormalities, it is common for physicians to follow some general guidelines. For example, opiates have a dramatic effect upon the body's ability to produce Testosterone, so they will likely ask about prior opiate use along with the use of steroids. Men will often be measured for waist circumference, BMI, prostate/testicle size, and evaluated for signs of baldness. Women will be assessed for symptoms of masculation and also for acne and menstrual function.
How Are Testosterone Levels Tested?
Free and Total Testosterone Levels are evaluated using a blood test. To provide the most accurate results, Serum Testosterone is best tested during the morning hours, which gives the doctor the best idea regarding your peak Testosterone Production. The established Low-T Threshold for men varies depending upon the source, but most medical professionals consider Testosterone Deficiency to be associated with Testosterone Production lower than 230-350 ng/dl. Healthy women should have Testosterone Levels registering at 15-75 ng/dl.