When Should a Man Check His Testosterone Levels — And When Shouldn’t He Bother?

Posted on June 11, 2024 by root

Testosterone is a vital hormone in men, playing a key role in muscle mass, bone density, mood, and libido. As men age, testosterone levels naturally decline, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every man needs to get his levels checked regularly. In this post, we will explore when you should consider getting your testosterone levels checked and when it might not be necessary.

Should You Get Checked?

Age and Routine Health Monitoring

  • Men Over 40: It can be beneficial for men over 40 to discuss testosterone testing with their healthcare provider during routine health check-ups. This is particularly important if they have risk factors or symptoms associated with low testosterone.

Risk Factors and Health Conditions

  • Chronic Conditions: Conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome are linked with lower testosterone levels. If you have any of these conditions, it’s wise to monitor your testosterone as part of your overall health management.
  • Medications and Treatments: Some treatments, such as corticosteroids and chemotherapy, can lower testosterone levels. If you are undergoing such treatments, regular testing may be necessary.

Lifestyle Factors

  • Significant Lifestyle Changes: Major weight loss, starting an intense exercise program, or experiencing high levels of stress can all impact testosterone levels. Monitoring your levels during these times can help you understand how your body is responding and allow for necessary adjustments.

What If You’re Experiencing Symptoms?

Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone

  • Fatigue: Persistent tiredness or lack of energy.
  • Reduced Libido: Decreased interest in sexual activity.
  • Erectile Dysfunction: Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.
  • Mood Changes: Increased irritability, depression, or anxiety.
  • Muscle Loss: Noticeable decrease in muscle mass and strength.
  • Weight Gain: Unexplained increase in body fat, especially around the abdomen.
  • Bone Density Loss: Higher risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Cognitive Decline: Memory problems and difficulty concentrating.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms without a clear cause, it may be time to have your testosterone levels checked. These symptoms can significantly impact your quality of life and addressing them early can lead to better health outcomes.

When You Shouldn’t Bother

Asymptomatic and Young Men

  • Young and Healthy Men: If you are young, healthy, and not experiencing any symptoms, routine testosterone testing is generally unnecessary. Natural variations in testosterone levels do occur, and without symptoms, testing may not provide meaningful information.

One-Off Symptoms

  • Transient Symptoms: If you occasionally feel tired or have a low libido, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have low testosterone. Factors like stress, poor sleep, or temporary illnesses can cause such symptoms. Consider monitoring your symptoms over time before jumping to conclusions.

Misinterpretation and Overemphasis

  • Misleading Results: Testosterone levels can fluctuate throughout the day and be influenced by various factors. A single test might not provide an accurate picture. Relying too much on one test result without considering clinical symptoms can lead to unnecessary worry or treatment.


Checking your testosterone levels can be an important aspect of managing your health, especially if you are over 40, have risk factors, or are experiencing significant symptoms. However, it’s equally important not to overemphasize the need for testing if you are young, healthy, and asymptomatic. Always discuss with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your individual situation.

If you have concerns about your testosterone levels or are experiencing symptoms, consult your healthcare provider. They can help you decide if testing is necessary and guide you through the process to ensure you get the care you need.

Posted on behalf of Justin Houman MD

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