What Are Normal Testosterone Levels By Age?
Our bodies go through a natural cycle throughout our lives. We are born, grow into our young selves, and then mature. It is a complex process that spans decades of accumulated experiences and recycled energy. However, our body learns to adapt pretty quickly. Depending on the life stage it is going through, it develops accordingly. It starts as small, then expands as the years go by, then approaches the phase of complete development.
This gradual process of growth and development follows us through life’s stages. In that sense, our hormones also go through these transitions with us. One hormone that leaves its mark most visibly is the sex hormone testosterone.
Testosterone helps the body morph into the form that defines each life stage: pre-teenage years, teenage years, young adulthood, and adulthood. This hormone’s quantity and activity depend on many factors, with age playing an essential role.
In men, testosterone fulfills a variety of functions in the body. Almost all of these roles are related to the development and maintenance of the male body. This hormone is one of the main factors contributing to a boy’s growth into a young man and then a fully matured man.
Testosterone Levels By Age: A Breakdown
The testosterone levels chart is one of the best ways to grasp the standard T levels for each main age group. The quantity of testosterone levels by age, understandably, varies from person to person. The metrics used in quantifying how much T is in one’s body are in units of nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), which will be a recurrent notation in the following passages.
1. Pre-Teen Testosterone Levels
Even babies have testosterone levels, but those levels are very little, almost inconsequential, and they stay almost dormant until the age of nine or ten. Before this period, the body measures less than 3–10 ng/dL for both boys and girls.
However, surges in testosterone production can already be seen in boys around the age of ten to twelve. The brain of the pre-pubescent child starts to activate, and the click triggers the slow preparation for the emergence of the hormones, which will help the boy transition into their teenage years. The slow upcoming of T levels can be seen in the subtle increase of 7 to 44 ng/dL counts in the boy’s body.
2. Teenage Testosterone Levels
Beginning with adolescence, boys will see some of their first spurts of higher testosterone production. This signals the start of a long maturing process that will prepare them for adulthood.
This age group is estimated to be between eleven and nineteen years old (even though the lines can get a bit blurry after sixteen/seventeen, when some can enter the “young adult” stage).
This is a very difficult and complex period because it defines the fundamental basis for transitioning from childhood to adulthood. The early signs are the voice changes, the shoulders broadening, the facial structure developing more angles, and overall more “masculine” defining features.
The late stage of the teenage years, around eighteen to nineteen, is when the testosterone levels are at their peak. For example, if a ten to eleven year old boy has a 1–48 ng/dL quantity of testosterone, that count swiftly jumps in the first phase of puberty (at eleven to thirteen years old) with a 5–619 ng/dL value.
But the defining comparison can be made at fourteen to fifteen years when the testosterone levels see an impressive increase to 100–320 ng/dL. By that time, the signs of puberty had already been settled in. In addition, the boy’s body is halfway through its transition into adulthood. Finally, the value is maximized at sixteen-seventeen to reach 200–970 ng/dL.
3. Young Adult Testosterone Levels
Young adulthood is generally defined as eighteen/nineteen to twenty-five years old. Of course, the numbers may vary depending on the statistics you follow. But, in general, this is the standard framework most often used in describing this bridge period between adolescence and adulthood.
From a psychological point of view, this is a period focused on adjustment and inner growth. The testosterone levels are beginning to stabilize and settle for a constant value, around 350–1080 ng/dL to 400–1080 ng/dL. The body continues to develop but much slower than during puberty.
As such, testosterone is no longer required to be as active or to cover as much terrain as it did in earlier stages. Instead, it can “act” more directly and focus on other aspects, like muscle mass and libido. Furthermore, it is understood that the young adult is not yet a fully matured male, but neither is he going through puberty anymore. So, the corresponding testosterone levels showcase this intermediate phase, in which the body is just getting acquainted with its new fully-fledged form.
4. Adult Testosterone Levels
The adulthood period may be stable from an objective point of view, but this is the stage at which most men see an unusual drop in their testosterone levels. The sudden imbalance of hormones may be caused by external factors (stress is most often the main one) but also internal triggers, which may directly result from a hectic lifestyle, including, but not limited to:
- An unhealthy diet
- Little to no exercise
- Sleepless nights
- Various health problems
- Mental health issues
The standard measurements of testosterone levels, at the earliest stage of this period, have a big range. It has been stated that between twenty to thirty-nine years old, the T value should be between 400–1080 ng/dL. Afterward, 350–890 ng/dL testosterone levels are “normal” from forty to fifty-nine years old. Finally, when men cross the sixty years old threshold, the value is expected to waver at around 350–720 ng/dL. These are very big ranges and don’t adequately represent what is optimal for each individual though.
The latest generation of men has seen a constant decrease in their testosterone levels, lower than the previously researched standards. The decline in testosterone levels is most obvious in young adult men (because at that stage, they should have their testosterone peak) and most persistent and prevalent in adulthood. So if you are confronted with a drop in your testosterone levels, know that you are far from alone. At this point, it has become a global societal problem.
This decline seems to correlate with men’s health and behavioral changes, rather than aging. Studies suggest that smoking, obesity, and depression might have more to do with testosterone levels than age. However, the issue is still under scrutiny, as definitive causal factors have not yet been found.
The Importance of Testosterone in Your Body
As we have seen so far, testosterone levels by age differ depending on the stage of development you find yourself in. The body of a pre-teenager will sustain a different testosterone level than an adult’s. This hormone is activated with different tasks, depending on its age group. For example, in the case of teenagers, their testosterone levels see an almost 30-fold increase in testosterone production.
The sudden intake of such a large quantity of testosterone leads to the manifestation of teenage-specific behaviors: bursts of aggression, an interest in high-risk activities, and depression. However, in a fully formed adult, testosterone is no longer involved in such an active manner because the development process is slowed down.
Overall, testosterone is recognized as the hormone that fulfills some vital functions: sexual drive, increase in strength, defining muscular mass, bone mass, fat distribution, and sperm production. As a result, this sex hormone is often associated with men and masculinity and is also found in higher proportions.
What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone levels can vary greatly from person to person. So, you have to be careful using a test range to dictate what is best for you. One easy way to guide yourself after is to take a look at how you have been feeling lately for the past week. If some of the most known symptoms of low T levels are familiar to you, it may be wise to consider testing yourself for a testosterone imbalance.
Often enough, the symptoms of low testosterone are:
- Feeling more sad than usual
- An increase in moodiness and irritability
- A sizable loss of muscular strength
- An observable difficulty in concentration
- A lower sex drive than usual
All of these symptoms are pretty noticeable, not only for the person going through them but also for the people around them. Therefore, taking quick action is recommended as soon as you start to feel less than optimal. Do not let these symptoms fester to the point of taking control of your life.
The Easiest Way to Measure the Levels of Testosterone in Your Body
If you are unsure of the testosterone levels and other important biomarkers in your body, you can measure them. Such information is beyond valuable to your development as a healthy man. But how do you get access to such data? The answer is quite self-explanatory: by testing your hormone levels.
At-Home Test Kit
The at-home test kit is a relatively new way to test your sex hormones to see if your testosterone levels are where they should be. For sure, this is the right option for those people that are extremely busy and put a high price on their privacy and time. With this option, you can find your T levels by yourself in the comfort of your own home without being disturbed by anyone else.
The at-home kit will be delivered to you via mail in the shortest amount of time possible. After you complete the test at your own pace, you will be able to access the included offer of a telemed consultation. In that conversation, you will find out the results and have the opportunity to ask further questions. A men’s health expert practitioner will be able to answer any of your questions. You will get answers personalized to your particular case, complete with recommendations regarding the requirements you need to meet and checks you must go through in the future.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned in this post, testosterone levels by age vastly differ from one age group to the other. Therefore, you must be attentive to the testosterone levels chart to compare your count with the appropriate number. Once again, take a testosterone test to determine if your T levels meet the standard requirements. It can be very easy and quick. It is a fast process that assures you of what is happening inside your body. Do not let yourself to the whim of chance.
Testosterone is a very important part of your organism. Finally, that type of hormone arrives to decide if you are thriving or struggling in your body. Do not hesitate to take control of the reins today, and do not let a pesky hormone dictate your life’s journey. Take a testosterone test as soon as possible and see if your T levels meet the standard counts.