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Low Testosterone

FACT: Your testosterone levels will decline as you age. Focus on a healthy testosterone level for your age!

Testosterone levels decline with age. Healthy testosterone levels are key


Testosterone levels decrease naturally in men from around 30 years of age. They max during puberty.

That does NOT mean because you are older, you will automatically have low testosterone. Ideally you should have a healthy testosterone level for your age.

So, when is a lower testosterone level, low testosterone or low T?

Measuring testosterone

Testosterone measurement is generally the amount of total testosterone in the blood, measured as either:

  • ng/dl – nanograms per decilitre
  • nmol/l* – nanomoles per litre

*To convert: 1 nmol/litre = 28.85 ng/dl

Find out more about how to get your testosterone levels tested here.

The great testosterone decline

Yes, as you age, your natural levels of testosterone will decrease.

It is a fact of life, getting older, wiser and more mature. In fact, you could say becoming an Old Bull!

On top of that, lifestyle factors will also drive your levels down if not carefully managed and mitigated.

Age and lifestyle factors

Normal levels

Normal levels can be different by individual, based on size, weight, muscle mass, lifestyle and disease. What is considered normal is generally a wide range and what is considered low can be controversial.

But men today have less testosterone on average than the same age a generation ago. According to Forbes and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, a 2007 study found substantial drop in US men since 1980's:

a 60yo in 2004 has 17% less testosterone than a 60yo in 1987.

Another Danish study found Danish men have less testosterone than their fathers. The study included 5,000 men:

Men born in the 1960's have 14% lower testosterone than those born in the 1920's.

So, testosterone levels are declining due to age and also due to complex social, environmental, weight and behavioural factors. On average our testosterone declines 1.6%pa.

It is estimated around 39% of men over 45yo have low testosterone, defined as less than 300ng/dl.

Free testosterone, or un-bound testosterone which is what is biologically active can decrease at a higher rate of 2-3%pa.

Less manual labour jobs, more exposure to toxins, warmer environments, and even tighter underwear amongst other things all contribute. We are also undergoing social transformation, and at times conflict around the need and the role of masculinity.

Positive or negative, it is impacting on men's testosterone levels, and they are only going one way. 

Downward arrow

What is low testosterone?

Low testosterone levels or testosterone deficiency. Also known as TDS (Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome) or Low-T (Low Testosterone). Deficiency is defined as "a lack or shortage" and low defined as "less than average", "a low level" or "below average".

Basically, you have insufficient testosterone for your bodily processes to operate healthily or optimally for your age and size etc.

Low testosterone levels

That depends on where you live, and in ng/dl of serum testosterone, the following are guidelines:

  • USA - 200ng/dl
  • UK - 345ng/dl
  • EU - 345 ng/dl
  • AU - 230 to 346ng/dl is considered borderline low.

Male menopause?

Not likely. This is on average a gradual age-related decline in T levels. Unlike women who experience a rapid drop in their key hormone oestrogen when they start menopause.

Not technically male menopause, as that would suggest you may not have enough testosterone, which is incorrect if you are a healthy male with a healthy level even if it has declined over time.

What to do?

If you think you may have the symptoms of low testosterone, speak to a qualified medical professional or your doctor who can prescribe a blood test as the first step to formal diagnosis.

You could also order a saliva test online to start the process, do a more informal diagnosis before seeing your doctor, or merely to manage your understanding or interest in testosterone levels.

Want to know more. Check out our podcast mini-series here on testosterone, the benefits, how to boost it and supplements.


Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing testosterone related symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional.

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