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Normal Testosterone Levels In Men And Women By Age

It’s important to maintain healthy levels of testosterone in women and men to avoid suffering from the complications of hormone imbalance.

RELATED: What Are The Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance?

In this article:

  1. What Is Testosterone?
  2. What Are Healthy Testosterone Levels by Age?
  3. What Are Healthy Testosterone Levels in Each Tanner Stage?
  4. When Do You Have a Testosterone Imbalance?
  5. What Causes High Testosterone in Women and Men?
  6. What Happens When Men and Women Have Low Testosterone Levels?
  7. How Do You Diagnose a Testosterone Imbalance?

Testosterone in Women and Men: Everything You Need to Know

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone for men, but women have it too.

In men, testosterone is mainly produced in the testes. It helps regulate the following functions:

  • Development of secondary sex characteristics
  • Creation of sperm
  • Strengthening of bones
  • Muscle mass maintenance
  • Sex drive

In women, testosterone is mainly produced in the ovaries. While men generally have higher levels of testosterone, it still plays an essential role in the following functions in women:

  • Creation of new blood cells
  • Promotion of sex drive
  • Regulation of other hormones, including reproductive hormones

In women, most testosterone is converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen. It’s important to maintain healthy levels of testosterone to avoid disrupting these important functions.

What Are Healthy Testosterone Levels by Age?

Testosterone levels can vary throughout an individual’s life. One’s age, sex, and overall health play a role in testosterone levels.

Here are the normal testosterone levels for women across their lifespan:

  • 0-5 months old: between 20-80 ng/dl
  • 6-9 years old: below 7-20 ng/dl
  • 10-11 years old: below 7-44 ng/dl
  • 12-16 years old: below 7-75 ng/dl
  • 17-18 years old: between 20-75 ng/dl
  • 19 years old and older: between 8-60 ng/dl

Here are the healthy testosterone levels for men across their lifespan:

  • 0-5 months old: between 75-400 ng/dl
  • 6-9 years old: below 7-20 ng/dl
  • 10-11 years old: below 7-130 ng/dl
  • 12-13 years old: below 7-800 ng/dl
  • 14 years old: below 7-1,200 ng/dl
  • 15-16 years old: between 100-1,200 ng/dl
  • 17-18 years old: between 300-1,200 ng/dl
  • 19 years old and older: between 240-950 ng/dl

What Are Healthy Testosterone Levels in Each Tanner Stage?

Puberty is an especially tricky period to determine healthy testosterone levels. Hormones play a large role in regulating the development of secondary sexual characteristics which emerge during this stage.

This becomes problematic because individuals reach puberty at different ages. So during this period of transition, age may not be the best basis for determining healthy testosterone levels.

This is why some doctors refer to the Tanner Staging instead of age to determine healthy levels of testosterone in young men and women. The Tanner Staging breaks down the development of secondary sex characteristics in 5 stages.

For women, the Tanner Staging is based on the development of their breasts. Here are the healthy testosterone levels according to Tanner Staging in women:

  • First Stage – below 7-20 ng/dl
  • Second Stage – below 7-47 ng/dl
  • Third Stage – between 17-75 ng/dl
  • Fourth Stage – between 20-75 ng/dl
  • Fifth Stage – between 12-60 ng/dl

Among men, the Tanner Staging is based on the development of their testicles and penis. Here are the healthy testosterone levels in men:

  • First Stage – below 7-20 ng/dl
  • Second Stage – between 8-66 ng/dl
  • Third Stage – between 26-800 ng/dl
  • Fourth Stage – between 85-1,200 ng/dl
  • Fifth Stage – between 300-950 ng/dl

When Do You Have a Testosterone Imbalance?

A testosterone imbalance occurs when there are large and long-term deviations from the above-mentioned healthy levels.

For both men and women, testosterone levels naturally decline as they age. Men usually experience gradual age-related changes in hormone levels.

On the other hand, women can expect to experience more dramatic hormonal changes —especially when they go through menopause.

RELATED: What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are High?

What Causes High Testosterone in Women and Men?

High testosterone levels in men aren’t very common. In fact, male children with elevated testosterone are usually entering a growth spurt or starting puberty a little bit earlier.

On a different note, abusing steroids can cause high levels of testosterone in women and men. Apart from that, it also causes the following symptoms:

  • A deeper voice in females
  • Irregular periods in females
  • Fertility issues in females
  • Jumpstart of male pattern baldness
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Oilier skin

For women, polycystic ovary symptoms (PCOS) increases testosterone levels. Women with PCOS produce too many androgen or male hormones which leads to the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Missing periods
  • Increase in acne
  • Oilier skin
  • Excessive hair growth on the chest, back, and face
  • Hair loss
  • Malfunctioning ovaries

PCOS may also lead to fertility issues and pregnancy complications.

What Happens When Men and Women Have Low Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone deficiency can have the following effects on women:

  • Missing menstrual periods
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Decrease in libido
  • A decrease in vaginal lubrication
  • Weaker bones
  • Fertility issues

Low levels of testosterone in men may lead to the following symptoms:

  • Facial and body hair loss
  • A decrease in muscle tone
  • Moodiness
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • More fragile or thinner skin

Testosterone deficiency is also problematic for women who are pregnant with boys. A male fetus needs healthy levels of testosterone as they develop in the womb.

How Do You Diagnose a Testosterone Imbalance?

Diagnosis for testosterone imbalance usually involves the following:

  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Total testosterone level test

Tip: Testosterone levels can vary throughout the day. It’s best to have your blood test during the morning when testosterone levels are usually at their peak.

Testosterone imbalance can have an impact on your appearance, daily functioning, sex life, and even fertility. So if you think you have a testosterone imbalance, it’s important to seek treatment to regain your health and well-being.

An integrative health specialist can help you discover the underlying causes of the imbalance. They can also offer corresponding treatment options, so contact one today!

Do any of these testosterone imbalance symptoms seem familiar to you? Let’s talk about health in the comments below!

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