Doctors also determined his testicular volume was very low, as were his testosterone levels. The cutoff for low T varies among labs, but anything below 300 nanograms per decilitre (ng/dL) is generally considered diagnostic for low testosterone. This guy’s measured just 55.99 ng/dL.
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Other lab work revealed low levels of other reproductive hormones, like luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone, too. An interview with the man uncovered that he wasn’t ejaculating, and was experiencing fewer morning erections.
The diagnosis? A relatively uncommon disorder called idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism—where the testes don’t produce enough male sex hormones. They determined he had the idiopathic kind, meaning there were no structural or functional abnormalities in his pituitary gland or hypothalamus responsible for it.
Low testosterone can cause low sex drive, weak or fewer erections, increase in body fat, lower energy, reduction in muscle mass, depression, and fatigue.
The doctors suggested testosterone injections to get his levels up to normal. After nine months of testosterone therapy, his testicular volume doubled in size, his testosterone levels normalised, and his penis grew to the mean size for adults his age. (According to that 2015 study, the average stretched size is 5.2 inches.) He was able to discontinue therapy.
If you have signs of low testosterone, talk to your doctor about getting your levels checked. If they are low, you might be a candidate for testosterone therapy—and you should notice your symptoms improve. But it’s important to note, if your levels aren’t clinically low, it’s unlikely that upping your T will help.
This article originally appeared on Menshealth.com.