What is Hypogonadism, or Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone which plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testes and prostate and promotes secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle, larger bone mass and growth of body hair. The average male produces roughly 10 times more testosterone than females.

Low testosterone, also known as low T or hypogonadism, affects an estimated 13 million men in the United States, based on studies of population samples, although it is difficult to determine the exact number. These same studies reported that 66 percent of men presented with one or more symptoms, including a decrease in libido or erectile dysfunction, poor energy and concentration, decreased muscle mass and increased irritability or moodiness.

Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone include:

  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Change in mental acuity or cognitive function
  • Irritability or mood change


General health and medical disorders can also affect testosterone levels, including obesity, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, chronic pain and chronic use of pain medications. One study found low testosterone levels in 33 percent of male diabetics. Likewise, some men may experience symptoms commonly associated with low testosterone that are due to other medical conditions and not low testosterone.

Low testosterone can have a negative effect on your sexual health. If you are experiencing any or all of these common symptoms of low T, contact Dr. Fenig for a comprehensive evaluation and to discuss treatment options that are right for you.