What is a Normal Testosterone Level?
Dear Dr. Motola,** Four years ago I had surgery for a left inguinal hernia, which unfortunately resulted in uncorrected internal post-op bleeding causing ischemia and subsequent atrophy to the left testicle. Until recently, I’ve never had my testosterone level checked against the reference range. I am 83 years old and in very good health. I am told the normal reference range is 200 to 900, hence my question … is 259 good or bad and is it dependent upon both testes functioning? My PSA level averages 3.5 and DRE tests are always normal. I have BPH. I am sexually active but not as frequently as in the past.**
Testosterone levels start to fall after age 40. Symptoms associated with decreased levels include memory loss, mood changes, depression, increased fat mass, loss of muscle mass, and a decrease in sexual function. These symptoms are also associated with the aging process. Many times patients may experience some of these symptoms, however it may not be associated with a decrease in the serum testosterone level.
The level of your testosterone is normal, and replacement therapy is unlikely to be of any benefit. The difficulties that you are experiencing with the atrophic left testicle is not related to your overall testosterone level as the overall production of this hormone is controlled by the pituitary gland.
Jay Motola, MD, is a board-certified urologist and attending physician, Department of Urology, Mount Sinai West, and Assistant Professor of Urology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Motola is a summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Boston University, and earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.