Measuring Normal Testosterone Levels in Men

The range of normal testosterone levels in men can vary widely, and generally depends on such factors as; your doctor's interpretation of low testosterone symptoms and/or the lab used to examine your blood.

Additionally with age, your androgen levels may change, necessitating the need for testosterone replacement therapy to help maintain health.

This can be caused by; altered hormone profiles from common medications, general increases in stress, or other disease factors typically associated with hypogonadism.

Healthy Testosterone Levels and Quality of Life

Typically during youth (ages 14-20), free testosterone levels are at their highest.

However as men age, androgen levels generally diminish with time, resulting in less vigor, weakness, and impaired health profiles.

While testosterone's effects on strength and muscle mass are commonly known, awareness of it's impact on cardiovascular risk, depression, and impotence is unfortunately almost non-existant in most healthcare settings.

Unit Conversion Calculator

Total Testosterone (x 0.0347) Free Testosterone (x 10, 0.0347, 34.7)
ng/dl ng/dl
nmol/L pg/ml
nmol/L
pmol/L

Normal Testosterone Levels in Men by Age (Healthy)

Vermeulen, A. (1996). Declining Androgens with Age: An Overview. In Vermeulen, A. & Oddens, & B. J. (Eds.), Androgens and the Aging Male (pp. 3-14). New York: Parthenon Publishing.
Measurements in SI Units (nmol/L)
Age Number
of
Subjects
Total
Test
Stand.
Dev.
Free
Test
Stand.
Dev.
SHBG Stand.
Dev.
25-34
45
21.38
5.90
0.428
0.098
35.5
8.8
35-44
22
23.14
7.36
0.356
0.043
40.1
7.9
45-54
23
21.02
7.37
0.314
0.075
44.6
8.2
55-64
43
19.49
6.75
0.288
0.073
45.5
8.8
65-74
47
18.15
6.83
0.239
0.078
48.7
14.2
75-84
48
16.32
5.85
0.207
0.081
51.0
22.7
85-100
21
13.05
4.63
0.186
0.080
65.9
22.8

Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl), SHBG in (nmol/L)
Age Number
of
Subjects
Total
Test
Stand.
Dev.
Free
Test
Stand.
Dev.
SHBG Stand.
Dev.
25-34
45
617
170
12.3
2.8
35.5
8.8
35-44
22
668
212
10.3
1.2
40.1
7.9
45-54
23
606
213
9.1
2.2
44.6
8.2
55-64
43
562
195
8.3
2.1
45.5
8.8
65-74
47
524
197
6.9
2.3
48.7
14.2
75-84
48
471
169
6.0
2.3
51.0
22.7
85-100
21
376
134
5.4
2.3
65.9
22.8

Average Testosterone Levels by Age (Healthy Non-Diabetic Males)

Simon, D., Nahoul, K., & Charles M.A. (1996). Sex Hormones, Aging, Ethnicity and Insulin Sensivity in Men: An Overview of the TELECOM Study. In Vermeulen, A. & Oddens, and B. J. (Eds.), Androgens and the Aging Male (pp. 85-102). New York: Parthenon Publishing.
Measurements in SI Units (nmol/L)
Age Number
of
Subjects
Mean
Total
Test
Stand.
Dev.
Median
Total
Test
5th % 10th % 95th %
<25
125
23.97
5.48
24.15
14.15
16.22
33.12
25-29
354
23.18
7.14
22.08
13.46
15.18
34.84
30-34
330
21.53
6.72
20.70
12.07
13.46
33.81
35-39
212
20.70
6.55
19.66
11.39
13.46
32.77
40-44
148
20.70
6.87
20.70
11.04
13.11
32.43
45-49
154
18.91
5.66
18.28
11.39
12.42
29.32
50-54
164
18.87
6.49
17.94
10.01
12.07
32.43
55-59
155
19.14
6.04
18.97
11.04
11.73
30.01

Measurements in Conventional Units (ng/dl)
Age Number
of
Subjects
Mean
Total
Test
Stand.
Dev.
Median
Total
Test
5th % 10th % 95th %
<25
125
692
158
697
408
468
956
25-29
354
669
206
637
388
438
1005
30-34
330
621
194
597
348
388
975
35-39
212
597
189
567
329
388
945
40-44
148
597
198
597
319
378
936
45-49
154
546
163
527
329
358
846
50-54
164
544
187
518
289
348
936
55-59
155
552
174
547
319
338
866

Average Testosterone Range for Men

Your normal testosterone range may change, depending on the lab your blood work is processed. For statistical purposes, typical male testosterone levels range between 250ng/dl to 850 ng/dl.

But... this is not necessarily a healthy range! Reference ranges aren't typically set by what is healthy and what is not. They are set by where 95% of the population lies.

Do you honestly believe 95% of the population is healthy? Unfortunately many doctors fall prey to this line of thinking.

Male Testosterone Levels by Age in an Unhealthy Population

These ranges aren't set for men interested in living a virile, energetic, ambitious quality of life. They are a cross section of men aged 20 to 100... many of them are sick and diseased.

Often I hear from men discussing their doctor's refusal of treatment, due to testosterone readings of ~275 ng/dl, and being told they're "within range".

If this sounds familiar, you have a couple of options. You can print off the above chart (with the supporting journal reference) and bluntly tell your doctor you have the testosterone level of an average 90 year old, and hope he/she may come around.

What are Normal Testosterone Levels in Men? Look at Symptoms!

Better yet... you may be better off detailing your low testosterone symptoms in men such as; loss of sex drive and concentration, depression, fatigue, etc...

Sometimes you may have to pull the heart strings a little. Tell him your work performance/income is suffering and you're worried about getting fired, or your wife/girlfriend is talking about leaving you due to motivation and/or libido problems.

This may sound manipulative, but sometimes with doctors desperation can get you places. Most will feel sorry for you, and rightfully so!

Doctor Shopping to Increase Free Testosterone Levels

Doctors will usually come around once you explain the seriousness of your case. And if they don't... shop around.

Life extension clinics are much more likely to shoot towards the top of the reference range for serum testosterone levels. They're generally a more enlightened bunch that get what quality of life is about, and what's needed to get there.

Osteopaths I would consider second best for the administration of proper testosterone treatment, with urologists and endocrinologists third, behind your general practitioner (family doctor).

But sometimes it's a crapshoot... you get lucky, or have to go through some trial and error.

Do I Fall Within the Normal Testosterone Range?

A reader asks...

I had my testosterone tested and the doctor says my serum level is 390 ng/dl, which he advises is within range. I had a look at your charts and it says my testosterone levels appear normal for an 85 to 100 year old???

I am 48 years old and have type 2 diabetes, if that makes a difference. Therefore, the question I'm asking is: Are my T levels normal for a 48 year old male?

Response,

What your doctor is referencing is the range (95% of the population) for a human male (aged 20-100). Everyone gets the same range, regardless of their age. So yes, you fit within that wide range.

However, research shows you have the free testosterone levels of an average 85 to 100 year old man, or otherwise interpreted; close to the bottom 10% of men aged 45-49. Meaning 90% of the men your age have higher testosterone levels!

According to the above charts, the average man aged 45-54 has testosterone levels around 606 ng/dl. So as you can see, 390 ng/dl is well under the mark.

With feedback from of a large cross section of men I've heard from over the years, most feel best with testosterone levels close to the average 25 year old, which is approximately 692 ng/dl.

This is what's considered, by some more forward thinking doctors, as "optimal" for physical, mental, and emotional health.

Hope that helps,

Brian

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