Just like low testosterone, high testosterone levels can also affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
However, compared to low testosterone, high testosterone is relatively uncommon among men.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Adrenal or testicle tumors, and anabolic steroids use can cause high levels of testosterone in men.
An elevated level of testosterone can lead to mood swings, sleep problems, lower sperm count, and more.
Here’s everything you need to know about high testosterone in men, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
High testosterone levels in men
Testosterone is an androgen or sex hormone naturally found in both men and women.
Normal testosterone levels can improve mood and muscle mass and boost your libido.
However, persistently high levels of testosterone can affect your overall health.
Testosterone levels vary with age and are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
Testosterone peaks in your late teenage years and early twenties, with healthy levels ranging from 300 to 1,200 ng/dL.
It begins to fall at a rate of around 1% each year about the time you reach your mid-thirties.
Ninety-five percent of apparently healthy men in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s are expected to have total testosterone in the (2.5-97.5th percentile) range.
If your testosterone level falls to 200 ng/dL or lower, you will begin to experience low testosterone symptoms.
These include decreased muscular mass, poor sperm count, and low libido or sex drive.
It may also impair your capacity to obtain erections, which is known as Erectile Dysfunction.
On the other hand, testosterone levels in males are considered high if they exceed 1,200 ng/dL.
A rise in testosterone over “normal” has its own set of causes and symptoms, which we will discuss further.
Signs of high testosterone in a man
For men, having too much naturally occurring testosterone is not usually a concern.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to identify the symptoms of high testosterone levels in a man.
This is because, at times, signs that appear to be related to the condition could be an indication of another health issue, such as an adrenal or testicular tumor.
However, you should be aware of some signs associated with high testosterone levels.
- Enlargement of prostate
- Mood changes
- Aggressive attitude
- Unexplained weight gain
- Excessive hair growth or body hair
- Issues with sleep, such as sleep apnea
- Elevated blood pressure
Side effects of high testosterone in males
High testosterone levels in men can also lead to much serious health complications such as infertility and heart problems.
High testosterone levels can decrease the sperm count, thus making you infertile.
The elevated levels of testosterone in the blood reduce sperm production by lowering levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone required for sperm development.
According to a study published by the BMJ Today, men who are taking endogenous testosterone may experience serious cardiac issues, including blood clots and heart failure.
The study further indicates a direct relationship between high testosterone levels and heart attack.
Causes of high testosterone levels in men
High testosterone levels don’t occur naturally.
Following can be the causes of high testosterone in men:
• TRT, or Testosterone Replacement Therapy
• Making use of anabolic steroids
• Tumors of the testicles or adrenals
Additionally, certain men may inherit elevated testosterone levels from their ancestors.
TRT, or Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT is one of the temporary causes of higher testosterone levels in men.
If you use topical TRT , it may unnecessarily increase your testosterone levels.
If you don’t thoroughly wash your hands after using it, you carry the risk of transferring more testosterone gel to your skin than is recommended.
Usage of anabolic steroids
The use of anabolic steroids can often result in unusually increased testosterone levels.
Men use androgenic/anabolic steroids to increase their athletic performance and build up their muscles.
The amount of testosterone in these steroids is around 10 to 30 times more than that of a dose of TRT.
A journal published by NIH states that former anabolic steroid abusers experience lower testosterone levels after quitting the intake of these steroids.
Tumors of the testicles or adrenals
Testosterone levels may also rise due to testicular or adrenal tumors.
However, this is a rare scenario.
In fact, two in a million people are at risk of having an adrenal gland tumor that produces sex hormones.
Although these tumors aren’t necessarily cancerous but in some cases, they may produce excess testosterone.
Diagnosing and treating high testosterone in males
Doctors usually carry out physical examinations to rule out the underlying cause of the condition.
However, they may also suggest blood tests to measure the testosterone levels of the patient.
A blood test is usually done in the morning when the testosterone levels are highest.
If you are detected with abnormally high levels of testosterone, your doctor will prescribe you the most effective treatment option based on the underlying cause and your symptoms.
Some possible ways to get your testosterone back to normal include adjusting TRT, treating underlying health issues, and quitting anabolic steroids.
TRT adjustment: If you are taking TRT for low testosterone levels and your hormone levels become too high, your healthcare practitioner will adjust your dose.
This will aid in returning your blood levels to a normal range.
Treating underlying health issues: If a testicular tumor is causing your testosterone levels to increase or is otherwise affecting your hormone levels, treating it may restore your testosterone levels to normal.
Your doctor might recommend surgery to get the tumor removed.
If the tumor is cancerous, your doctor can advise you on the best course of action.
Quitting anabolic steroids: You might show signs of high testosterone if you use anabolic steroids for muscle build-up.
This may lead to a rise in your testosterone levels.
Since anabolic steroids include risks and potential side effects, it is better to let your healthcare professional know before considering them.
Elevated testosterone levels in men can lead to some physical and psychological symptoms.
These include acne, excessive hair growth, mood swings, aggression, and sleep problems.
In severe cases, it may also lead to infertility and heart problems.
Anabolic steroid use, testicle or adrenal tumors, and Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can cause a rise in testosterone levels in men.
Hence, diagnosing and treating high testosterone levels on time is crucial.
Consult your doctor if you notice signs of high testosterone.
They can work with you to determine the cause of elevated testosterone levels and devise an effective treatment plan to get them back to normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if testosterone is high in males?
Males may experience emotional, physical, and mental changes due to high testosterone levels.
These include acne, weight gain, mood changes, low sperm count, prostate enlargement, and excessive body hair growth.
How to treat high testosterone in males?
In males, high testosterone levels can be treated by avoiding the intake of anabolic steroids, adjusting Testosterone Replacement Therapy, and treating underlying health issues.
What causes high testosterone in men?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy, anabolic steroids use, and tumors in the testis or adrenal gland can cause elevation in testosterone levels in men.
What are the normal testosterone levels in a man?
Normal levels of testosterone in males are 300 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
In females, 15 to 70 ng/dL or 0.5 to 2.4 nmol/L is considered a healthy testosterone level.
Does masturbation lower testosterone levels?
No. Masturbation and ejaculation have been found to have no long-term or negative impact on testosterone levels.