Sex hormones, primarily testosterone in men and estrogen in women, degenerate as we age. The body’s capacity to efficiently produce these hormones declines progressively as we get older. Unfortunately, for men, the process tends to happen at a much younger age.
Clinical evidence suggests:
- Testosterone levels start to decline at age 30 for men (compared to 40-45 for women).
- 30% of men aged 60 or older suffer from low testosterone.
- By age 75, the average male has lost 30% of the testosterone he had at 25.
- The prevalence of low testosterone continues to increase with age.
Hormonal deterioration is more severe in men than women too. The resulting hormonal disparity can increase the likelihood of several sexual health issues, among other health problems. Our Sex Expert breaks it down below.
Sex Hormone Changes By Gender & What It Means for You
It may not be surprising to learn that men’s and women’s brains work differently regarding sex.
You know how they say, “men think about sex all the time”? Well, according to recent research there’s undoubtedly some biological truth to that.
Aging Neutralizes Sex Differences in the Brain: Animal Study
A recent animal study from Linköping University in Sweden determined that as fruit flies age, their brains become desexualized. Researchers noted that this desexualization was significantly more severe in male subjects than in female subjects.1
This is true because in fruit flies, like humans, males commit far more biological resources to reproduction than females. And as the years go by, the body naturally becomes “weaker,” as researchers in the above study put it. In this context, “weaker” means less efficient in all capacities.
Fun Fact: Fruit flies (Drosophila) are often used in neurological studies to study the far more complex human brain. That’s because they share about 75% of our known disease genes.1
While this isn’t the only study on age-related sex hormone decline, it definitely reveals a lot about the comparison between the male and female brain.
What Do These Studies Mean for You?
In nature, males must compete with scores of other males to be chosen as a suitable mate by a female. Females, on the other hand, tend to have packs of sexual suitors. Therefore, men must expend far more energy to ensure reproductive success than women.
Aging, in humans and animals alike, naturally means having fewer available biological resources, including sex hormones. Our bodies then use our limited resources mainly for bodily processes vital to survival, with less being committed to ensuring sexual and reproductive health.
This disproportionately affects men because men require a higher percentage of available biological resources to be used to improve the chance of reproducing. With age, the body must make sacrifices, and sexual function is one that affects us all.
So, what’s that mean for you between the sheets?
For many guys, it could just mean less interest in sex. However, there are several other issues related to declining sex hormone levels.
These problems include:
- Erectile Health Issues
- Lessened Sexual Pleasure
- Lowered Sexual Stamina
- Reduced Lean Muscle Mass
- Increased Belly Fat
- Diminished Energy Levels
- Cognitive Decline
If you’re over 30 and suffering from one or more of these, it’s likely a result of age-related hormonal decline. If not, issues like these may arise if nothing is done to prevent hormonal degradation.
Average Sex Hormone Levels in Men by Age
As our bodies become “weaker” with age, we become highly susceptible to hormonal decline.
According to a recent study, men will experience a 1-2% decline in testosterone levels per year after age 30.2 But that’s not all.
Check out some of the latest stats according to research:
- Puberty in boys can start at ages 9-14 and generally lasts 3-4 years.
- Testosterone levels peak around age 18-19.
- Men start to notice diminished testosterone levels starting around age 25-30.
- Many men will have what are considered low testosterone levels by age 60.
These numbers are representative of healthy men. For those suffering from chronic diseases, the decline in sex hormones can be even more severe.
What’s Considered Low Testosterone
Free testosterone levels in the blood are measured in nanograms per deciliter, or ng/dL for short.
A healthy male should have testosterone levels of at least 300 ng/dL. Any lower would be considered clinically low testosterone.
Healthy men can have testosterone levels as high as 1,000 ng/dL.
If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, there are various at-home kits you can use to test.
At-Home Testosterone Kits At a Glance
Many reliable at-home kits are available to self-test your testosterone levels. Some test kits require a saliva sample, while others need blood. A few expensive but comprehensive kits require both.
There are 3 types of kits to test your testosterone levels at home.
|Type 1: Saliva Test||Type 2: Blood Test||Type 3: Saliva & Blood Test|
|At-Home Test Mailed to 3rd Party Lab|
Results in 2-5 Days
Not as Accurate as Blood Test
Digital Breakdown of Results
|At-Home Test Mailed to 3rd Party Lab|
Results in 2-5 Days
More Accurate than Saliva Tests
Not Ideal for Those Weary of Pricking Themselves
More Expensive than Saliva Test
|Tests Multiple Hormones|
Not Necessary for the Average Guy
Results Provided Digitally in 2-5 Days
Complex for At-Home Test
Most Expensive Option
We’ll break it down in more detail below.
Type 1: Saliva Test
A quick Google search will yield several at-home saliva tests made to measure your testosterone levels.
Saliva tests generally require you to spit into a tube provided by the manufacturer, which you then seal in a bag. After closing your bag, you must mail it to a predetermined testing lab.
In most cases, you can receive results in 2-5 days. And in today’s day and age, results should be available digitally. The best test kits will even provide a doctor’s breakdown of your results.
Saliva tests are generally less accurate than blood tests. However, they’re also usually cheaper and less painful.
Type 2: Blood Test
Many large e-commerce platforms offer at-home blood tests for testosterone levels these days.
Blood tests will require you to prick your finger with a needle provided in the test kit. You’ll have to put a drop or two of blood into a tube, also given by the manufacturer.
Like a saliva test, you’ll have to send the tube to a lab provided by the test-kit maker. Then you’ll wait 2-5 days, with most kits, to get results.
Results are usually provided digitally. Like the saliva test, a good company will offer a full breakdown from a medical professional.
Blood tests are more accurate than saliva tests. Accordingly, they’re also more expensive and may not work for those weary of blood or sharp objects.
Type 3: Saliva & Blood Test
Recently, some test kits have begun to require both a blood and saliva sample.
Often, these tests will be the most accurate. And they may test for a wide range of hormones as well as peripheral health parameters.
In many cases, these tests may not be necessary. A simple blood test will provide accurate testosterone measures, and a saliva test will give reasonably accurate calculations.
However, if you’re looking for the most comprehensive breakdown of overall hormone levels, a saliva & blood test is ideal.
These test kits are significantly more expensive than most.
Will Correcting Hormonal Imbalances Make Your Sex Life More Active?
In short, yes, absolutely!
By correcting hormonal imbalances, you will make your sex life more active. On top of that, proper hormone levels will significantly improve your overall quality of life.
Healthy testosterone levels in older men mean:
- Higher Sex Drive
- Improved Erectile Health
- Increased Pleasure From Sex
- Enhanced Bedroom Stamina
Popular culture often promotes the hormonal reduction experienced by women, known as menopause. However, little attention is given to the age-related degradation of male sex hormones. Most guys aren’t aware of how severely hormonal decline can diminish their sex life.
But the numbers don’t lie. Loads of men are living every day with diminished testosterone levels. And their quality of life is suffering.
Be sure to get your hormonal levels in check before it’s too late. That way, you can enjoy the sweetest gifts that life has to offer for years to come.