Know Your Numbers

There is so much confusion around what a “testosterone level” should be. One medical professional might tell you that the value ranges mean nothing. They’ll say, “Let’s treat the symptoms and see how you feel.”  Another might say, “The methods each lab uses are different.” Yet another doctor might say, “You’re in the ‘normal’ range but our goal is to take you to your ‘optimal’ range. (This is risky.)

The medical profession is in a state of creative destruction, from the Affordable Healthcare controversy to the actual practice of medicine, resulting in physicians and entrepreneurs “going rogue.” There are times when medical professionals are influenced by Big Pharma and not given sufficient data.  There are also instances, however, where they are driven by pure economic greed. Either way the end result is the same – patients are getting treated beyond the norm.  I am not a physician so I really cannot speak to their motives, or to their moral or ethical boundaries. Instead, I will focus on how we, in this country, have freedom of choice when it comes to which treatment, if any, we want. To that end, then, we need to become more educated in order to make the best decisions possible regarding our own healthcare. It is in our best interest to know our own personal numbers because the controversy surrounding testosterone levels for both men and women have been left almost to guesswork in many cases. We must also learn to trust our body’s internal wisdom. It will tell us much. Intuitive wisdom is vital. Hear it and honor it. The dangerous result of our inattention to what our bodies are telling us may well lead to overdosing. Why? Because testosterone overdosing is fast becoming common. Don’t become one of the statistics. I leave you with this one piece of advice: Beware.

Now, you middle age men, don’t go getting all excited thinking you’re level should be 1000!  I suggest you check out Dr. Harry Fisch and his website.  He is a leader in men’s health and his website is worth bookmarking!

The following is offered by Mayo Clinic: (ng/dL means nanograms per deciliter.)

According to the Mayo Clinic, testosterone levels are at their highest during adolescence and early adulthood (Mayo Clinic, 2012). The first physical signs of testosterone, or androgens, in the body are apparent during puberty. A boy’s voice changes, his shoulders broaden, and his facial structure becomes more masculine. But as men get older, their testosterone levels decline about one percent a year after age 30.

Male Female
Age: T Level (ng/dL): Age: T Level (ng/dL):
0-5 months 75-400 0-5 months 20-80
6 mos.-9 yrs. <7-20 6 mos.-9 yrs. <7-20
10-11 yrs. <7-130 10-11 yrs. <7-44
12-13 yrs. <7-800 12-16 yrs. <7-75
14 yrs. <7-1,200 17-18 yrs. 20-75
15-16 yrs. 100-1,200 19+ yrs. 8-60
17-18 yrs. 300-1,200
19+ yrs. 240-950
Avg. Adult Male 270-1,070 Avg. Adult Female 15-70
30+ yrs. -1% per year  


Males: 9-30 ng/dL

Females: 0.3-1.9 ng/dL 

Reference values have not been established for patients that are less than 16 years of age.



Males                                                                          Females (non-oophoretomized)

< or =19 years: not established                      < or =19 years: not established

20-29 years: 83-257 ng/dL                              20-50 years (on oral estrogen): 0.8=4.0 ng/dL

30-39 years: 72-235 ng/dl                               20-50 years (not on oral estrogen) 0.8-10 ng/dL

40-49 years: 61-213 ng/dL                              > 50 years: not established

50-59 years: 50-190 ng/dL

60-69 years: 40-168 ng/dL

> or =70 years: not established

 We have had many conversations with  men and women recently, one noted that after visiting her hormone clinic, the doctor said her testosterone level was 15 and they would like to see her level get to 150. None of the levels from Mayo Clinic, Kaiser, or the National Institute of Health have ever had a female reference range at 150ng/dL.  Beware. Remember, they are in the business of selling hormones.

If you are currently taking testosterone replacement, pay attention to how you’re feeling. If you start to lose your hair, get acne, irritable, intense and increased sexual thoughts you might be overdosing. Take responsibility and seek out a second opinion from a medical professional who doesn’t’ have a vested interest in keeping the testosterone gravy train going. Find a neutral party like a therapist or other medical professional who understands the consequences of using testosterone.