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Newborns Have the Testosterone Level of Adult Males — Is This Normal?

Tests show newborns have just as much testosterone level as the average adult!

Of the many hormones present in the body, testosterone is probably the most important to men. When most people hear the word, the first thing they think is sex and virility. While this is not entirely wrong, this hormone is responsible for a lot more functions.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males. It is also present in women albeit to a much lesser degree. The hormone is responsible for the development of male reproductive tissues — the testes or prostrate for example. It is also responsible for the development of secondary sexual characteristics like dense bones, hair growth on the body, deep voice etc.

In essence, testosterone is the hormone that masculinizes humans. Like all hormones, the level of testosterone present in the body varies with age. Testosterone, however, is not so linear in its progression. The testosterone first peaks, sharply drops, and then repeats the cycle again.

With the explanation of testosterone, one might reason that the hormone is only present in adults. But tests have shown that the hormone level in a male infant is just as high as that of an average 25-year old man.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that babies are born with the full attributes of a grown man. So, don’t worry. A couple of months after birth, the testosterone level drops drastically. The level largely stays same as the baby grows into an adolescent. As he continues his growth from adolescence to puberty, the level progresses steadily until it peaks in adulthood. From there, he starts yet another decline — only this time, less drastic than the first.

What role does the testosterone play to an infant?

The effect of testosterone in an infant is unclear since there are no noticeable bodily changes. However, there are theories that it is responsible for masculinizing the brain and shaping interests in gendered activities.

What are the average testosterone levels for babies and adults?

Testosterone levels are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl).

For babies within their first 5 months, normal levels range from 75 – 400 (ng/dl). From that point up until adolescence, the figure falls into the 7 – 130 (ng/dl) range. For adults, the level ranges between 240 – 950 (ng/dl). After age 30, the level of testosterone starts to drop 3-10% every decade.

For women, the highest level of testosterone is 80 ng/dl and they attain this

What are the symptoms of low testosterone levels?

In men, a low testosterone level manifests in many ways. One of the most known symptoms is reduced sex drive. Others include shrinking of bone mass/frailty, loss of body or facial hair, and a weak memory. It should be noted though that low testosterone level is usually not responsible for erectile dysfunction as popularly peddled.

Is there such a thing as having abnormally high testosterone levels?

Yes, this is possible. Although having excess testosterone in the body is rare and dangerous.

To maintain a healthy testosterone level, one must live healthy. That’s a no brainer. So enjoy a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and rest well.

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