Almost every man will experience difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection at some point in their life.
According to the UNC School of Medicine, erectile dysfunction will affect about half of all men over 40.
Having issues every once in a while is normal, but you may have ED when it becomes a persistent problem.
Testosterone plays a critical role in many aspects of your sexual desire and function, including your general level of interest in sex.
Testosterone definitely plays a role in your sexual function, but many men with low levels of testosterone (also referred to as low-T or hypogonadism) can get erections just fine.
But, many men with healthy testosterone levels find it hard to get and maintain an erection during sex.
So, is there a link between low testosterone levels and ED?
We’ll take a look at this in the article below.
The sex hormone testosterone is the primary male sex hormone.
The production of testosterone occurs in the testes.
Testosterone plays a crucial role in many functions in your body, including everything from developing your musculoskeletal system to secondary sex characteristics such as body hair and facial hair.
Testosterone is also responsible for many aspects of your cognitive function.
A man’s normal range of testosterone levels is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 and 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L).
Testosterone levels typically decline with age.
Peak testosterone levels are often achieved in your 30s.
After your 30s, the amount of testosterone produced by your testicles gradually declines to a lower level.
If your testosterone levels are deficient relative to your age, you may be diagnosed with low testosterone or low-T.
Low testosterone affects men in all age groups, but it’s most common in middle-aged and older men.
Approximately 40% of men over 45 and 50% of men in their 80s are hypogonadal.
That means they aren’t producing enough testosterone to place them in the normal reference range.
Low testosterone isn’t so common in younger men.
It’s estimated that only around 1% of young men are affected by low testosterone, but reliable data isn’t very easy to come by.
Low testosterone can develop for various reasons, ranging from medical issues to lifestyle factors.
Things like aging and obesity, testicular damage, autoimmune disease, infections and metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar, and fat around the waist are common causes of low testosterone.
Low-T has also been thought to cause some medical conditions, like heart disease.
How Testosterone Impacts Sexual Health
If you have low T, you may experience side effects that impact your happiness in the bedroom.
Low-T causes low libido, which is having little to no interest in having sex.
Low energy levels caused by low testosterone levels make it hard to maintain an active sex life.
Mood changes caused by low T can also affect your overall well-being.
Irritability and depression can lead to strained relationships, impacting intimacy with your partner.
Weight gain, which is often a consequence of lower testosterone levels, can cause some men to feel self-conscious.
When men are embarrassed or self-conscious about their looks, they may not want to partake in sexual activity.
Low testosterone may also impact erectile function directly or indirectly.
Erectile dysfunction is a complex condition, so it’s hard to say definitively if there is a direct link between testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction.
What’s Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.
About one in 10 men will suffer from ED at some point during their lifetime.
In most cases, ED is a symptom of another potentially serious underlying condition.
ED isn’t normal at any age and should always be taken seriously.
ED may be associated with other issues that interfere with sexual intercourse, like a lack of desire and problems with orgasm and ejaculation.
Does Low T Cause ED?
Testosterone plays a role in your sexual function, but the idea that it’s a common cause of erectile dysfunction may not be accurate.
Hormones like testosterone are vital for healthy sexual desire.
But erectile dysfunction is primarily a vascular issue, not a hormonal one.
Erections develop due to factors like sexual stimulation and the effects of blood flow to the penis.
When you’re sexually aroused, the nerves in your brain and around your penis relax the muscles that control blood flow into your penis.
As blood flows into the penis, a fibrous membrane called the tunica albuginea contracts and seals the blood inside your penis, resulting in an erection.
Testosterone levels may affect sexual arousal, which might be linked to ED if you feel little or no desire for sex.
But testosterone levels don’t appear to be responsible for changes in blood flow to your penis.
Researchers still don’t fully understand the relationship between testosterone and erectile dysfunction.
However, they generally agree that you don’t need normal testosterone levels to get or keep an erection during sex.
They also believe that higher testosterone levels don’t appear to lead to stronger, more frequent, or more reliable erections.
Low Testosterone Treatment
If your testosterone level is less than 300 ng/dL, testosterone replacement therapy or supplemental testosterone may be recommended.
Treatment typically consists of different formulations of testosterone.
These include topical gels or patches, intramuscular injection, nasal gels, and long-acting testosterone pellet implants.
There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment to increase testosterone production. Some men may respond well to testosterone injections, while other men may do better with testosterone gels.
Testosterone hormone replacement therapy for an older man can help him reclaim his energy and libido.
Follow-up and monitoring of a patient on testosterone therapy are essential to ensure they are getting the benefits of testosterone therapy.
Be sure to keep up with your doctor and note any changes in your symptoms.
Awareness about low testosterone has grown among the general public, partly due to more stories and reports in the media about it. Hormone therapy is becoming more accepted and more men are beginning to discuss their treatment for age-related low testosterone.
Sometimes men request testosterone therapy if they have certain symptoms even without being tested.
However, doing this may not be safe, and can cause other issues like a high count of red blood cells, and an increased risk of prostate issues.
Your testosterone levels should always be tested before testosterone replacement therapy is given.
Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone likely isn’t to blame for ED in most men, but it can still cause various symptoms.
These symptoms can negatively impact your sexual health and general quality of life.
Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Reduced sex drive
- Loss of body hair
- Reduced beard growth
- Increase in belly fat
- Increase in overall body fat
- Reduced bone strength
- Reduced sperm count
- Loss of muscle mass and physical strength
- Changes in mood, such as symptoms of depression
- Difficulty focusing, remembering things
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you should check your testosterone levels for a potential deficiency.
Advice for Men With Erectile Dysfunction and Low Testosterone
Trying to have sex with erectile dysfunction can cause physical and emotional challenges.
Fortunately, erectile dysfunction related to low testosterone is highly treatable and can be remedied with lifestyle changes and medical treatments.
Researchers have explored the influence of testosterone replacement therapy on erectile dysfunction.
They’ve found that many men with low testosterone can benefit from testosterone therapy that positively influences erectile function.
Sometimes testosterone replacement alone will have a beneficial influence on erectile function.
However, severe cases of ED will likely require a combination of testosterone replacement therapy and medication for positive outcomes.
Making specific lifestyle changes can also aid in your fight against erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.
Strength training exercises and a healthy diet will often improve these issues.
Visit Choice Men’s Health Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Today!
ED Clinics specialize in diagnosing and treating erectile dysfunction.
Many can also treat other sexual health issues you may be dealing with, like low testosterone.
Choice Men’s Health offers numerous treatment strategies to help men with low testosterone levels reconnect with their partner.
We offer one on one appointments that are discrete and completely confidential.
Our treatments have high success rates and can help you get a piece of your life back that you thought you may have lost.
If you have questions about erectile dysfunction or low testosterone, Choice Men’s Health is the best erectile dysfunction clinic in Atlanta that has been helping men have great sex again.
We have same-day appointments and guaranteed results on the first visit. Call our Atlanta, Ga, Men’s Health Clinic (404) 400-3717, or fill out a form here if you are experiencing low testosterone symptoms.