In a society where talking about healthy and functional sex life is a taboo, any mention of sexual dysfunction is a double whammy. Results? Rising number of unhappy, depressed individuals and couples! Whether to join this cortège or prioritise health and happiness - is a choice, solely individual.

At Misters we have made a conscious choice to call a spade a spade. In keeping with this spirit we will today tell you if low levels of testosterone, lead to erectile dysfunction.

Well it does and does not. Here is why –

Testosterone as a sex hormone excites penile tissues making them generate nitric oxide, which initiates a plethora of reactions leading to erection. According to the American Urology Association testosterone level is considered low if it is less than 300 nanograms (ng) of the hormone per deciliter (dl) of blood.

Low levels of testosterone have numerous symptoms which can be physical as well as emotional. However, since this hormone is associated with sex and arousal, the most evident symptom of its shortage is low sex drive and ED. Many think low testosterone is the only reason for ED and a treatment in that vein will solve the issue. It is not so.  Erectile dysfunction can result from much more complicated issues like hypertension, high level of cholesterol and hardening of the arteries which constrict blood vessels and diminish blood flow to the penis.

With a host causes, it is not easy to determine association of low testosterone with ED. A smart way to figure out is to see if the other symptoms of low testosterone like worrying, bad temper, difficulty in concentrating and depression are also there.

Also, if the affliction persists for more than three months, seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner. A thorough evaluation of your ED is critical to conclude if it has sprung from underlying chronic diseases, psychological issues like nervousness or performance anxiety, or particularly due to testosterone levels. Normally blood tests are done in the morning when testosterone levels are highest to check levels.

If ED is from low testosterone, it is very much treatable and is often done by means of certain lifestyle changes and medical treatments like testosterone replacement therapy. While for some testosterone replacement is enough, those with more complicated conditions need a two-pronged approach with testosterone replacement therapy and medication.

Few things to keep in mind before going for testosterone treatment -

·        The treatment normally does not improve erections in cases where ED is the only symptom of low testosterone.

·        Testosterone replacement therapy can cause fluid retention, acne, enlarged prostate and breasts, lower fertility, rise in RBC, sleep apnea.

·        Anyone touching the skin where testosterone gel has been applied can get the gel transferred in them through contact.

·        Food and Drug Administration warns of increased cardiovascular risk

·        It is very costly and cost you hundreds of dollars per month.

·        The therapy must be continued indefinitely for effect.

A reminder!

Facing problems with erection sporadically is a common phenomenon. Only if you are having constant difficulties in getting or sustaining an erection necessary for sexual intercourse, you might have ED.

Be smart in making life’s choices!