Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Low Testosterone can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.
Testosterone is the primary male hormone in the body. There are many possible causes of Low Testosterone. When the Testosterone is low, a person can also have problem getting an erection.
Read on to learn more.
Testosterone is the hormone in the body that is responsible for all male characteristics. It is produced by the testis.
ED stands for Erectile Dysfunction. It is a medical condition where a man’s erection is unsatisfactory. It ranges from mild ED (able to achieve erection but not full hardness) to severe ED (unable to achieve erection for penetration).
This is different from Premature Ejaculation which is when you have no problems getting hard but ejaculate much faster than you would like to.
How does Testosterone affect ED?
Testosterone is responsible for many sexual characteristic like sexual desire (libido) and erection. A low Testosterone level may lead to ED.
However, many other diseases such as Obesity, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can also cause ED.
How do I know if a low Testosterone Level is causing my ED?
See your Doctor for a Testosterone Test. If your Testosterone is low, it is very likely one of the factors causing your ED.
You may also want to do this AMS (Aging Male Symptoms) Questionnaire. A score of more than 37 means you likely suffer from low Testosterone.
What are the treatments available?
There are several methods to treat low Testosterone including pills, gels and injections.
Can Testosterone Treatment be taken together with PDE5 Inhibitors?
Yes. In fact, these 2 treatments are synergistic and work very well together.
Aside from working very well together to give a strong and hard erection, Testosterone and PDE5 Inhibitors have also been shown to have many holistic health benefits. These include increase in general wellbeing, concentration and energy levels. As well as making the inner lining of your blood vessels more healthy.
Testosterone Treatment. Testosterone Replacement.
What is Testosterone Treatment?
Testosterone Treatment is the replacement of Testosterone into the body.
Who needs Testosterone Treatment?
The majority of people who require Testosterone Treatment are those who suffer from Andropause.
There are also rare diseases that children do not produce Testosterone and require Testosterone Treatment for normal development.
What are the different types of Testosterone Treatment available?
There are currently 3 popular ways of Testosterone Treatment.
Testosterone Gels are painless and easy to use. It is applied twice a day onto the shoulders or thighs. After application you must not bathe or swim for 6 hours to give the gel time to absorb. You must also be careful not to transfer any of this gel onto a female person.
Testosterone pills are taken 2 to 3 times a day. They should be taken with food, preferably slightly greasy food. This is because Testosterone is soluble only in oil. Taking Testosterone pills on an empty stomach might reduce the absorption by up to 50%.
Testosterone injections are very convenient. The latest preparations require only 1 injection every approximately 3 months. The absorption into the body is very constant and there is no need for you to do anything in between the injections.
Are there any side effects of Testosterone Treatment?
Testosterone should NOT be given to someone with Prostate Cancer. Your Doctor will do an examination and blood test for you to rule out Prostate Cancer before giving you Testosterone.
However, Testosterone DOES NOT cause or increase the risk of Prostate Cancer in normal men. In fact, Testosterone treatment has been shown to reduce the level of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) which is a marker for Prostate Cancer.
Testosterone might also increase the number of red blood cells in your body. This does not cause any problems unless the increase is tremendous. You Doctor will monitor you red cell count with a blood test.
What are the benefits of Testosterone Treatment?
Testosterone Treatment has many benefits. It increases overall wellbeing, energy levels and concentration levels. It increases libido and helps in erectile function. It helps with weight loss, increase in bone strength and increase in muscle mass. It also helps prevent lifestyle diseases such as High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and Diabetes.
What can I expect if I decide to undergo Testosterone Treatment?
Once your Doctor has done the necessary tests and decided that you require Testosterone Treatment, he will discuss with you which method is best for you.
Testosterone Pills and Gels are prescribed for you to use by yourself at home. Make sure you follow your Doctor’s advice carefully.
Testosterone Injections are administered by a trained medical professional.
The 3 monthly Testosterone Injections are given into the Gluteus Muscle (Backside). The Testosterone preparation is very thick and has to be given slowly over several minutes. During the injection you might feel mild discomfort but no pain.
You might feel some discomfort in your backside for 1 to 2 days after the injection.
What follow ups will I need?
Your Doctor might ask you to come back in 6 weeks for your 2nd injection instead of 3 months. This is to increase your Testosterone back to a normal level quickly so that you will start feeling better quicker.
Regardless of which method of Testosterone Treatment you are on, your Doctor will need to repeat a test of your Testosterone Level, PSA and red blood cell level after 6 to 9 months.
Need more advice?
To find out more about Penile Rash or other Men’s Health issues , please visit your doctor or visit Men’s Health Clinic.
Dr. Tan and Partners @Novena (Men’s Health Clinic)
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- Penile Discharge (Should I be Worried?)
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- Premature Ejaculation
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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.