Thinking of testosterone may conjure images of butch Hollywood men. The Alpha-maleness is mostly pitched as something to do with ‘testosterone’. However, this depiction is more a matter of creative expression rather than biological role played by testosterone.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced in both, men and women. Whereas it is produced in large quantities in men, by their testicles, it is produced in smaller quantities in the ovaries.
There are many important tasks performed by testosterone in men. The most important is perhaps the production of sex hormones. It also moderates sex drive, alongside regulation of, bone mass, red blood cell production and distribution of fat. It also controls muscle size and strength.
High level of testosterone therefore has severe implications for the health of men. But similarly, low level of testosterone is also a cause for concern. If the level is extremely low, fertility and impotence issues can result as well, meriting a visit to the Sexologist in Lahore.
Symptoms of low testosterone
There are multiple signs of low testosterone levels in men. Known as hypogonadism, it leads to impaired sex drive. Low libido is not just a matter of lack of physical pleasure, but it has serious effect on emotional and mental health.
In some men, low testosterone levels lead to erectile dysfunction. In this condition, men cannot get an erection, or maintain one long enough to have successful penetrative sex. Low testosterone may also cause erections that are not stiff enough for pleasurable sex.
Low libido, combined with erectile dysfunction, can cause relationship to become strained. It can be also very frustrating for men, as their sexual role gets reduced.
Moreover, as low testosterone levels also lower the sperm count in men, those couples wanting to have a baby might have to undergo fertility treatments. Impaired sex life with low fertility can take great toll on the relationships.
When the condition becomes chronic, men also experience loss of muscle bulk, lose out on their strength and also have loss in body hair. Body fat also increases, jeopardizing their health even further.
Chronically low levels of testosterone also lead to mood swings. The lack of emotional stability further complicates the situation; sex is an intimate act and cannot be executed when you are angry one moment and sad the next.
Low testosterone also causes the testicles to shrink in size. Since the hormone is responsible for maintaining the size of the testes and the penis, both can shrink from the low levels of testosterone. As size is considered the pinnacle of the masculinity, the decrease in size may not sit well with most men.
Already in a fragile state with regards to their sexual health, the superficial changes, in terms of the overall appearance and especially with regards to the nether regions, also add on to the insecurities of men. This can also cause performance anxiety in men; low self-esteem and poor self-image are also linked to sexual dysfunction.
Dangers of low Testosterone
Not just sex drive is impaired due to low-T, but other facets of health are also affected by it. It causes bones to become very weak, resulting in a condition known as osteoporosis. Fragile bones are more prone to injury.
Moreover, low testosterone levels are also linked to greater risk of death of heart disease. It also leads to weight gain as well, and since obesity is amongst one of the dangers of ED and impotence, the sex life suffers even more.
Depression is a consequence of low testosterone. A debilitating mental condition, depression is very difficult to deal with. If not treated in time, people may also end up taking their own life.
Thus, low-T is a condition that needs to be addressed.
Getting treatment for low testosterone
For low levels, your doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. There are many ways to administer the hormone; oral, gel form, injections and skin patches, the options are aplenty.
Oral replacement therapy is controversial; it is not deemed correct choice for testosterone replacement. Most often, men are prescribed the testosterone gel, that needs to be rubbed on their arms and shoulder. Shot in the muscle is another treatment route. Patch can also be used, that slowly releases testosterone in the blood.
Whereas low testosterone is useful for increasing sexual desire and improved muscular mass, it may not increase virility and energy. It is only effective for younger men with low-T, and does not work in older men, or those who already have normal testosterone in the body.
Considering hormone replacement therapy: The caveat
There are side-effects and risks involved in hormone therapy. It can aggravate sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder that prevents people from having sufficient shuteye. It can also lead to acne and similar skin problems.
Enlarged breasts in men, limited sperm production, shrinking of the testes are also the risks involved in testosterone replacement therapy. It can also lead to increased production of red blood cells, which is a risk for formation of blood clots. This can lead to pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack etc.
Talking to your doctor
Your sexual issues might not just be due to low testosterone levels. Before opting for the replacement therapy, it is pertinent that men get their testosterone levels tested. There are other reasons for sexual dysfunction and low libido, therefore, you should visit Sexologist in Karachi for treatment in that case.