Testosterone plays an important role in both sexual performance and libido. While it isn’t the only fuel for sex drive and performance, having low levels can cause low libido and erectile dysfunction. So, what is the link between low libido and T levels?
The link between low libido and testosterone levels
A man’s testosterone begins to slowly decline as he reaches his 30s. Nonetheless, libido varies widely among men. What some might consider a low libido, others might not. Some men can maintain a strong sex drive even with low levels of testosterone. Yet other men may feel they don’t have much of a sex drive even with normal levels of testosterone.
So, while low testosterone is one of the causes of low libido, it certainly is not the only factor. There are many other factors, for example, stress levels. However, if testosterone levels are very low, most men will experience a decline in libido.
In a study, a group on men aged 47 (average) were asked about their sex drive. Their testosterone levels were also measured. About 11% said they had a lack of sex drive, yet 28% of the men had low levels of T. Like we said earlier, sex drive is not a black and white. It seems to be subjective to what the person believes is “normal”.
Also, other things that affect sex drive are stress levels, lack of sleep, depression, chronic illness and opportunities for sex.
Testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction
Low testosterone levels might cause ED, which definitely has an impact on sexual performance. But only a small minority of men suffer from ED due to low levels of T alone. Sometimes, other health problems are the cause of ED and low testosterone is one of the symptoms of many of these illnesses.
Atherosclerosis is often responsible for erectile dysfunction. This condition hardens the arteries. As such, the blood vessels in the penis do not dilate to bring a strong enough flow needed for an erection. Diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure are the three main causes of atherosclerosis.
And like we said, men suffering from these illnesses will often also suffer from low levels of T which makes the situation even worse.
Testosterone and women
A recent study has shown that women who experience sexual dysfunction after menopause may benefit from testosterone treatments. In the trials, some women used a testosterone cream, and some used a placebo cream. The women who used the testosterone cream experienced increased sexual function and more satisfying sex. Testosterone showed it caused an increase in desire, arousal and orgasm.
While people know testosterone as the male hormone, testosterone is also important for women when it comes to sexual health, muscle strength, mood and metabolic function.
Even though research so far has shown that testosterone can greatly improve a woman’s sex life, most available products on the market today are designed for men. As such, some women are using formulations made for men and their safety or side effects on women is not known.
Click here to read about sexual performance drugs for men.