Can Low Testosterone Level Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Testosterone is an important male hormone. Ideally, a man’s testosterone levels should be between 300 and 800 nanograms per deciliter. Lesser than 300 nanograms per deciliter is referred to as low testosterone. This hormone plays an important role in fueling a man’s sex drive and performance. Thus, low testosterone levels can make sex unsatisfactory by causing issues such as erectile dysfunction and low libido.
Erectile Dysfunction Due To Low Testosterone
Erectile dysfunction refers to a man’s inability to obtain and maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. Low testosterone on its own is rarely the cause for erectile dysfunction. However, it can be associated with many other conditions that cause erectile dysfunction.
Atherosclerosis is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. This condition causes the hardening of arteries and blood vessels. When these blood vessels get damaged, smaller blood vessels carrying blood to the penis can no longer increase the blood flow to the penis to achieve an erection. High cholesterol, smoking, and high blood pressure are common causes of Atherosclerosis. However, low testosterone levels can worsen this condition.
Similarly, low testosterone levels can aggravate conditions like obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and endothelial dysfunction that cause erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone replacement therapy is a common form of hormone treatment for low testosterone levels. This type of therapy may help increase a man’s sex drive but it does not have a direct impact on erectile dysfunction. Thus, in the case of erectile dysfunction, other types of medication that increase blood flow to the penis may be more beneficial. However, some men may respond to such medication only after receiving testosterone replacement therapy. This therapy may also reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction by controlling insulin sensitivity, reducing belly fat and lowering the risk of diabetes.