Low Testosterone: Erectile Dysfunction Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Options

UPGUYS > Blog > Sex > Low Testosterone: Erectile Dysfunction Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on July 12, 2022

Did you know that the normal level for testosterone is 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter?

You may not know what that means, but you may know how it feels.

If you find yourself struggling in the bedroom, unable to perform how you want to, it can become an emotional struggle as well as a physical one. Not only that, but it can cause a strain on your relationships and your sex life as a whole.

So what can you do about erectile dysfunction from low testosterone? Keep reading to learn more.

Table of Contents

In this article, we will discuss the following:

  • What is low testosterone
  • Low testosterone as a reason for erectile dysfunction 
  • Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
  • Treatments for erectile dysfunction
  • How to delay the onset of ED
  • Other conditions that may lead to erectile dysfunction
  • Next steps

Low Testosterone: A Cause for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Testosterone is the hormone found in both male and female bodies, but in much higher concentrations in males than females.

Having low testosterone means your levels are not where they should be in your body. In men, this can cause a lower sex drive and libido and eventually cause erectile dysfunction.

Normal testosterone levels help men achieve erections, but without the normal amounts, it can be harder to do so. Having low testosterone can also cause other issues like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in men.

So what causes low testosterone? There are a few things:

  • Testicular injury
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pituitary gland disease
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Autoimmune diseases 

How To Tell If You Have Low Testosterone Levels

If you are noticing a decrease in your sex drive lately or are having trouble getting it up, you may start to wonder if you have low testosterone levels.

So how do you know if this lower libido is due to low testosterone levels or something else?

Low testosterone can be the culprit of many things that start to happen to you other than experiencing a decrease in your sex drive. These include the following.

Reduced Muscle Mass

Testosterone helps to develop your muscles. If you have low testosterone, you'll start to notice a reduction in your muscle mass. You can have your muscle mass tested to see if you have lost any.

You will not be able to tell by the functionality and strength of your muscles. 

Reduced Bone Mass

Without testosterone, your bone mass can start to diminish. This will lead to more fractures and bone bruises.

Reduced Sex Drive

While your sex drive does decrease naturally over time, a sudden decrease can mean that you are dealing with low testosterone. This causes a quick decrease in your libido.

Increase in Body Fat

Gaining body fat quickly can also be a symptom of low testosterone. This is most noticeable in the breasts.

Decrease in Energy Levels

Having low energy can mean that you are suffering from low testosterone levels. You may notice that you don't have the energy to work out or exercise, or you feel fatigued all day.

Symptoms of ED Caused By Low Testosterone

While all of the above symptoms are symptoms of low testosterone, what does it look like when it comes to erectile dysfunction and low testosterone?

The biggest symptom when it comes to erectile dysfunction is the difficulty of getting an erection. Why?

Because testosterone stimulates the penile tissues to produce the chemical nitric oxide. When this is released, it starts several reactions that cause an erection. 

Treatments of Erectile Dysfunction 

The good news is that you do not have to suffer from low testosterone levels causing erectile dysfunction your entire life. There are a few different treatment options you can look into.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

One of the most common treatments for erectile dysfunction is testosterone replacement therapy.

TRT is usually only prescribed by doctors if there is more than one symptom of low testosterone. They will also run a blood test to ensure that there really is a deficiency before putting someone through the therapy.

So what does TRT look like in practice? People can use skin patches, gel tablets, get injections, or have surgically implanted mechanisms that release the hormone in their bodies. This will replace the testosterone they need.

What TRT is is basically a medication that comes in different forms. As with most medications, there are risks for side effects. For instance, one may experience a reaction on site of the injection if that is the preferred method. Or, topical creams can be transferred to other people, so it's important to wash your hands and steer clear of touching people in that area (especially kids and women).

Most people will notice having few symptoms between 4 and 6 weeks of starting the therapy.

Natural Treatment Options

There are also other natural treatment options that you can try for low testosterone.

For starters, exercising regularly can boost testosterone levels on a daily basis. If you are overweight or obese, this can also cause lower levels of testosterone, so losing some of that extra weight can help.

This could mean changing up your diet to include fresher, healthier options. Consuming too much saturated fat can negatively impact testosterone levels. Adding zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants to your diet can increase testosterone levels.

How To Prevent the Onset of ED from Low Testosterone

When it comes to low testosterone, there are things you can do to increase it. However, as you age, your testosterone levels will decrease, especially if you are 40 or older.

So what can you do to prevent this from happening or delay the onset of it?

One thing is to make sure you are healthy and in shape as you age. You are at a higher likelihood of developing ED from low testosterone if you are overweight or have other health issues as well.

You can also begin to reduce stress. Having high-stress levels can put you at more of a risk of developing it as well. Smoking and drinking too much can also put you at a higher risk of developing ED because of low testosterone levels.

Finally, if you have a partner, talking to them can drastically improve your relationship with sex and what it looks like to both of you. It's always important to have those conversations.

There are ways to prevent the onset over the age of 40!

Other Health Conditions That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction other than it happening because of low testosterone levels. Because it has to do with having an erection and physically being able to perform in the bedroom, there are more reasons behind that than just hormone levels. Getting an erection has to do with your brain function, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.

It takes a lot to get it up!

A few reasons that you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction and struggling to get an erection in the bedroom are:

  • Heart disease
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome which involves having excess fat around the waist
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking or using tobacco in any form
  • Peyronie's disease
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Cancer treatments 
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or your spine

That is not all, though. There are psychological reasons that you could be suffering from ED as well, like having depression or anxiety, dealing with too much stress at work or in your relationships, and simply having a stressful relationship. If you feel that you are struggling with having ED because of psychological reasons, it is always helpful to get a therapist or talk to a counsellor to work out your thoughts and feelings.

Seeing your doctor for a medical evaluation on a regular basis can help reduce your risk of developing some of these other conditions, which in turn may affect your risk of having erectile dysfunction. 

Next Step if You Have Erectile Dysfunction From Low Testosterone 

Having low testosterone is not a condition that is irreversible, and neither is having erectile dysfunction.

There are steps you can take if you are suffering from erectile dysfunction from low testosterone levels. From getting your health back on track to having testosterone replacement therapy, you have options! 

If you're ready to get your life back in your own hands, look here for more clarification on how to go about treatment options.




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.