Testosterone and the Causes of Low Libido
Testosterone isn't the only fuel for a man's sex drive and performance. But low testosterone can reduce your ability to have satisfying sex. Lack of sex drive and erectile dysfunction are sexual problems that can result from low testosterone. If low testosterone is the cause, treating it can help.
Researchers haven't unraveled the mystery of just how testosterone increases libido. It's normal for a man's sex drive to slowly decline from its peak in his teens and 20s, but libido varies widely between men. What one man might consider a low sex drive, another might not. Also, sex drive changes within each man over time and is affected by stress, sleep, and opportunities for sex. For these reasons, defining a "normal" sex drive is next to impossible. Usually, the man himself identifies a lack of sex drive as a problem. Other times, his partner may consider it to be an issue.
Surprisingly, low testosterone by itself rarely causes erectile dysfunction, or ED. Low testosterone alone -- with no other health problems -- accounts for a small minority of men with erectile dysfunction.
Erection problems are usually caused by atherosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries. If damaged, the tiny blood vessels supplying the penis can no longer dilate to bring in the strong flow needed for a firm erection. Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol are the three main causes of atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction.**