This health video is looking how having low testosterone can be connected to ED (Erectile Dysfunction).
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Dr. Frank J. Costa: Patients that have a low testosterone level. As patients get older their testosterone levels decline, as males get older, and associated with this if oftentimes an increase in erectile dysfunction. Dr. Randall B. Meacham: There is currently a lot of controversy, as to exactly of how direct the link is between decreased testosterone and sexual dysfunction. We know men that have very, very low levels of testosterone, oftentimes have great difficulty establishing and maintaining an erection that allows them to have intercourse. The other side of the coin is, that there is certainly a number, especially of older men who have decreased serum testosterone, also have sexual dysfunction, but if we give them testosterone, don't necessarily experience a substantial improvement in sexual function. I think, the reason for that is that older men, oftentimes those are the men who have decreased serum testosterones, also have other reasons to have sexual dysfunction. Diabetes, abnormal blood lipids, hypertension, other medications. So, simply replacing testosterone may not be sufficient to restore sexual function. Dr. Frank J. Costa: Testosterone concentrations are very essential to maintain normal sexual function and so a comprise in testosterone levels, as oftentimes occurs in men, after they hit the age of 50, can absolutely contribute to erectile dysfunction. It is of paramount importance that physicians understand that testosterone levels should be checked in any patient who presents with erectile dysfunction, to determine if in fact, a low level of testosterone is contributory. There are many cases where patients are treated for depression and they have all the signs of symptoms of a low testosterone state, which can include a diminished sex drive, inability to obtain and maintain an erection, a loss in the muscle mass, increase in weight, lethargy, abnormality in sleep pattern, these are all different things that may have the patient present to the physician with, but unless the physician is a looking for these specific disorders, then oftentimes, this diagnosis will be missed. So, it's important to determine in fact, if the patient has a low testosterone level and also to correct that, with appropriate administration of testosterone, which exists in several forms to at least correct that particular deficiency. But that always in and off itself doesn't completely cure the erectile dysfunction and oftentimes patients may also need additional medication or evaluation to determine what other factors maybe contributory.