Do you know that testosterone is one of the most important hormones? It is a main male hormone that plays a vital role in creating sex drive and influencing sperm production and fertility.
Production of hormones is extremely important for the normal functioning of various organs of the human system. Hormones act as a chemical messenger in the body that is carried to act on other organs in the body. The male sex hormones are known as androgens and are responsible for the development of various organs in males.
1. What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the most important androgen in males. It is a vital organ for normal reproductive and sexual function. Testosterone is important for the physical changes that happen during male puberty such as the development of the penis and testes, and other physical features of adult men such as facial and body hair. To some extent, it also plays a role in making sperm.
Testosterone is one of the most talked male hormones and it is because it has an effect on all organs and systems and causes major influence on almost all the aspects of life such as physical appearance, behavior, mentality, abilities, and sexuality.
Men and women have the same hormones but are present in different amounts. Men produce a large amount of testosterone as compared to women. Men produce testosterone in the testicles and adrenal glands and researchers suggest that it can’t be overproduced naturally. On the other hand, women produce testosterone in the ovaries and adrenal glands and any abnormality in female testosterone level can lead to the development of serious problems in women such as polycystic ovary syndrome, various cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
Testosterone deficiency is common in men and low testosterone is also known as Hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a clinical condition that occurs due to a failure of the testes that produces testosterone. Mainly testosterone deficiency results from two conditions:
- Due to the problems with testes
- Due to the problems with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
Testosterone deficiency can happen in men of any age. Testosterone is not only responsible for maintaining physical appearance and muscles but it is also responsible for attaining a satisfied penile erection. Therefore, a lack of testosterone causes a wide range of symptoms such as low energy, depression, loss of libido and loss of facial hair. According to the doctors, in the United States, a large number of diagnosed cases of sexual dysfunction results from testosterone deficiency.
3. What is the relationship between testosterone and sexual function?
Disorders of sexual function are common among men of all ages and the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in men is increasing rapidly across the world and erectile dysfunction is one of the most diagnosed sexual dysfunction in men. Although a large number of factors can be responsible for the development of erectile dysfunction, the most common cause of erectile dysfunction is testosterone deficiency.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as a recurrent inability to maintain and achieve a penile erection that is sufficient enough to experience satisfying sexual intercourse. It is a sexual problem that has a profound effect on an affected man, his partner, and their relationship. As you may know that a healthy sexual relationship is a key to a happy relationship.
Under three conditions, a man is said to be suffering from erectile dysfunction:
1. Can get an erection sometimes but most of the time fails to achieve it.
2. Can get an erection but does not last long enough to have satisfied sexual activity.
3. Unable to get an erection.
Erections are androgen dependent. Androgens have always been known to play a major role in the erectile function and it is because:
The prevalence of erectile dysfunction increases with age and there is a significant decrease in the serum testosterone level with an advancing age.
Testosterone deficiency is said to be a result of castration, a condition due to which an individual loses the use of the testicles. Castration often leads to the decline in sexual function.
It is important to understand that sexual dysfunctions can be the result of physical or psychological reactions in the body. Stress or any other emotional changes in the body can lead to the problems in the sexual functioning.
Decreased frequency of sexual thoughts is one of the most common symptoms of low testosterone. Loss of sexual desires or loss of libido is a sexual dysfunction that triggers the symptoms of other sexual dysfunction. Symptoms like lack of energy, depressed mood, irritability, problems with concentrations are most often seen in people who have low testosterone levels.
Erectile dysfunction involves an interplay of mechanism that includes physical, emotional and mental factors. Any problems or impairments with these factors can have a direct impact in the erectile function. And a person having low testosterone level experience difficulties with all the three factors, that is emotional, mental and physical.
Lastly, numerous studies suggest that low testosterone levels also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis are strongly linked to the development of sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction is said to be an early sign of atherosclerosis and at the same time, endothelial dysfunction also affects the release of nitric oxide which plays a vital role in attaining erections.