Which came first- Erectile dysfunction or low testosterone? The answer is, “it’s complicated.”
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be one of the many symptoms of low testosterone (Low T), but having Low T can also be one of the causes of ED. Making the direct connection between Low T and ED is more complex than a man may think.
Does Low T Cause ED?
This is a complicated question. There are a number of causes of ED with the most common cause being a lack of blood flow to the penis. Reduced blood flow is often caused by underlying medical conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD), atherosclerosis (blocked arteries), hypertension, and even diabetes. Low T is typically not the sole cause of erectile dysfunction but can be one of the factors in the diagnosis of this condition.
In the absence of cardiovascular disease and blood flow issues, erectile dysfunction can also be caused by alcohol abuse, medication side effects, and even depression.
So how does a man know if Low T is a factor in his ED?
The specialists at Men’s Health Memorial emphasize that men experiencing ED should come in for a comprehensive medical exam. If a doctor rules out health conditions such as diabetes, CVD and related heart issues, then looking at testosterone levels is a clear next step.
Dr. Jeanette Valdivieso, medical director for Men’s Health Memorial, explains that the best way to identify if Low T is the root cause of a man’s erectile dysfunction is by process of elimination. “If a man presents with the tell-tale symptoms of Low T such as low libido, lack of energy, a general feeling of malaise and fatigue, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass, we have the therapies available to successfully treat the Low T, which often helps remedy erectile dysfunction.”
Interestingly, depression, one of the symptoms of Low T, can also be one of the psychological causes of ED in some men. For this reason, men experiencing depression and anxiety, along with other symptoms of Low T such as erectile dysfunction, should be evaluated by a specialist.
Look At The Big Picture
The association between Low T and erectile dysfunction is a complicated one, which is why Men’s Health Memorial takes a holistic approach to a man’s overall sexual wellness. If Low T is a factor in erectile issues, men have options including testosterone replacement therapy and the innovative new, non-invasive treatment for ED called GAINSWave Therapy, now available at Men’s Health Memorial.
It’s critical to look at the whole picture when it comes to a man’s sexual health and the experts at Men’s Health Memorial are here to help.