Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is manufactured naturally in the bodies of both males and females – however, the levels of testosterone in women are much lower than in men. While boys go through puberty and the teen years, their increasing levels of testosterone will foster the development of male features like facial hair, enhanced muscle strength, and a deeper voice.
However, as men mature, their testosterone levels typically decrease with age. This is called low-T, or low testosterone. Many men would rather keep their sex drive high, stay strong, and feel energetic like they did when they were younger.
Let’s talk about what low testosterone can do to a man’s body and health, and what can be done to combat low-T and retain as much of that youthful zest and vitality as possible.
How Low-T Affects a Man’s Health
As early as their 20s, men begin to experience a gradual decline in the production of testosterone. This is normal and should not be misconstrued as anything other than the aging process.
However, men can experience different signs and symptoms if their testosterone levels fall below the normal range. Here are some of the effects of low testosterone in men.
Low Libido and Sex Drive
Testosterone plays a major role in a man’s sex drive and libido. Low-T can affect these physical reactions, because it directly decreases a man’s desire to have sex.
This will naturally affect the man’s fertility. It can also contribute to heightened stress and even feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.
Erectile Dysfunction and Sexual Problems
Men with low-T tend to have difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection – this is called erectile dysfunction (ED). Testosterone helps in stimulating the penile tissue that produces nitric oxide which results in an erection.
If the testosterone levels are too low, a man may not be able to get an erection at all. Other factors that can contribute to low-T and cause erectile dysfunction include smoking, stress, anxiety, and thyroid-related illnesses. While anxiety can lead to ED, ED can also cause further anxiety – leading to a vicious cycle.
Many men with low testosterone levels also experience sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder wherein breathing repeatedly stops abnormally. This causes the body to get less oxygen than it needs.
Low-T can also lead to changes in sleep patterns and insomnia. Disruption in sleep patterns can also increase the risk of other medical complications, such as stroke.
Urology for Men’s Health in Phoenix
Men experience a steady drop in their testosterone levels over time. If you are noticing any of these symptoms of testosterone deficiency or low testosterone, it is best to seek medical help from a trusted urologist to test your testosterone level. If it is low, the urologist can give you one or more solutions that will work to solve the issue.
Ironwood Urology is headed by board-certified urologist Dr. Desi Avila. Dr. Avila is one of Phoenix’s leading men’s health specialists, and he is committed to providing the best care for his patients.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling us at (480) 961-2323 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get that gusto back.