As part of the aging process, many men experience a declining sex drive. Testosterone which is a hormone that boosts the sexual desire, bone density, sperm production, and muscle mass peaks at 30 years old.
Majority of men experience a decline in sex as the level of this hormone drops or not able to sexually perform as usual. The decline in sexual interest can also lead to depression and potentially damage intimate relationships.
For those who are experiencing a decline with their sexual urge or wants to bring the “spark” back in the bedroom, are testosterone supplements the answer?
A Close Look on Testosterone
Testosterone and estrogen are the major sex hormones. Both men and women generate testosterone, but men produce more.
Testosterone promotes the growth of the male sex organs among developing boys. It also supports the development of male physical attributes such as muscle, facial hair growth, and broader shoulders.
The rise in testosterone might also play a role in sexual excitement but there are other contributing factors. The level of hormone rises and falls throughout the day. Some men are more excitable if the level is high, usually in the morning.
The level of the hormone also fluctuates throughout life and starts to decline after reaching 30 years old. It simply means that a man experiences loss of interest in sex later in life and potentially fewer rigid erections with a softer muscle tone.
Aside from the aging process, various factors that result to a low level of the hormone include:
- Cancer treatment
- Testicular injuries
- HIV or AIDS
- Pituitary conditions
- Testicular tumors
- Inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis
What are the other causes of poor sex drive?
Although a low level of testosterone in the body is the usual cause of poor sex drive among men, there are other possible causes.
The psychological causes can contribute or result to low libido among men such as depression, anxiety, stress or relationship issues.
There are also physical causes that lead to a decline in the sex drive. Some of the physical causes include the following:
- Using certain medications such as beta-blockers, opiates or antidepressants
- Chronic ailments
The doctor can determine the root cause of low libido. In some cases, counseling is an option if there are contributing psychological factors.
Can I use testosterone supplements?
Testosterone therapy can treat hypogonadism. The condition arises if the body cannot produce enough testosterone on its own. Nevertheless, it is unclear if using supplements can help.
In one study, it shows that there is no specific proof to prescribe testosterone to men over 65 years old with normal to low levels.
What are the types of supplements?
Depending on personal preferences, there are various types of testosterone therapy.
- Transdermal patch. Some men consider a transdermal patch as a convenient option in delivering the hormone. When using a patch, apply it once a day at the same area each day, usually in the evening. Apply it on an area of skin with less hair growth, does not sweat excessively or not under any external pressure.
- Topical gel. When using this option, apply it on the skin but make sure to avoid contact with others. Apply the gel once a day at the same time each day. Depending on the brand, apply it to the area according to the packaging instructions.
- Mouth patch. For this type of supplement, it has a shape of a tablet that you can apply on the upper gum 2 times a day or every 12 hours. Avoid chewing or swallowing the tablets. The patch steadily releases the hormone but will not fully dissolve. Make sure to remove the old one before applying a new one. In addition, apply the new patch on the alternate side of the mouth.
- Injections and implants. The doctor administers an injection into the buttock muscle, usually every 1-4 weeks. If you will choose an implant, the doctor inserts it beneath the skin of the abdomen or buttock which releases the hormone continuously over the next few months.
Are there possible health risks?
The testosterone supplements might result in more issues. In some studies, it shows a connection between supplements and heart issues. In one study, men over 65 years old develop a higher risk of heart issues when using testosterone gel. Overall, the risk for heart issues rises among men who use the supplements.
What are the side effects of therapy?
Just like with other medications and supplements, testosterone therapy has its share of risks and potential side effects. If you are planning to use these supplements to provide a boost to your sex life, it is best to think about it first.
The effects of these supplements might have on the heart and prostate can result in various potential issues such as:
- Acne flare-ups
- Sleep apnea
- Breast enlargement
- Testicular shrinkage
How to naturally increase testosterone
Remember that testosterone therapy is not suitable for everybody. Luckily, there are natural remedies available that can help such as:
- Add zinc in the diet via whole grains or shellfish or with supplements.
- Increase potassium in the diet which aids with the synthesis of testosterone. You can also add certain foods that contain potassium in the diet such as bananas, spinach, and beets.
- Exercise regularly which naturally promotes an increase in the hormone
- Get enough sleep at night
- Lower the intake of sugar
- Lower the level of stress or learn stress management techniques
There are various reasons for a declining sex drive in both men and women. The drop in the level of testosterone might be the root cause among men but there are also other contributing factors such as stress or relationship issues.
The supplements are likely to provide a boost in the sex drive in cases involving low testosterone and hypogonadism. Consult a doctor for testing to determine if supplements are the answer.