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Testosterone is the male sex hormone, a type of androgen which manages many things, from the depth of a man’s voice to his ability to build muscle. Testosterone levels rise sharply during puberty, peaking at around 18 or 19 years’ old.
Once you turn 30, the hormone’s levels gradually begins to drop off, but only at a rate of around 1% a year. Unlike with the menopause, where hormone production stops relatively suddenly, it’s unlikely you’ll notice any sudden changes with such a slow rate of decrease.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a relatively common condition which can affect men of any age, but becomes more likely as you get older. It’s characterised by not being able to achieve an erection, or not achieve one sufficiently hard for sex. Although the majority of men will experience this at some point (for example, after drinking too much alcohol), ED is usually only diagnosed when the condition has been ongoing for several months.
There are a variety of causes which might be behind a man experiencing ED, also sometimes known as impotence. A common possibility is that the man is suffering from the early stages of atherosclerosis. This is a condition where plaque begins to build up on the arteries, which can later lead to heart disease. Erectile dysfunction may be one of the first signs of this, as the blood vessels in the penis are far smaller than those in the heart.
However, there are other reasons why people experience ED. These include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and emotional or psychological difficulties.
When you consider that testosterone governs typically male traits and decreases as you get older, and that the likelihood of experiencing ED increases as you get older, it would be easy to think that the two are intrinsically linked. But, it’s not quite so simple.
Lower levels of testosterone don’t necessarily mean less erections
Achieving and maintaining an erection is fundamentally a physical, vascular mechanism. Hormones don’t really play a part in the process. There’s no evidence to suggest that lowered levels of testosterone are linked to erectile dysfunction, and no evidence to suggest that higher levels of testosterone mean more erections.
One of the things that testosterone is linked to is libido (sex drive). Low levels of testosterone might mean you’re less inclined to have sex, but won’t necessarily mean you’ll have more difficulty getting an erection.
However, some of the conditions which can cause erectile dysfunction may also cause a drop in testosterone. These causes include obesity, or taking certain medicines. This still doesn’t mean that low T is causing erectile dysfunction, but that the underlying problem might kill two birds with one stone.
Symptoms of low testosterone, sometimes known as hypogonadism, include:
If you believe you have low testosterone levels, your doctor may choose to complete some blood tests to see if this is the case. As testosterone levels are highest in the morning, it’s likely your blood test will be then.
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Viagra Connect won’t give you an instant erection. You need to be sexually aroused for it to work and won’t help you if you don’t have ED symptoms.