Testosterone boosters for sex - do they work?

Does testosterone make you hornier? And can supplements help?

 

How low testosterone levels can affect you and your partner

Testosterone is a male sex hormone which is responsible for male development and male sexual functions. When a male is in puberty, testosterone enables the growth of facial hair, strengthening of muscles and the development of a deeper voice;  testosterone facilitates the production of sperm.  As a man ages, the levels of testosterone in the body begin to drop

However, there is a condition called testosterone deficiency (TD) and this may be accompanied by a variety of symptoms, listed below:

  • Reduced sex drive.
  • Reduced erectile function.
  • Loss of body hair.
  • Less beard growth.
  • Loss of lean muscle mass.
  • Feeling very tired all the time (fatigue)
  • Obesity (being overweight)
  • Symptoms of depression.

If a man is suffering from TD it is more than likely to impact on his ability to perform sexually which is likely to affect him psychologically as well as put pressure on his relationship.

We are now going to look at how boosting testosterone levels may help improve quality of life for a TD sufferer

 

Testing testosterone levels

It is advisable to have testosterone levels tested before embarking of testosterone replacement therapy or any other methods of boosting testosterone.  This is important because many of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency can be as a result of other issues.  For instance, loss of muscle mass, lethargy and obesity could be as a result of being inactive and not exercising sufficiently.  Reduced body and facial hair could be related to a form of alopecia and depression can have a multitude of causes including lack of libido and erectile dysfunction.

Low testosterone levels do not automatically produce problems with sexual activity but it is necessary to consult with a GP in order that the condition and associated problems can be discussed as well as ensuring that the testosterone levels in the blood are actually at a diminished level

 

Treatments for testosterone deficiency

Testosterone replacement therapy

There are several types of testosterone replacement therapy:

  • Skin patch - this will deliver the testosterone into the system through the skin (transdermally).  The patch is worn on the arm or upper body and is replaced every day
  • Testosterone gel - the gel is rubbed straight onto the skin from where it is absorbed straight into the bloodstream.  It is applied once per day.  The gel may be supplied in a pump-action container that delivers the exact dose right onto your skin or it may be a brand of gel that is delivered into the nose
  • Mouth patch - the testosterone may be administered through a type of tablet that is attached to the upper gum where it continuously releases testosterone into the bloodstream.  This patch will be applied twice daily
  • Implants and injection - testosterone can be injected into the muscle or implanted as pellets into the soft tissue;  the testosterone is then gradually absorbed into the bloodstream

 

Testosterone supplements

There has been a large supplement industry that has grown out of mens’ desire to perform better both physically and sexually.  There are thousands of supplements claiming to be the elixir of youth and power but how effective are they?  There is a small amount of evidence that supplements may deliver some of what they promise but results are variable.  The bottom line is that the only real way to be sure that testosterone levels are being boosted is to contact a doctor and begin testosterone replacement therapy

 

Natural ways to boost testosterone levels

There are some alternative approaches which may help boost testosterone levels.  We can look at diet to ensure that we are eating all the correct ‘building blocks’ required to product hormones, in particular testosterone.

These foods include the following:

  • Ginger. 
  • Oysters
  • Pomegranates
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fatty fish and fish oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Onions

 

There are other lifestyle changes that can be considered that may help boost testosterone:

  • Exercise and Lift Weights - there have been studies done that have shown that people who exercise regularly will tend to have higher testosterone levels that people that don’t
  • Eat Protein, Fat and Carbs - protein is required to build muscle and ‘good’ fats are very important in the production of hormones. Carbs are required for energy.  Diet is extremely important in the overall health of an individual.  It is important not to eat to excess because being overweight can have a detrimental effect on hormone levels
  • Minimize Stress and Cortisol - long term stress increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Elevated levels of cortisol have been shown to cause the reduction of testosterone levels
  • Get Some Sun or Take a Vitamin D Supplement - many people suffer from depleted levels of vitamin D and it is believed that vitamin D supplements can increase levels of testosterone
  • Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements - although there is a great deal of controversy surrounding supplements in general and their efficacy, research has shown that supplementing vitamin D and zinc are actually effective in increasing the production of testosterone
  • Get Plenty of Restful, High-Quality Sleep - improved quantity and quality of sleep is very much underrated when it comes to health in general and optimum levels of testosterone are more likely if the body as a whole is as healthy as it can be

 

Side effects of boosting testosterone

There may be some unpleasant and even dangerous side effects to increasing levels of testosterone in a person, in particular when a person does not have a reduced testosterone level.

If you are boosting testosterone levels because you are suffering problems in the bedroom, beware!  One of the side effects of boosting testosterone is reduced libido;  it can also cause infertility and testicular atrophy (wasting of the testicles)

It can also increase levels of aggression and enlargement of the prostate gland.  If you happen to be particularly proud of your appearance beware;  Increased testosterone levels can also lead to acne, male breast enlargement and hair loss!

 

Conclusion

Talk to your doctor to establish what you want to achieve and how you would like to do it.  Also discuss the matter with your partner as, at the end of the day, they need to be part of the process

 

Sources

  1. Can testosterone supplements improve your sex drive? https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/do-testosterone-supplements-work#talk-about-it 
  2. Testosterone for erection problems https://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/testosterone-for-erection-problems/
  3. The facts about testosterone and sex https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/the-facts-about-testosterone-and-sex
  4. Low testosterone and sex drive https://www.webmd.com/men/how-low-testosterone-can-affect-your-sex-drive#1
  5. Healthy sex - when to use sex enhancing drugs https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/01/healthy-sex-his-and-hers/index.htm

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