Well, no need to mention that administering steroids impacts our health and our lifestyle in various ways. It has some good effects while this leaves some side effects too. Taking steroids can impact your health in various ways. There are many people whose lives have benefited from taking steroids considerably. On the other hand, taking high dosages for a prolonged time can kill your sex drive completely. In this post, we are going to discuss all these in detail. So keep scrolling down.
Testosterone and Libido in Women
It might seem like the male hormone testosterone may do for the female users what Viagra can do for the male users. A recent study reports that the hormone can help many postmenopausal women to restore their sexual desire and get in the mood again.
Researchers found that testosterone levels are linked with increased libido or sexual desire in women who had complains about low libido associated with menopause and reduced sexual arousal. Women administering a low-dose of estrogen-testosterone in combination treatment said that they had a two-fold enhancement in sexual interest, in comparison with women who were treated with estrogen alone (https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20030626/testosterone-increases-libido-in-women#1).
Currently, there are no medicines approved in the USA for treating low libido in male users. However, many doctors are prescribing androgens such as testosterone or the chemically identical steroid hormone DHEA.
According to a sexual dysfunction specialist they have known that this works. However, they did not have the rigorous clinical studies to support that. And this study represents a major advancement in this field.
The Boston University School of Medicine urologist reports that over the past five years, he has included testosterone or a similar androgen in treating more than 600 women with low libido problems. And it came with a success rate of 70% in the neighborhood.
He further adds “There is no question in my mind that this therapy will do for many women what Viagra has done for men,” (https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20030626/testosterone-increases-libido-in-women#1) The study was done on 221 healthy, postmenopausal women with complaints of having poor libido even though they had been already administering estrogen therapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.
Half of those women were treated for sixteen weeks with the low-dose oral estrogen-testosterone combination drug Estratest HS. And the other women took a similar dose of estrogen alone. At the beginning and end of treatment, Testosterone levels were measured. And all women went through surveys for measuring their interest in sex.
By the eighth week, the testosterone-treated patients had noticeable improvements in their testosterone levels. And that put them in the upper normal range. And they reported that they had improved sexual interest. They also reported that they had none of the common side effects of treatment with the higher doses of testosterone, including unwanted hair growth, acne. This study came out in the June issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.
However, this is not a cure-all
According to Columbia University ob-gyn Rogerio A. Lobo, MD, leading the study team, the outcomes assure that testosterone is a productive treatment for low libido in postmenopausal women who hardly respond to estrogen alone treatment and whose libido issues are not led by depression.
He further adds “Certainly testosterone is not the answer for all women with sexual desire problems. It is not a cure-all.” “But the results were saw were definitely significant. The improvement in desire seemed to correlate with rising testosterone levels.”
Even though this study was done among postmenopausal women, testosterone also helps in treating sexual desire problems in younger women. Recent research from Australia assures that testosterone levels are also likely to drop among women before they reach menopause.
When he is excited about the power of T therapy, Goldstein agrees that it is not at all a cure-all for all women lacking sexual interest. He says “The cause of low desire isn’t always medical, but it turns out that a large percentage of women with this problem have blood tests that are consistent with low levels of testosterone and other androgens.” (https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/news/20030626/testosterone-increases-libido-in-women#1)
Steroids and its impact on your overall health
If you are hanging around a gym these days, you are likely to know more or less about steroids. Well that is not a passing reference at all. You should take that seriously since it leaves a great impact on your overall health and lifestyle.
Steroidal health elements have a crucial role to play in the bodybuilding and athlete industry. And the reality is a little grimmer. You will see that Ever since famed slugger Mark McGwire was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs back in 1998, using steroids has not only become a part of the pro game. But this also came into many gyms in America.
Even though we know that taking anabolic steroids is illegal technically — the Drug Enforcement Agency head to 16 labs in September, capturing tons of injectable compounds and tablets. However, still, that’s not stopping professional as well as amateur bodybuilders from embracing the steroidal health compounds (https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/heres-what-steroids-actually-do-your-body/).
Everyday gym-goers who are willing to get stronger and want to look more attractive are fond of taking these compounds. However, while many health enthusiasts are quite familiar with the benefits of taking steroids, many of them may not be yet aware of its dark side – the side effects.
To clear up the rumors you should check out what experts have to say. Dr. Ed Sebanegh, M.D., the department chair of urology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Dr. Stuart Weinerman, M.D., an endocrinologist at North Shore–LIJ Health System in New York has solved some persistent steroid myths. In the following points we are going to be discussing if taking steroids can badly impact the sexual urge among users.
Steroids shrink testicles
Well, that is not a rumor. When a person administers steroids for increasing the testosterone levels, it shuts down the natural hormone production level in the body. The end result – shrunken testicles. Sebanegh explains – “Our body has feedback mechanisms, so it senses a guy’s levels of male hormones and uses that to decide whether it needs to ‘turn down the thermostat,’ so to speak, or if it has enough on its own”.
He further adds “When a guy uses these drugs, his body ‘turns down the thermostat,’ and it turns off the androgen production in the testicles.” As a result it forces the hormonal balance of the body to a “pre-pubescent state.”
Testicles will grow back to normal as soon as the user stops taking steroids
That is false. Even after a person stops administering anabolic steroids, his body is going to take time to restore its normal level of testosterone production. Weinerman says “It’s a general rule of thumb that the higher the dose, and the longer the use of medication, the longer you can have suppression of the gonads,”
He continues “It’s not fully clear if, or how often, it’s permanent in men. But I have seen patients with seriously or severely low testosterone for two years after stopping anabolic steroids.” Weinerman says that in some cases, guys “can have long-lasting fertility and sexual dysfunction problems” as an outcome of steroid consumption.
Experienced steroid users can have difficulty in having erections during sex
This is not a rumor. Taking steroids can shut down the natural testosterone production in your body. And your body is going to take a lot of time to restore the natural T production level again. However, when a user stops taking steroids, he is likely to suffer from low T. And this can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Weinerman says “Most patients don’t have a problem with erectile dysfunction while they’re on steroids”. “But when they stop, or when they try to stop, then all of a sudden they have very low testosterone, and they can have a major problem with erectile dysfunction.”
Steroids can harm the fertility of a male user
Well, this is true. You know that steroids can shrink testicles and can also drop the natural testosterone production in his body. Along with this, taking high dosages of steroids for a prolonged time can also damage the sperm count of a man. Sebanegh says “Men naturally have super-high levels of androgens in their testicles, and that’s what turns on sperm production and keeps us at a normal level.” He further adds “If a guy is using drugs, however, his body will turn down those levels, and his sperm production will drop.”
That’s why Sebanegh says like testosterone supplements, “guys who are trying to improve fertility should be proactive regarding their health and ask a lot of questions when they’re going on drugs.” “For instance, the World Health Organization has been looking at testosterone-based therapies as a male contraceptive. If they’re looking at that as the ‘men’s pill,’ so to speak, then you definitely want to be careful about taking it with regards to your fertility.”
Steroids will change the size of the penis
It is wrong. Sebanegh says “[Steroid use] does not change penis size for guys who have had normal levels of hormones throughout their lives.” Weinerman agrees to this: “In general, it shouldn’t affect your penis.”
Regardless of the steroid, you can get amazing results
You know that is not true. You need to deal with a trusted steroid supplier to get the recommended quality products. And before that, most importantly, you need to consult a health expert for a reliable recommendation. To keep unwanted side effects such as sexual problems at bay, you need to consider taking the right products at the right dosage for the right session.
The side effects of steroids can be avoided by administering HCG
Again, it is not necessarily true. Some people often try to deal with the major side effects of using steroids by taking doses of HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin that is naturally occurring pituitary hormone. Instead of simply providing more testosterone into the system of a guy, HCG over-stimulates the gonads so it can produce a higher amount of testosterone and sperm.
Here the only problem is that there is very little known about increased HCG amount. And specialists worry that it is likely to lead to perilous health hazards after prolonged use. Sebanegh says that “We don’t know exactly how this affects people in the long term, and that’s a real concern for us.” He further adds “There are a lot of potential other problems that might result.”
Weinerman agrees to this: “Those patients don’t get the small testes and the sperm abnormality, but we don’t know the long-term side effects. There is some concern that because your gonads are overly stimulated, then you could have a long-term disease. I tell my patients: ‘You don’t want to be a study animal.’” Sometimes HCG is taken as a diet plan. But that’s probably not safe either. And what is more, there is not enough proof that it even works, reports Mayo Clinic.
Sex and Steroids
It is true that steroids make users sexually more confident. It boosts their sex drive making them sexually more active. But, the thing you should consider is that steroids can also weaken the libido of a man leading to erection problems. It can make the balls shrink since the body no longer makes its own testosterone. However, the size of the dick isn’t affected.
Testosterone and Erection Problems
When you need a Testosterone Replacement Therapy
A lot of men experience problems regarding erections from time to time. However, some men suffer from erectile dysfunction or ED. And this is exactly when it becomes difficult to get and keep a firm erection required for sexual intercourse. If you are worried about ED, you might think that testosterone replacement treatment can help.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone. And after age 50, the level of testosterone slowly goes down among men. At this point, ED becomes more common. However, unless you are not suffering from the other symptoms of low testosterone, you should think twice about going for the treatment. In the following passages, you can learn more in this regard.
Usually, testosterone treatment isn’t helpful for ED.
T therapy has not shown any improvement in erections in men with normal levels of testosterone. And studies report that it does not help men with low testosterone levels either, in case ED is their only symptom.
ED has other causes usually
Low blood flow to the penis almost always causes ED. Also, it can be the result of other conditions, such as hard arteries, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. These conditions reduce the blood flow to the penis by narrowing the blood vessels. Low testosterone is likely to affect the desire for sex, but it hardly causes Erectile dysfunction (https://www.choosingwisely.org/patient-resources/testosterone-for-erection-problems/).
TRT involves many risks
Testosterone replacement therapy can cause too much fluid retention in the body. Also, it can cause acne, enlarged prostate, enlarged breasts, etc. The other side effects are lower fertility, increased red blood cells, and symptoms of an increase in sleep apnea. Children and women should not touch unwashed or unclothed areas of skin with testosterone gel applied to it. The gel can be transferred through skin contact.
Even though the available data is contradictory, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that T therapy can increase cardiovascular risk (issues with the heart and blood vessels). According to the AUA recommendations people should use only FDA-approved medications. And physical evaluation along with follow-up is necessary too.
TRT can be expensive
Testosterone treatment can involve an injection, gel, or patch put on the skin. And all of these can make you spend lots of money. These are likely to cost hundreds of dollars per month, as per the treatment. Men undergoing a testosterone treatment must use it indefinitely to get and maintain the full effect.
When a person needs testosterone treatment for ED?
In case you are having trouble with erections for three months, it is time you consult a doctor. With the help of a physical exam, he or she will ask you about the symptoms you are having. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include low libido, loss of body hair, gynecomastia, less frequent needs for shaving, drop in muscle strength and size, poor bone density, etc.
If you are having some of these symptoms, your doctor may ask you for getting a blood test for measuring the current testosterone levels in your body. The blood test needs to be done multiple times. It will be best to do these tests in the morning.
This is the time when testosterone levels are the highest. If the tests show that you are suffering from testosterone deficiency your doctor needs to look for the likely causes. Low levels might be promoted by issues in the pituitary glands. If no other reasons are detected, you can try TRT.
Low Testosterone and Sex Drive
Testosterone fuels a man’s performance and sex drive. Also, testosterone deficiency can hamper your capability to enjoy satisfactory sex. Erectile dysfunction and lack of sex drive or low libido are the prime sexual problems that are led by testosterone deficiency. If low testosterone is the reason, you need to treat it to deal with all these problems.
Testosterone and Low Libido
Researchers haven’t yet unveiled the relationship between testosterone and the libido. It’s quite normal for the sex drive of a man to gradually decline from its peak during his teenage and 20s. However, libido is likely to vary widely between men. What is considered a low sex drive may not be a matter of concern for another man.
Also, libido or sex drive tends to change within every man over time. And the factors that badly impact it are sleep, stress, and opportunities for having sex. These are the reasons it is quite impossible to define a “normal” sex drive. Usually, a man himself considers low libido or lack of sex drive a problem. Other times, his partner may take it as an issue (https://www.webmd.com/men/how-low-testosterone-can-affect-your-sex-drive#1).
The symptoms of low testosterone may not always include feeling like you are not having a sex drive. Some men usually maintain their sexual desire at a comparatively low level of testosterone. However, for other men, there might be a lack of libido even with a normal level of testosterone. However, Testosterone deficiency is definitely one of the possible reasons for low libido.
If the testosterone level is way too lowered, virtually, a man is likely to experience a certain decline in their sex drive. In a study practiced on a large group of men in Massachusetts, nearly 11% overall said they had been experiencing a lack of sex drive or suffering from low libido.
After that the researchers tested the testosterone levels of all the men. About 28% of men with low testosterone were experiencing low sex drive or low libido. These men were comparatively young, with an average age of 47. Older men are likely to have even worse sexual symptoms. Testosterone deficiency is only one of the prime reasons for low libido. Stress, depression, sleep deprivation, and chronic medical problems can also badly impact a man’s sex drive.
Testosterone deficiency and Erectile Dysfunction
Surprisingly, low testosterone hardly causes erectile dysfunction or ED by itself. Testosterone deficiency alone – in the absence of any other health issues — accounts for a small minority of men with ED. Erectile dysfunctions are usually promoted by atherosclerosis that is hardened arteries.
When damaged, the small blood vessels that supply blood to the penis can dilate no longer to support a strong flow required for a firm erection. The three main causes of atherosclerosis and erectile dysfunction are diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, and high cholesterol.
Along with that, testosterone deficiency is a frequent collaborator to atherosclerosis in promoting ED. Studies report that as many as one in three men experiencing ED have testosterone deficiency. Experts believe that in men, having additional factors promoting ED testosterone deficiency can considerably contribute, making a problem even worse. Supporting the link, testosterone deficiency is connected in some way with various other conditions that promote erectile dysfunction:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Endothelial dysfunction
Even though testosterone deficiency isn’t known to directly cause these problems, the links between other medical states and testosterone deficiency can be crucial. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) enhances sex drive or libido along with increased satisfaction with sex in many men.
However, it is unknown if there are any long-term risks and benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. Research trials regarding testosterone replacement in men are going on, even though the outcomes are yet to come.
Unveil the facts about testosterone and sex
The hormone testosterone has a crucial role to play in developing and sustaining men’s health. However, perhaps its most important role is to promote sex drive and boost performance. Testosterone levels are likely to decrease with the increasing age. The production rises by early adulthood and naturally drops by up to 1% every year. The drop begins around the age of 40.
Well, sometimes an unexpected fall may occur because of serious injury or illness such as an infection, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or several medications. When testosterone levels drop too low, men can experience low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED). Low levels of testosterone can also cause fatigue, mood swings, poor bone density, reduced muscle mass, etc. Most men can still maintain an appropriate amount of testosterone during their later years (https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/the-facts-about-testosterone-and-sex).
Following a healthy lifestyle also helps to slow down the decline in the testosterone level. However, many older men go for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) to boost the lower levels of testosterone. It’s quite natural to think that TRT can make a man feel younger enhancing his sex life. But, do you think that is it that simple? Is TRT that helpful? The answer is maybe, and only in a particular way.
Beneficial for sex
First thing is first. Men need to realize that TRT can’t rewind time, according to Dr. Shehzad Basaria, associate director of the Section of Men’s Health, Aging, and Metabolism at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital “Although quite a few studies in older men have shown that TRT improves muscle mass and strength compared with a placebo, this increase has not translated into an improved physical function,” he says. He further adds “Furthermore, large clinical trials have not shown that TRT improves vitality or memory.”
On the other hand, research shows that TRT can contribute to improving overall sexual urge and activity among older men with low blood testosterone levels. However, this effect is limited. 2017 meta-analysis published in ‘Current Opinion in Urology’ found that TRT boosts libido and treats ED in men with both testosterone deficiency and mild ED.
TRT was helpful especially for men who do not respond to erectile dysfunction medications such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra). But, the researchers have further added that TRT may not be that beneficial for men with mild to severe ED. In such cases, testosterone insufficiency is often not the reason for their erectile dysfunction. Here, other measures of treatment such as ED medications are more effective.
Who is a candidate?
Consult your doctor if you are worried about testosterone deficiency and it is badly impacting your sex life. You may require a review regarding the symptoms and at least two early-morning blood tests. The tests will help you measure testosterone to confirm the diagnosis. FYI – The normal level of blood testosterone ranges from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter.
There are various ways to get TRT when your doctor prescribes this. The commonly prescribed forms of TRT are injections, daily gels spread over your upper arms, shoulders, thighs, or patches applied nightly. Generally, testosterone injections are taken into a large muscle once in one or two weeks.
Injections taken less often may cause a heightened testosterone level right after taking the injection. However, that noticeably falls in a few days before taking the next shot. And, such dosages can leave a roller-coaster effect on energy levels, mood, as well as sex drive or libido.
The latest option is a device that helps in taking subcutaneous injections of testosterone. You will have to take the injections each week. And this mode of administering is quite similar to the insulin shots. This method often tends to be more expensive than the regular injections taken in the muscles.
Don’t forget that even if you are suffering from testosterone deficiency and multiple symptoms, your doctor may not recommend TRT at first. For example, shedding excess fat helps in increasing your natural testosterone production. Also, taking several medications may help in increasing the levels. And these changes may sometimes help in relieving the symptoms.
How you can enjoy a safe and effective TRT
You have seen that erectile dysfunction is a problem where testosterone deficiency contributes a lot. However, low T is not the only or the main problem promoting ED. There are many men who are maintaining and enjoying satisfying sex life with a moderate T level while for many men, a high or sufficient T level is not enough.
It tends to vary from man to man. You have also learned that TRT is not the only solution for ED. But researches report that it has bought a noticeable improvement in the T level. Enjoying pleasing results of TRT might depend on several factors such as:
Consulting an expert – To assure that you are getting the right advice regarding your health and TRT, you need to get in touch with an experienced health expert. They can help you switch to the right treatment for ED and other symptoms of testosterone deficiency. Before they recommend any medication they consider checking your current health condition, sex, age, any medications you are taking (if any), etc.
Taking the right product – When you are buying any relevant medications for TRT you need to make sure you are buying quality guaranteed products. At this point, dealing with a trusted online supplier is beneficial all the way. They can supply you with the right product at the right price.
Having the right dosage – This is why you should consult an expert before taking any compound for treating ED. The expert can help you switch the right dosage according to your sex, age, body weight, the symptoms and health problems you have, etc.
Following a maintained lifestyle – To mug up the best results, along with taking the right dosage you also need to follow the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle. It will help you utilize dosage to the fullest. You have learned before that in certain cases, candidates may not have to opt for TRT since some relevant changes in lifestyle may be enough to restore healthy testosterone production.
More on erectile dysfunction
If a person has T deficiency, that means the level of the male sex hormone, testosterone has dropped below the normal range. And when it happens, it tends to affect the sex life of a man. A man suffering from low T is likely to experience a poor sex drive. And over time, he might develop erectile dysfunction (ED). Men with erectile dysfunction usually have trouble with having or maintaining an erection necessary for satisfying sex.
Reasons lying beneath erectile dysfunction
It’s crucial to remember that T deficiency isn’t the sole reason for ED. The most common reason behind ED is reduced blood flow to the penis because of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, hardened arteries, high cholesterol, etc. Also, other problems are psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. Multiple sclerosis, chronic back pain, spinal cord injuries, and other neurological conditions also contribute to erectile dysfunction (https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/erectile-dysfunction#).
Low T and ED – What is the link
An erection basically depends on testosterone. However, the relationship between these two is pretty complex and not yet completely understood. Some men enjoy healthy erections even though they have testosterone levels that are below the normal range. Despite all that, it is clear that testosterone deficiency links to several same chronic conditions that influence erectile dysfunction. Those stubborn health problems are type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
ED and TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy)
If the testosterone level is in the normal range, a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) probably won’t be helpful for improving your ED. In place of that, it will be better if you look for other reasons. For men with low testosterone, TRT is better known for restoring their sex drive than fighting ED.
Many men on TRT have said that they had improvements in their erections. And they often require additional help from ED medications aka PDE-5 inhibitors, such as:
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
These medications fuel erections by enhancing the blood flow to the penis. On the other hand, some men with T deficiency don’t respond to these medications without undergoing TRT, side by side. Some research reports that improvements in erection that come from TRT may not last for the long term. Treatment of testosterone deficiency will improve a man’s sex life by improving his libido, enhancing his mood, and thereby reviving his sexual interest.
Some relevant questions that may rise
Even though erectile function clearly depends on androgen, does it make it clear at what level of testosterone ED (erectile dysfunction) begins? Does the lowering of testosterone level that occurs with aging always result in ED? Can exogenous androgens offer a solution to Erectile Dysfunction? Well, the answers are pretty complex.
Among the crucial reasons for ED, endocrine system disorders are the rarest. In the etiologic category, the most common reason for ED is hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency. Even though logically it might seem that treating the underlying endocrinopathy can reverse a problem called ED, there is not enough clinical evidence supporting this expectation. That means, not every patient suffering from ED along with testosterone deficiency experience an enhancement in erectile function when having exogenous androgen treatments.
Just as that, some patients with normal testosterone levels and ED who have taken exogenous androgen therapy report that they had improved erection. Let’s have a look at the relationship between erectile dysfunction and testosterone. Here is a highlight regarding the known and unknown about the effect of penile function and testosterone.
Also, you can learn what you need to pay attention to during the assessment of the ED patient suspect of insufficient level of serum testosterone. The other factor you can check out is the treatments available these days for treating patients with low T.
In spite of the crucial role of testosterone in the enhancement of libido, it is still unclear how it exactly contributes to penile erections in men. The small concluding review will definitely clarify the role of testosterone in fuelling erections. Also, this is an evaluation of its therapeutic value in men with ED (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16651047/).
Preliminary human studies and animal studies show that testosterone can facilitate erection. It may act as a vasodilator of the cavernous sinusoids and penile arterioles. Well, Hypogonadism is not a common factor in ED since it occurs in about 5% of cases. And generally, there is no noticeable link between the levels of serum testosterone in normal or moderately low levels, and ED.
In most cases, hypogonadal men having testosterone for the treatment of ED have to deal with methodological problems. Also, they report inconsistent results. Erectile function tends to improve with TRT in patients suffering from a high level of hypogonadism. Testosterone replacement may upgrade the response to the phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors in men suffering from testosterone deficiency.
Frequent measurement of morning serum total testosterone is a method that is fairly accurate and easy for evaluating androgenecity. However, experts recommend the measurement of free or bioavailable testosterone in states that change the amounts of sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
Research reports that in most men, circulating amounts of testosterone below the normal range are crucial for normal erection. Higher levels of serum testosterone may not be that impactful on erection.
The info above has surely helped you get a better idea regarding testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and other symptoms of testosterone deficiency. In case you are suffering from low T consult an expert to learn if it will be helpful or safe to go for a TRT. Also, they can suggest to you if any other measures of treatment will be required.
If you are taking steroidal health elements and you think it is impactful on your sex life in a positive or negative way, you can also consult that with an expert.