A man’s hormone levels influence his sexual performance. Low hormone levels, or an imbalance of the critical hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone, can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED) and/or a loss of libido.
Low libido, or lack of sexual desire is more common among men than you might think.
Most people think men are ready for sex, any place or time, and that it is women who are more likely to utter those words, “not tonight I have a headache.”
But the truth is, more men than you think can lose their “mojo” or suffer from a loss of sexual desire. In fact, according to Irwin Goldstein, MD, the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, “Many, many men — about one in five –have such low sexual desire they’d rather do almost anything else than have sex.”
There could be many reasons for a man to be suffering from low sexual desire, but one of the most common, particularly in men over 40, is low testosterone, and/or low growth hormone.
What Is the Link Between Sex Drive, ED and Hormones?
Low libido, and/or erectile dysfunction is a very common symptom of low testosterone. In fact, it is often one of the first indications that your hormones may be low or imbalanced.
Testosterone is important to a satisfactory sex life. Testosterone not only influences good erectile function, it plays a role in desire. Testosterone is a necessary precursor to the production and release of certain neurotransmitters, or “brain chemicals,” that are closely related to sexual arousal and sexual desire.
It is because of the suppression of these “feel good” chemicals, that men with low-T often feel moody or depressed. That is the same reason why men with low testosterone may also lose interest in sex.
Testosterone also helps to keep men on an even keel by keeping your other hormones in balance. Once testosterone levels drop, the intricate balance and interactions of other critical hormones related to sexual desire gets thrown off. This kind of hormone imbalance can also cause decreased sex drive in men.
Growth hormone, or HGH is also important to good sexual performance. HGH not only is instrumental in stimulating the production of testosterone, HGH is also a precursor to nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide, in turn, is fundamental to erectile function. In fact, oral ED drugs such as Viagra, work by increasing the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels in the erectile tissue of the penis. When these blood vessels become filled with blood, an erection is the result.
Studies have found that upon sexual excitement, HGH levels also increase in these critical blood vessels. The same studies found that men with ED, had as much as 7 times less growth hormone in their erectile tissues when non-erect, then in men with normal erectile function. This low level of growth hormone in erectile tissue can also lead to a lack of sexual desire, or low libido.
Men who received growth hormone therapy for other reasons, such as lack of vitality, or loss of muscle, also reported improved libido, and increased ability to gain an erection. This has now lead to speculation that growth hormone may also be an effective treatment for men experiencing sexual wellness issues.
If either of these two critical hormones is low, or imbalanced, erectile dysfunction, and or loss of libido can be the result.
Other Reasons for Low Libido in Men
Heart Disease – There are a number of physical conditions that fall under the broad umbrella of heart disease or cardio-vascular disease, which can cause or contribute to low sexual desire in men. These include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Though technically not heart disease, many men with heart disease are also at increased risk of diabetes. Men with diabetes also may experience a loss of libido.
Stress and Anxiety – Stress, anxiety and other negative emotional states such as depression, can all contribute to sexual dysfunction and a loss of sexual desire in men.
Injury – Injuries to the genital area are more common than you might think. Direct trauma to the testes or penis can lead to some forms of ED, as well as indirect injuries to the pelvic region or lower spinal cord.
Medications – Some drugs used to treat other conditions can have the side-effect of impacting a man’s libido, and/or his ability to achieve an erection. These include, but are not limited to: antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, drugs to treat prostate cancer, and some anti-cholesterol drugs. Though not a drug, “self-medicating” through alcohol abuse, has also been linked to ED and a loss of libido.
While there can be various causes of low libido, we have many ways for men to get “a little bedroom boost.” Sometimes all it takes is making some simple lifestyle changes for you to boost your sex drive, other times, hormone replacement may be indicated.
But, it all starts with getting to the root of your particular problem, and we can only do that if you contact us for an appointment.