A man's lifestyle including his diet, smoking and drinking habits are known to affect sexual desire. A healthy and happy relationship with your partner is also vital for a healthy sex life. High levels of estrogen in men can also have a negative impact on male sexual desire, as do low levels of testosterone.
The Connection Between Testosterone And Low Libido
Testosterone has a strong effect on sex drive in men and low levels can inhibit erectile function. In a man's brain, there exist testosterone stimulating nerves. Sex drive in men starts with the release of testosterone which stimulates the receptors in the brain to release nitric oxide. Nitric oxide in turn relaxes the muscles of the penis to allow blood flow for an erection. Low testosterone levels result in reduced levels of the hormone available to stimulate the nerves in the brain and induce sexual desire and in turn erectile function.
Why Do Testosterone Levels Decrease In Men?
Because the testosterone levels decline over years, the symptoms are often dismissed as part of aging or due to lack of exercise, poor nutrition or excess weight, missing the underlying common denominator.
Today's toxic environment full of plastics, pollutants and pesticides, coupled with poor nutrition are speeding it up. A common cause of low testosterone in men is stress and exposure to environmental contaminants such as bisphenol-A, which is a component in many plastic water bottles.
Even men in their 30s can start feeling "old," and hormone depletion is often the root of the problem. For example, during the past few decades, average levels of testosterone, the hormone responsible for your "maleness," have been declining at a substantially faster rate than aging alone can explain.
In the largest study of its kind, researchers in Massachusetts measured testosterone levels in 1,532 men ages 45-79, between 1987 and 2004. Their findings, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showed that at any given age, average testosterone levels are significantly lower than they were 10 years ago and even lower than 20 years ago. Thus, even if your doctors say that your testosterone level is "normal for your age," it may still be the cause of your low energy and overall sense-of-well-being.
The Health Benefits Of Testosterone Replacement
Studies show that optimum levels of testosterone can not only restore energy, drive and sexual health, but also extend life. In one study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, men with low testosterone levels were 88% more likely to die at a younger age. In other studies, those with higher levels of the hormone were 60% less likely to get heart disease and had better memory and overall mental function. Even sub-optimal testosterone levels that are still in the so-called "normal range" can pose health risks.
A knowledgeable physician can test the total and free (active) testosterone levels in the blood and prescribe appropriate replacement. But not all types of testosterone are the same or created equal. For instance, testosterone cream will mostly convert to estrogen in men who are overweight or have insulin resistance or diabetes, which can reduce its effectiveness and actually make matters worse.
You need to find a doctor who understands this and will work with you to figure out which preparation and delivery system that works best for you. If you are on testosterone and your estradiol level is above 30 ng/ml you are not getting optimal benefits and may actually be doing harm. The high estrogen can elevate sugar levels, increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack, and cause gynecomastia (man boobs), weight gain, prostate problems and sleep apnea.