The influence of testosterone.

Causes of Low Testosterone and When It Raises ED Risk

A testosterone deficiency can lead to reduced sexual desire, which makes it less likely you’ll want to get an erection. If you think that low-T is behind your problem, talk to your doctor about that concern. 

Feeling sluggish, depressed, and generally disinterested in sex? You may be suffering from low testosterone, or low-T, a condition that’s been played up in print and broadcast media in recent years by testosterone supplement providers in the hope of capturing your business.

Fatigue, depression, and a loss of sexual desire are only three symptoms of testosterone deficiency. According to, others include hair loss, reduced bone mass, a reduction in testicle size, insomnia, lower semen production, reduced muscle mass, hot flashes, increased body fat, and mood swings.

What About Erectile Dysfunction?

Another possible symptom of low testosterone is erectile dysfunction, which is most likely to emerge as a secondary symptom of a loss of sexual desire and not an organic reaction to low-T.

At this point, it’s worth noting that many of these symptoms can arise from plenty of causes other than low-T. However, that’s a point that marketers of testosterone supplements would probably prefer that you overlook.

Male hypogonadism, or low blood levels of testosterone, is a condition in which the testicles, or testes, fail to produce adequate levels of the primary male sex hormone. Apart from a possible injury to or infection of the testicles themselves, abnormally low testosterone production can be caused by a host of other factors.

Other Causes of Hypogonadism

Such factors, according to, include acute or chronic illness, metabolic disorders, alcohol abuse, cirrhosis of the liver, obesity, high levels of prolactin (the milk-producing hormone), and kidney failure. Hypogonadism can also arise as a result of a traumatic brain injury, obstructive sleep apnea, poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, radiation exposure, chemotherapy, certain medications, and abnormally high levels of estrogen.

Yet another cause of testosterone depletion is the natural process of aging. Beginning sometime between the ages of 30 and 40, most men begin to lose about 1 percent of their testosterone each year. For reasons no one completely understands, some men retain high levels of testosterone throughout their lives.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you suffer from any of the many symptoms of low-T, including a loss of sexual desire, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns. If the doctor agrees that low testosterone might be a cause of your symptoms, tests can be ordered to determine if you truly are suffering from a deficiency of the hormone.

As previously noted, the male sex hormone is not directly involved in the mechanics of erectile function, although its role in regulating sexual desire makes it an obvious factor in whether you’re likely to get an erection.

Trust your doctor to determine whether your T-levels are adequate and whether supplementation is required to remedy whatever adverse symptoms you may be experiencing.

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