The Link Between Low Testosterone & ED

Tuesday 2 November 2021
Erectile Dysfunction
3 minute(s) read
Dr.Heather Bartlett

Medically reviewed by

Dr Heather Bartlett, MD

on 23 November 2022

Table of Contents

I. What is Testosterone?

II. The Importance of Testosterone

III. Does Low Testosterone Cause ED?

IV. Other Causes of ED

V. Can Testosterone Replacement Therapy Help ED?

VI. Treating Erectile Dysfunction

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is an important hormone for men and women. In men, testosterone is the major sex hormone responsible for the development of the penis, sperm production, and sex drive (libido). In women, testosterone helps keep the ovaries healthy and the bones strong. Testosterone also serves the purpose of regulating mood and cognitive function, and can play a role for sex drive in women as well.

The body synthesizes testosterone from cholesterol and the pituitary gland in the brain balances this hormone to prevent high or low testosterone. It is uncommon for men to have abnormally high levels of testosterone. On the other hand, low testosterone (testosterone deficiency) affects more than one-third of men over the age of 45. [1]  

a woman hugging a bald man

The Importance of Testosterone

Men who have a testosterone deficiency are more prone to the loss of muscle mass, facial and body hair, bone strength, and sex drive. Low testosterone can lead to a reduced sperm count, small testicles, and symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED). If you are diagnosed with ED, you may be prescribed a PDE-5 inhibitor like brand-name or generic Cialis. Speak with your doctor for more information on the importance of testosterone for your sex life and overall health.  

Does Low Testosterone Cause ED?

While it is clear that erections require testosterone, some men have healthy erections despite having a testosterone deficiency. Further studies are needed to find out whether low testosterone directly causes ED. However, symptoms of low testosterone can affect sexual arousal and make ED more likely. For example, fatigue and difficulty concentrating can make sexual activity tedious instead of enjoyable. 

Low testosterone may also cause certain chronic conditions that increase the risk of ED. These conditions include type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. If you have a health condition that causes narrowed blood vessels, the restricted blood flow will make achieving an erection more difficult. By treating the underlying disease, your symptoms of ED may improve. 

Other Causes of ED

What is erectile dysfunction and what causes it? Erectile dysfunction may be caused by physical damage to the penis and surrounding areas. Tobacco use and substance abuse can cause clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis), preventing blood flow to the penis necessary for an erection. Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease may affect the nerves responsible for receiving sexual stimulation. Additionally, surgeries or injuries to the pelvic area may leave scar tissue that affects erectile function.  

a cigarette on a hand railing

Some men experience ED despite not having any underlying health conditions. In this case, your symptoms may be caused by psychological factors. Depression, anxiety, and stress are the most common mental causes of ED. These mental health disorders can affect your self-confidence and worsen erectile dysfunction. 

Can Testosterone Replacement Therapy Help ED?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) will not help your ED if your testosterone levels are in the normal range. If you have low testosterone, TRT may improve certain overlapping symptoms like low sex drive, but drugs like Cialis (tadalafil) and the Viagra pill are more effective at treating ED. Cialis and Viagra (sildenafil) promote blood flow to help men achieve erections. Your doctor will determine if TRT, ED medications, or a combination of both is right for you.  

a man flexing his muscles

Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can affect men at any age, but positive lifestyle adjustments can minimize your risk. ED medications can be combined with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress-reducing techniques to maximize benefits. Counseling can reduce anxiety and improve communication in your relationship. Surgery and implants are also an option but are typically avoided if other treatment methods are successful.

Over time, the cost of buying ED medications can add up. The good news is that online Canadian pharmacies like RxConnected bring you ED drugs at discounted prices. RxConnected offers a wide selection of brand-name and generic ED medications at different dosages for your needs. If you are looking to save time and money on your prescriptions, switch from your local pharmacy to purchasing from a Canadian online pharmacy today.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.