Testosterone gel can help some men get back a little of their loving feelings, and helps them feel better in general, according to a new study published today by the National Institute of Health.
It’s the first study in years to show any benefit for testosterone therapy. This was the first time that a trial demonstrated that testosterone treatment of men over 65 who have low testosterone would benefit them in any way. The trial showed that testosterone treatment of these men improved their sexual function, their mood, and reduced depressive symptoms—and perhaps also improved walking.
Experts stress that the results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, only apply to men over 65 who have medically diagnosed low testosterone. The trial consisted of 800 men.
A few men had heart attacks or were diagnosed with prostate cancer during the study, but the rate were the same in men who got real hormone and in those who got placebo cream.
Men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved since the beginning of the trial. Men who received testosterone reported better sexual function, including activity, desire, and erectile function, than those who received placebo. Although the effect sizes were low to moderate, men in the testosterone group were more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their sexual desire had improved.
Testosterone was also associated with small but significant benefits with respect to mood and depressive symptoms. Men in the testosterone group were also more likely than those in the placebo group to report that their energy was better.
As men age, their bodies make less testosterone. It’s not as sudden as when women lose estrogen, but the effects can be similar – loss of energy, sexual desire, depression and bone loss.
Bottom Line: Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for sex drive, erections, bone strength, muscle mass, and even mood. The hormone decreases starting in men in their 20’s and usually become symptomatic in the late 40s and 50s. The diagnosis is easily made with a simple blood test and treatment is easily accomplished with injections, topical gels, or pellets inserted underneath the skin. For more information speak to your doctor.