Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role when it comes to sex for men AND women. Testosterone drives both the desire and performance, and an imbalance in this hormone can leave men and women, especially after the age of 40, feeling frustrated, embarrassed and ultimately depressed about the state of their love life. Fortunately, there are proven ways to boost testosterone levels through hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
Testosterone is produced by the gonads (testes in men and ovaries in women), although small quantities are also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. Testosterone is an androgen, meaning that it stimulates the development of male characteristics (hair, muscles, deep voice) and for that reason appears in much higher levels in men. In women, testosterone is converted to the female sex hormone, oestradiol.
Testosterone levels decrease as we age and the knock-on effect is not just poor sexual performance, but also moodiness, increase in body fat, loss of muscle tone, hair loss, parched skin and difficulty concentrating. Hormone levels typically start to fall around age 40 (along with hair loss, loss of muscle mass and other tell tale signs of aging), but some people drop faster than others.
Boosting Testosterone Levels
Testosterone boosters are a particular method hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a common line of treatment given to patients who lack a particular hormone. The treatment is more commonly associated with women who cannot produce sufficient estrogen and progesterone after menopause. That said, more and more men above the age of 40, are seeking to boost their testosterone in the form of tablets, gels and injections.
I’m 40 and have Low Libido. Is HRT for me?
The short answer: Quite possibly yes, but it is important to get a proper diagnosis first. Age really is an important factor here. For example, if you are in the 40-50 age bracket, a test might show that your testosterone levels are relatively normal, which would indicate your low sex drive is caused by something else, like prescription medicines, relationship issues or constricted blood flow. On the other hand, it’s fair to say that patients above the age of 60 experiencing low libido probably do have low testosterone. Studies have shown that 70% of all men above the age of 70 do not produce enough testosterone to be sexually active.
Dr. Pansak Sugkraroek, a Board Certified Gynecologist and expert in hormone replacement therapy at the Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital, says hormone replacement therapy can be very effective, but people need to understand that this is a process, not just a potion for better sex. “Hormone replacement therapy is not a one-off treatment, like Viagra,” says Dr. Pansak, “so if you are expecting instant results you will be disappointed. As the name implies, it is a therapy and must be continued to produce lasting benefits which go beyond just improving sexual performance, but also building muscle mass, losing fat and improving concentration.”
What are the Risks?
Some studies have shown that men on testosterone are actually protected against the risk of heart disease and strokes, while others have shown a link between the growth of cancerous prostate cells and higher testosterone levels. As of yet, no large-scale study has proven any long-term dangers of testosterone therapy.
Dr. Pansak has some common sense advice for people interested in hormone replace therapy. “Go to a reputable and knowledgeable doctor first to get tested, because your low libido may have nothing at all to do with your hormone levels,” says Dr. Pansak. “Then explore treatment options that are right for you. While very safe, hormone replacement therapy is not for everyone and some simple lifestyle changes can also produce good results.”
The Vitallife Wellness Center specializes in men and women with low libido and have experts versed in hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle medicine.
For more information please contact:
Vitallife Wellness Center 2
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Tel : +66 2066 8899
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit