Testosterone Improves Sexual Function in Older Men
A recently published trial has shown that testosterone replacement in older men can improve sexual function. (Effects of Tesotosterone Ttreatment in Older Men, Snyder PJ et al. N Engl J Med. 2016)
790 men, aged over 65 years old and with low testosterone levels were recruited to participate in one of three trials, the Sexual Function Trial, the Physical Function Trial and the Vitality Trial for one year (some participated in more than one). Participants received either testosterone or placebo, and for those receiving testosterone, blood levels were maintained in the mid to normal range seen in men 19 to 40 years old.
The results concluded that an increase in testosterone levels was associated with a significant increase in sexual activity as well as a significant increase in sexual desire and erectile function. In the Vitality Trial slightly better mood and less depressive symptoms were reported. The Physical Function trial showed no difference between the testosterone group and placebo in a 6 minute walking test but when all three trials were analysed an improvement was noted.
Overall there rate of adverse events were similar for the placebo and testosterone groups, but absolute conclusions can not be drawn according to the authors due to too few participants.
The Testosterone Trials were conducted after comments from the Institute of Medicine in 2003 claimed that there was insufficient evidence that testosterone treatment was beneficial in older men. This new study shows there is clear evidence for older men with clinically low testosterone levels experiencing sexual problems that testosterone can improve symptoms. This in turn can only have a positive effect on mood, vitality and quality of life.
Four other trials ran at the same time covering cognitive function, bone health, cardiovascular function and anaemia. These trials have concluded but are yet to be published. The final report on all the trials combined will be positive step in identifying the benefit of testosterone supplementation for older men.
If you would like to learn more about Testosterone for Men click on the booklet below.