What role does testosterone play in sex?
Hormones aren’t the only factor influencing a man’s sex drive, and researchers aren’t sure exactly how testosterone boosts your libido. Having said that, it’s certainly true that one symptom of low testosterone is reduced sex drive. Libido does tend to fall gradually as you age, but if you experience a sudden decrease in the urge to have sex, it’s worth seeing a doctor so you can have your hormone levels tested.
What happens if you have too little?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have low testosterone:
- Mood changes
- Lack of interest in sex
- Erection difficulties
- Joint and muscle aches
- Reduced strength
- Significant weight gain
Testosterone levels do naturally decline as you reach your 60s and older, however, if you are still young or find the side effects a problem, there are testosterone replacement treatments available.
Can you have too much?
In short, yes, if you are producing too much testosterone you may experience undesirable side effects. Excess testosterone is rare, however, and often caused by an underlying medical condition or occurs as a result of replacement therapy. Signs of high testosterone include:
- Oily skin and acne
- Prostate swelling
- Breast enlargement
- Sleep apnea
- Fluid retention
- Reduced testicle size
- Decreased sperm count
High testosterone levels have long been blamed for male pattern baldness, however this link is now disputed. Testosterone also influences the prostate gland, so in men who have prostate cancer, it can make the cancer cells grow faster. Hormone therapy can be used to block testosterone and slow this process down.
How can you boost your levels?
Testosterone helps to build muscle and burn fat, as well as boosting your endurance and sex drive. If you want to increase your levels, there are a few things you can try:
Lift weights: according to research, the hormone peaks 48 hours after a weights session.
Eat good fats and eggs: they help preserve protein, which in turn boosts your T levels.
Get plenty of sleep: depriving yourself of your 8 hours can slash T levels by up to a third.
Go outside: 15-20 minutes of sun exposure can raise testosterone by over 100%.
Avoid alcohol: drinking not only lowers T levels but growth hormones levels as well.