Testosterone supplementation boosts sexual function in older men

Raising testosterone levels in men can increase sexual activity and improve erectile function.

Micrograph of testosterone crystals

As men age, their serum testosterone concentrations decrease and this may lead to reduced sexual function. However, evidence has not confirmed whether testosterone supplementation should be recommended for older men with low testosterone unrelated to a clinical condition. 

Researchers report in The
New England Journal of Medicine (online, 18 February 2016)[1]
on the results of a clinical trial that compared the effect of testosterone gel supplementation with placebo over one year in 790 men aged 65 years and over. 

The team found that raising serum testosterone in men with low testosterone levels (<275 ng/dL) increased sexual activity and desire and improved erectile function significantly more than placebo treatment. 

However, the researchers note that while their results should inform decisions about testosterone treatment in older men, larger and longer trials are needed to characterise the associated risks.


[1] AdSnyder PJ, Bhasin S, Cunningham GR et al. Effects of testosterone treatment in older men. New England Journal of Medicine 2016;374:611–624. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1506119

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Testosterone supplementation boosts sexual function in older men;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20200775

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