Testosterone is the male sex hormone primarily produced by the testicles. Testosterone levels can affect mood, muscle mass, energy, sex drive, and erections. It’s common for the body to produce less testosterone as men get older.
On the other hand, testosterone deficiency, also called hypogonadism, occurs when your body produces less testosterone than it should, which results in:
Testosterone deficiency can result from several factors, including:
If you want to start feeling like yourself again, there are options to treat low testosterone. Learn more about testosterone replacement therapies.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficulty achieving or keeping an erection firm enough for sexual activity. About one half of men over the age of 40 have some degree of ED. ED is diagnosed by history and physical exam, evaluation of life stressors, and, if appropriate, certain lab tests.
ED is often linked to other underlying conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Other causes include trauma, emotional or mental stressors, testosterone deficiency, and certain medications.
Peyronie’s disease (PD) causes a change in the shape of the penis. Fibrous scar tissue, known as penile plaque, develops within the penis. This keeps the penis from stretching properly during an erection and can result in difficulty during sex or make it difficult to maintain an erection. For some, this can also cause anxiety that contributes to erectile dysfunction.
Scar tissue that causes PD is the result of abnormal healing after injury. One large injury or repeated small injuries (microtraumas) can lead to plaque formation. Sometimes the injury can be the result of autoimmune disease. While the plaques aren’t cancerous, they can cause pain or changes in penile shape during erections.