Giving Low T and Your Self-Confidence a Boost

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Confident Man Smiling and Looking Away

Problems performing in the bedroom? It happens to many men at some point. But when you have low testosterone (low T), it happens all too often. And even if you could perform, chances are you’re not feeling up to it. While low T may be getting you down, this will give you a lift: there are some things you can do to get that lovin’ feeling back.

The Low-Down on Low T

Testosterone, often referred to as the “sex hormone,” is produced mainly in the testicles and helps usher boys into manhood. It usually peaks during puberty as boys develop body hair, muscle mass and deeper voices, and it’s what’s needed to produce sperm.

As men age, their testosterone level typically declines. Certain health issues—such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and being overweight—can also cause low T. And some men have a disease called hypogonadism, which occurs when a problem with the testicles or pituitary gland prevents the body from producing normal amounts of testosterone.

The Sex Effect

Despite the sexual myth, not every guy wants it all the time (though some do!). But when you have low T, you are almost never interested in sex, and it can affect your ability to get and keep an erection. As if that’s not enough, it’s probably also leaving you feeling low, irritable and like your tank is completely empty. Sometimes friends and family members notice something’s “off” before you do.

A simple blood test will tell you and your doctor if you have low T (it’s the only way to know for sure, and your doctor may even want to test you twice). But here are some other clues:

  • Low sex drive

  • Lower energy

  • Reduced muscle mass

  • Increased body fat

  • Feeling depressed

  • Anemia (low iron)

  • Loss of bone density

Things Are Looking Up

It may seem like you’ll never get back to your younger, livelier days, but you can feel more vigorous and get your groove back in more ways than you might think.

  • Ask about testosterone replacement. For men with hypogonadism, testosterone therapy can reverse those sex-zapping, energy-stealing effects. But the verdict is still out on whether it can help aging men who are otherwise healthy. For those it has helped, it’s been shown to improve sex drive and erections, improve mood and energy, increase muscle mass, lower body fat, and help with sleep issues.
    Your doctor may prescribe testosterone therapy as an injection, pellet, patch or gel. Be aware, though—the long-term effects of this therapy are unknown, and there may be risks involved. For example, testosterone therapy may contribute to sleep apnea, acne, blood clots, non-cancerous growths of the prostate, enlarged breasts, or testicle shrinkage. It could also limit sperm production. Talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.

  • Go the natural route. There are also natural ways to boost testosterone (and your mood), such as losing weight and increasing muscle mass with resistance exercises. Regular exercise and healthier eating is always a good prescription (even with low T) to help improve libido and raise your energy level.

  • Sleep well. Good, quality sleep can also do wonders for the non-sleeping activities in the bedroom. The irony is that low T can sometimes make it difficult to sleep, so it may feel like you can’t win. Talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep habits and get more rest. 

  • Focus on your partner. When you can’t get things moving (and there will still be those times), turn your focus to your partner who will find your undivided attention extremely sexy.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Sep 20
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  1. Low Testosterone: Is Low T a Real Problem or Ad-Driven Fad? AARP.

  2. 11 Warning Signs of Low Testosterone. CBS News.

  3. Testosterone therapy: potential benefits and risks as you age. Mayo Clinic.

  4. Selling that new-man feeling. The New York Times.

  5. What is low testosterone (hypogonadism)? Urology Care Foundation.