Testosterone First: the Harvard Approach to Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Harvard Testosterone ConsultationErectile dysfunction (ED) is a common symptom in men as they age. If you’re having ED issues it could be due to your body’s inability to produce sufficient levels of the hormone testosterone. Medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing ED, and often the medications you are taking to treat these conditions can also negatively affect your sex drive and erectile function.

Thanks to relentless advertising, most men of a certain age with erectile difficulties know to ask their doctor about the “little blue pill”. But, is an ED drug like Viagra or Cialis always the best place to start, or are these drugs simply offering a quick-fix that ultimately fails to address the true underlying medical problem?


A recent article in the Harvard Men’s Health Watch entitled “A Logical Approach to Treating Erectile Dysfunction”, suggests that a “Testosterone First” method may be the most beneficial for men’s overall health. In other words, their first choice for treating men with ED and Low T is to give them testosterone, not Viagra. In fact, Dr. Morgentaler of the Harvard Medical School advises that, "Any man who complains of erectile dysfunction should get his testosterone level checked." He goes on to say that it is well established that testosterone by itself can improve erections in the majority of men suffering from ED.

Before ED drugs like Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil) appeared on the market in 1998, testosterone was a primary medical protocol for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Testosterone is the central driver of the male sexual response, maintaining the desire for sex and triggering the mechanics of an erection. It’s also important to note that ED drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and other PDE-5 inhibitors can help with blood flow, but do nothing to address low sex drive, so if you're having arousal problems, you’d do better to have your testosterone levels checked.


In addition to its critical role in healthy sexual function, Testosterone is also important for maintaining a lean body composition and sharp cognitive function. This makes the “Testosterone First” approach even more attractive, since along with restoring erectile function, men can also experience the added benefits of testosterone replacement therapy; more lean muscle, less body fat, improved bone density, increased energy & stamina, and a greater sense of well-being.

The cause of erectile dysfunction can only be determined by a doctor who can then prescribe the right medicine to correct the problem. With all of the amazing advances in men’s health science, it would be wise for any man experiencing a decrease in sexual function to have their testosterone levels checked by a physician who specializes in hormone replacement therapy.

Source material: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/a-logical-approach-to-treating-erectile-dysfunction-201211275583

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