When you’re under stress (be it from lack of sleep, workplace stress, emotional stress, stress from a bad diet, overtraining etc.), your body releases cortisol. Cortisol blunts the effects of testosterone (47), which makes sense from an evolutionary point of view – if we were stressed as cavemen chances are it was a life or death situation – not running late to a meeting - in this state (i.e. running from a lion) the body wouldn’t care if you couldn’t get it up, there was more to worry about!
‘Testosterone boosting’ products - found online, or in health food or body-building shops, these products claim to boost testosterone levels if you buy them. The majority of these products will not have the effect you want and are not worth spending money on. Any of these products that do have a real effect may have a form of prescription medication in which is both dangerous and illegal.
Longjack, also known as Tongkat ali and pasak bumi, is a shrub hailing from Southeast Asia purporting to improve libido. It’s gaining traction in the scientific community for potentially increasing testosterone levels, and researchers at South Africa’s University of the Western Cape found that longjack improved testosterone levels and muscular strength in physically active seniors (a population with typically low testosterone).
We should probably start with the elephant in the room: do these supplements increase testosterone? The answer is probably yes. There are some ingredients that help convince your body to produce more testosterone, but there’s a catch. Testosterone boosters aren’t actually great at boosting; that is, at pushing your testosterone levels above your healthy, normal balance. Boosters typically act more like restorers — helping bring low testosterone levels back to that healthy equilibrium rather than boosting you above normal testosterone levels. Just like how if you have anemia, taking a vitamin B12 supplement can help restore your energy and reduce fatigue, but if your B12 levels are good, a supplement won’t give you super energy levels to stay awake for three days — your body will likely just process (read: pee) out the extra.
Another study in 2015 by Melville and friends gave subjects either three or six grams of DAA per day for a 14 days (2 weeks). Researchers noted that the 3g dose of D-aspartic acid did not result in any meaningful changes in testosterone levels (or any other anabolic hormones for that matter). However, the group of men receiving 6g per day experienced a significant reduction in both total testosterone and free testosterone levels, with no concurrent change in other hormones tested.
Not exactly. There are a number of drugs that may lessen sex drive, including the BPH drugs finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart). Those drugs can also decrease the amount of the ejaculatory fluid, no question. But a reduction in orgasm intensity usually does not go along with treatment for BPH. Erectile dysfunction does not usually go along with it either, though certainly if somebody has less sex drive or less interest, it’s more of a challenge to get a good erection.
There are three ways to increase testosterone activity naturally with simple lifestyle choices. The first is to increase total testosterone production. Second is to increase the amount of free and active testosterone that can stimulate testosterone receptors. The third is to unblock testosterone receptors, opening them up for testosterone stimulation.
When I first started TRT, my physician prescribed a cream that you rub into your skin. The cream version of TRT is not too convenient, because if someone touches you while you have the cream on, the testosterone can rub off on him/her. This can be really bad around kids or pregnant women. If you’re sleeping next to someone, the cream can get on the sheets and transfer over that way, too. The cream can be annoying, but it works. There’s also a gel version called AndroGel; I skipped it because it doesn’t absorb as well as the cream does.
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However, testosterone is only one of many factors that aid in adequate erections. Research is inconclusive regarding the role of testosterone replacement in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In a review of studies that looked at the benefit of testosterone in men with erection difficulties, showed no improvement with testosterone treatment. Many times, other health problems play a role in erectile difficulties. These can include:
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach are rich sources of folic acid. Low levels of folate can give rise to distorted sperm shapes such as ones with two heads or two tails. The sperm are also at an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities. This means that firstly your sperm will find it difficult to reach an egg and even if it does reach an egg, it will not be able to fertilize it. Furthermore, even if these sperms are able to fertilize an egg, the chances of birth defects are quite high in such cases.
Another recent development is the production of adhesive tablets which are applied twice daily to the buccal mucosa on the gum above the incisor teeth. The tablets gradually release testosterone into the systemic venous circulation and steady state physiological concentrations are achieved in most patients within two days (Ross et al 2004). Some patients do not like the feeling of the tablet in the mouth or find that there is an abnormal taste in the mouth, but local adverse effects are usually mild and transient (Wang, Swerdloff et al 2004).
I have been on both pills and gel.While the pills were much more convenient, the gel seems to work better for me. I feel more focused and clear of mind with gel therapy. I’ve also noticed more sexual interest (closer to levels when younger – now 65) and get ‘harder’ when I do get an erection. The therapy has been good for me emotionally and physically. I’ll stay on it until and if negative signs/symptoms arise.
This is over simplified but should offer you some clarity to what you are experiencing – If you are getting Testosterone Cypionate injections every 2 weeks, then you are on the roller coaster. I have great results with weekly injections and some folks need bi-weekly injections. It’s all how your body reacts but every 2 weeks is just plain too far apart as the product is relatively ineffective after 10 days. Measurable at 10 days? Somewhat but still ineffective at that point.
Fenugreek, in the form of a capsule, testofen, or Fenugreek tea could do the trick. The fact that fenugreek increases libido is not mythology; it is backed by a clinical study which showed the libido of men aged 25-52 increased by 25% on average when taking fenugreek extract for six weeks. According to Lee Myer, of www.peaktestosterone.com fame, fenugreek will help you achieve orgasm as well, so if this is an issue for you, fenugreek may be the answer. It’s a frustrating problem to have.
If a young man's low testosterone is a problem for a couple trying to get pregnant, gonadotropin injections may be an option in some cases. These are hormones that signal the body to produce more testosterone. This may increase the sperm count. Hedges also describes implantable testosterone pellets, a relatively new form of treatment in which several pellets are placed under the skin of the buttocks, where they release testosterone over the course of about three to four months. Injections and nasal gels may be other options for some men.