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Estrogen and Testosterone Hormones


Hormone-Replacement Therapy

Perhaps less well known is the fact that men sometimes experience lowered testosterone levels, which can be responsible for sexual dysfunction. How this hormonal decrease affects the man's sex drive and erections remains unclear. But urologists, as a treatment for these difficulties, sometimes recommend testosterone replacement. There is a great deal yet to be learned about which men and women may require and benefit from hormone-replacement therapy.

It is tempting to try to understand sexual behavior solely in terms of hormones. In many animal species hormones that control the female's willingness to mate and the courtship and sexual behavior of the male tightly regulate patterns of sexual behavior.

In humans, however, there is a more complicated relationship between hormones and sexual behavior. Although a substantial testosterone deficiency usually reduces sexual interest in men and women, there are cases in which that effect is not seen.

Similarly, although many men with below normal testosterone levels have difficulty with erections, not all do. Women who have low amounts of estrogen in their bodies do not lose their ability to be sexually aroused or to have orgasms.

In short, sex hormones are not the only factors affecting sexual interest or behavior. If you are concerned about your hormone levels and whether they may be effecting your general health or your sexual functioning, consult your doctor for some easily performed and (almost) painless laboratory blood work.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


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