Many senior men who find that their sex lives have been negatively impacted due to age consider undergoing testosterone therapy; however, they should be aware that the therapy may have cardiac-related effects.
Organization suggests caution
In 2014, the Endocrine Society, self-described as “the world’s oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology,” published a position paper in which it advised senior men looking into testosterone therapy to consider their decision carefully.
Testosterone is typically known as the “male hormone.” Testosterone therapy is approved for use as a treatment for hypogonadism, typically during childhood or adolescence. Since testosterone plays a role in a man’s sex drive and his erectile function, it is often administered to adult men who are experiencing unsatisfactory sex lives due to a decrease in the production of the male hormone.
Why take special care?
The reason that the Endocrine Society suggests caution where testosterone therapy in older men is concerned is related to studies which suggest that the risk of myocardial infarction (that is, a heart attack) increases if a man receives testosterone supplementation and has a pre-existing heart disease. The concern is also prompted by a recent, large-scale National Institute on Aging study that looked at testosterone in senior men and that was ended due to safety concerns prompted by cardiovascular-related events in men receiving testosterone.
There is at this point insufficient information available to conclusively state that older men should always avoid testosterone therapy; more studies are required before that conclusion is warranted. However, the data that available do make it clear that doctors should be cautious about administering testosterone to senior men; doctors and patients need to discuss the possible risks involved.
Senior men desire an active and enjoyable sex life; they simply need to be made aware of the possible consequences so that they can make a decision regarding their options.