Author: Leann Poston, M.D.

8 Foods That May Help Boost Your Testosterone

Low testosterone levels affect up to five million men in the U.S. Unfortunately, aging alone is a major risk factor for declining testosterone. After 30, testosterone levels fall by about  1% per year. Low testosterone, also called hypogonadism, is when testosterone levels fall below 300 nanograms/deciliter (ng/dl). A healthy diet and prioritizing physical activity go a long way towards boosting testosterone levels in both men and women. However, as people age, their metabolic rates decline...

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How Does Masturbation Affect Testosterone?

You’ve probably heard that masturbation lowers testosterone levels or that abstinence increases it. Small studies led people to draw these conclusions and make recommendations like abstaining from sexual activity prior to competitive sports, but how accurate are these conclusions? Scientific research on sexual behavior is notoriously difficult because it is hard to achieve consistency across studies. There is no evidence that masturbation has any long-lasting effects on testosterone levels,...

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Caffeine and Erectile Dysfunction: How Coffee and Energy Drinks Impact Men’s Sex Life

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and maintain an erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse. There are numerous potential causes of ED, but when the cause is physical, the common denominator is a lack of blood flow into the penis. Medications such as sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil work by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow into the penis. Caffeine is also a vasodilator. Which leads many men to wonder whether caffeine is an effective treatment for ED? Caffeine...

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At What Age Does Erectile Dysfunction Start?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and maintain an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual performance. An isolated incident of ED is normal and is common; however, approximately 18 million U.S. men have more persistent symptoms. Though the incidence increases with age and is more common in men over 40, ED can affect men in their 20s and 30s. In fact, researchers found that ED affects 8% of men in their 20s and 11% of men in their 30s. Risk factors, such as poor diet, excessive...

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Urologists: Who Are They and What Procedures Do They Offer?

Urology is the study of urine. A urologist is a medical doctor and surgical specialist who specializes in diseases and conditions of the urinary tract in men, women, and children and the male reproductive system. What Is a Urologist?  A urologist is a physician who has been specially trained to diagnose and treat any condition related to the urinary system and the male reproductive system.   A urologist treats conditions related to the urinary system, which is made up of the: bladder urethra ureters kidneys adrenal...

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Men’s Health Clinics: What Are They and What Do They Treat?

Men’s health clinics provide men with care equivalent to that provided by a gynecologist for women. Men have historically relied on to their primary care provider for help with male-specific health concerns. However, unlike a gynecologist, these specialists are not normally trained to address men’s health issues as specifically as a gynecologist is trained to address women’s sexual health needs. To meet this unmet need, men’s health clinics combine the services of many specialists...

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What Is Toxic Masculinity and How Does It Affect You?

Toxic masculinity describes the cultural pressure placed on men and boys to behave in a “masculine” way. Not just masculine, instead, a narrow definition of masculinity that punishes anyone who doesn’t meet the standard. A definition of masculinity that requires men to earn their masculinity, even at the expense of women, men, children, and society as a whole. It is used to describe men with the following personality traits: violent, domineering, aggressive, misogynist, and homophobic. The Good...

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Acts of Intimacy Outside of Sex

Intimacy and sex are frequently used interchangeably, but they are very different. Sex, along with hugging, hand-holding, and other physical touches, can help build intimacy. But intimacy does not have to be physical. Emotional intimacy is also important when making a connection with another human. Intimacy is a closeness between two people. It is a way for any two people to connect whether or not they are in a sexual relationship. Intimacy in a relationship is a sense of being close, connected,...

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Can Marijuana Cause ED?

Marijuana is legal for adult use in 18 states and the District of Columbia. In 36 states, medical marijuana is legally used to treat a variety of medical concerns. However, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level, which means it has a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use. This designation makes it difficult for researchers to study whether marijuana can cause erectile dysfunction or have any other sexual effects. However, there is emerging evidence that...

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Signs of Sex Addiction and How to Treat It

Sex addiction is defined as the compulsive need to engage in sexual behaviors. It leads to relationship problems, mental health issues, risk-taking behaviors, a compulsive need to masturbate, view pornography, and engage in both partnered and unpartnered sex. Sex Addiction: A Challenging Diagnosis The diagnosis of sex addiction is controversial since it has been excluded from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, the International Statistical...

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Is Masturbation Healthy?

Masturbation refers to a person self-stimulating their own genitals to become sexually aroused. The topic has been widely researched and is still poorly understood. One reason is that it is not well-defined. When 500 plus people were surveyed online, a wide range of definitions for masturbation was proposed. There was not a significant difference between men and women. However, two characteristics were consistent: only a single person is involved, and the goal is orgasm. Masturbation is a difficult...

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Does Alcohol Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

It’s a long-held belief that alcohol use increases sexual desire while inhibiting sexual performance. Alcohol affects the brain by decreasing inhibitions which may increase sexual desire. Increasing amounts of alcohol depress the activity of the brain. The effect of alcohol on erectile dysfunction seems to parallel what is known about its effects on heart disease. A little may be beneficial, much more than that is harmful. This should not be a surprise because there are many parallels between...

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How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone

Commonly referred to as the male sex hormone, testosterone is important to the health of both men and women. Testosterone production begins during puberty and declines at a rate of about 1% per year after age 30. Many of the physical changes associated with aging in men can be at least partially attributed to a decline in testosterone. Testosterone promotes muscle mass and strength, bone density and strength, normal fat distribution, red blood cell production, and sex drive in both men and women.  While...

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What Is the Best Medicine for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction is treatable and there are numerous treatment options, including pills, injectables, surgical procedures, and alternative treatments. Each man and his needs will determine the best ED medicine.  The first step in evaluating any medical condition is a thorough history and physical exam. Uncovering the underlying cause of ED sets up the potential for curing it instead of treating the symptoms. Read More: Is There a Cure for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)? Some causes of ED are...

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The Link Between Free Testosterone and Your Health

Testosterone, one of the “sex hormones,” has both anabolic and androgenic properties. Testosterone is produced by the testes and adrenal glands in the male and the ovaries and adrenal glands in the female. It travels through the bloodstream and binds to androgen receptors, affecting almost every organ in the body, especially muscle, bone, fat cells, and reproductive organs.  Testosterone can travel through the bloodstream bound to the proteins, albumin, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG),...

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Is There a Cure for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that makes it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. There are many causes of erectile dysfunction, some of which are reversible, some treatable, some partially treatable, and some that are difficult to treat. When blood flows into the penis and is trapped in spaces called the corpora cavernosum, an erection results. Pressure builds as blood fills these chambers, which causes the penis to stiffen....

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Testosterone and Steroids: What You Need To Know

Doctors use anabolic steroids to treat hormone deficiencies. Bodybuilders and some athletes misuse steroids by taking large doses to build muscle and increase strength. Steroids are essential for life. You can’t live without these compounds, but if they are abused, they can cause serious health issues. This article will explore the misuse of anabolic steroids and contrast it with testosterone replacement therapy. Anabolic steroids, more properly called anabolic-androgenic steroids, are used illegally...

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Do Women Have Testosterone?

Testosterone is commonly known as the male sex hormone, but it is also found in women in small amounts, just as estrogen is found in small amounts in men. In women, the ovaries and adrenal gland produce half of your testosterone, and the rest is produced by converting other androgens, namely androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), to testosterone. In women, testosterone either acts directly as an androgen or is converted to estrogen. It helps maintain strong bones, plays a role in reproductive...

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Do Men Go Through Menopause?

When a woman transitions through menopause, symptoms, such as hot flashes, an abrupt end to her menstrual cycle, and new-onset psychological or cognitive changes, indicate that her estrogen levels are dropping. This begs the question, “Do men experience a menopause equivalent?” If they do, should we call it menopause, manopause, or andropause? While it’s clear that testosterone levels decline in men as they age, what causes that decline and whether the symptoms a man experiences directly result...

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Understanding High Testosterone Levels

Both men and women have testosterone and estrogen. Males have much higher testosterone levels than females, and females have much higher estrogen levels than males. Hormone levels are tightly regulated because they affect tissues and organs throughout the body. A small increase in one hormone can affect the levels of other hormones, ultimately leading to abnormal organ function and disease. Read More: Can Thyroid Problems Cause Low Testosterone? The pituitary gland controls testosterone production...

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