It has been suggested Low T, the manly term for low testosterone levels, may contribute to problems with ejaculation. A new small-scale study suggests this physiological tie-in may be less direct, possibly more complex than it first appears. Men with ejaculatory dysfunction will not experience improved sexual function following hormone replacement therapy, the researchers say.

“We hope our work will spur the development of additional clinical trials to find treatments for this condition,” Dr. Darius A. Paduch, of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, stated in a press release.

The somewhat vague term ejaculation dysfunction covers a range of issues, including the inability to ejaculate, decreased volume or weakened force of ejaculation, and delayed time in ejaculation. Experts estimate between 10 and 18 percent of men experience such problems, which may be caused by underlying, though unknown, neurobiological, physiological, or psychological issues. Unfortunately, these symptoms are separate from erectile dysfunction and no FDA-approved medicine exists to treat them.

In the absence of therapy, a man’s sexual satisfaction, self-esteem, relationships, and quality of life may suffer.

Effective or not?

For the current study, the researchers evaluated the efficacy of testosterone replacement therapy in treating men with ejaculatory dysfunction at medical facilities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Sixty-six men, 26 years old or older, completed the study in which they were given either a placebo or testosterone treatment (a 2% solution). All of the study participants had lower-than-average testosterone levels; all had one or more symptoms of ejaculation dysfunction.

Throughout the 16-week study period, the researchers measured participants’ hormone levels and gauged their ejaculatory function via self-reports and semen samples.

Among the men who received testosterone replacement, the research team recorded no or little improvement in ejaculate volume or orgasmic function. While these same participants had higher scores on the Sexual Health Questionnaire, the improvement in ejaculatory dysfunction was too small to be statistically significant when compared to participants taking placebo.

“In clinical trials, T replacement has consistently shown improvement in libido, whereas its efficacy in improving erectile dysfunction remains unclear,” wrote the researchers in their conclusion.

While a boost to the libido may be highly desirable, there could be a very real downside for men who take testosterone treatment drugs. Mayo Clinic suggests these medicines may increase the risk of a blood clot forming in a deep vein. T might stimulate either noncancerous growth of the prostate or growth of an existing cancer. The research is not yet crystal clear, Mayo warns, but T therapy also could increase a man’s risk of heart disease.

Source: Paduch DA, Polzer PK, Ni X, Basaria S. Testosterone Replacement in Androgen-Deficient Men With Ejaculatory Dysfunction: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2015.