• Photo by bruce mars

The Grumpy Impotent Old Man

We know that testosterone production naturally declines in men from the age of 30, usually by about 1% per year.  Of course, this rate of decline can speed up or slow down depending on various factors such as lifestyle, the impact of other medical problems, or whether you were just lucky enough to produce a decent amount of testosterone at your peak. But as it is inevitable that every man will reduce his testosterone production with age, and this is part of every guy’s DNA, should we be trying to fight what is effectively just part of ageing?

The occasional failure to establish an erection can often be induced by the stresses of daily life, tiredness, anxiety, or excessive alcohol consumption and it is generally nothing to worry about. In fact, worrying about your erection can increase the likelihood of it happening again due to the fear of failure. When younger men suffer from ED, the likely cause is psychological; if this is definitely the case then erectile dysfunction drugs are a really effective tool in combating the symptoms.

Dr Jeff Foster
Dr Jeff FosterMedical Director & Male Health Lead

Dr Jeff Foster is a Men’s Health specialist and one of the founders of H3Health.

You can find out more about Dr Foster by viewing his latest articles and biography .

The role for testosterone?

Testosterone makes men more aggressive, assertive, sexually active, and display riskier behaviours. Therefore, from an evolutionary perspective it is not necessarily a bad thing that this challenging hormone declines as we get older, after all, maybe nature was trying to keep us safe?  No-one wants a grandfather who is trying to fight with the younger men in their tribe in an attempt to win the sexual affections of their women.   Another potential evolutionary advantage to dropping our testosterone is that we are less likely to undertake risky behaviours and possibly live long enough to impart the wisdom we have gained through our previous years of survival.  Of course, if we are being really true to our genetics, it is only relatively recently in human history that men have lived into their 60s and beyond, and we don’t even know if this is supposed to happen. So perhaps from a evolutionary perspective, our drop in testosterone is nothing deliberate, but just that we were never supposed to live past forty.

Is low testosterone just part of getting older?

We can all accept that modern medicine and life means that we are going to live longer than at any time before in history, and we will also have to accept that our bodies will reduce their testosterone production as we get old. But when it comes to accepting what is a normal part of ageing, this idea of living with low testosterone is only truly palatable if we are not affected by its loss.  If however, by the age of 40 you are already suffering the adverse symptoms of testosterone deficiency, without replacement treatment one might be destined to a very miserable forty years ahead.  Furthermore, this evolutionary theory does not take into account the negative impact of low testosterone on our metabolism, cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density and mental health.

Photo by bruce mars

So, in summary…

Overall, it seems unlikely that nature intended men to live long but become impotent, grumpy and docile.   In a similar way that women take HRT to prolong both the quality and quantity of their lives, men should consider testosterone replacement therapy as a means to improving not just how they feel, but also reduce the risk of other medical problems.   You can just accept low testosterone as a natural part of male ageing, and with it accept the impotence, depression, brain fog, fatigue and osteoporosis that comes with it, or we can rise above our genetic destiny and live happier, longer and healthier lives.

Would you like to speak to a specialist about low testosterone?

If you think you may have testosterone deficiency, or would like to speak to one of our specialists, you can book an appointment with one of our men’s health team here.