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Baylor College of Medicine News

Men with low testosterone, erectile dysfunction may improve sexual function with testosterone gels

A topical testosterone gel may help men with low testosterone and erectile dysfunction have a more satisfactory sexual experience, said a Baylor College of Medicine urologic clinician-researcher today in a report at the annual meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America in Miami.

"Historically testosterone replacement therapy was thought to only improve libido or sexual desire, which is very different from sexual function," said Dr. Mohit Khera, the study's leader, assistant professor of urology and director of the Laboratory for Sexual Medicine at BCM. "Many biological factors affect a man's ability to achieve an erection, including psychological, neural, vascular and endocrine factors. While the desire is there, the physical ability to function may be inhibited in men with low testosterone."

Survey completed before and after use of gel

The study included men aged 32 to 84 years with low testosterone and erectile dysfunction who were part of a registry of individuals using Testim®, a topical testosterone gel.

The men completed a survey called the Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory in which they scored their libidos, ejaculatory functions, level of bother from erectile dysfunction and overall sexual satisfaction on a scale of 0-4 (low to high).

They completed the survey when they entered the registry and six months after continuous therapy with the gel.

Study shows improvement

After six months on the gel, the 42 men in the study reported improvements in their overall Brief Male Sexual Function Inventory. Specifically, the libido score went from 2.48 to 2.95, erectile function from 2.29 to 2.65, ejaculatory function from 3.09 to 3.68, level of bother with erectile dysfunction from 2.19 to 2.90 and overall sexual satisfaction 2.06 to 2.63.

"This suggests that testosterone levels also play an important role in sexual function," said Khera 
Other institutions participating in this study include The Miriam HospitalThe Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University and The University of Kansas Medical Center.

The study was supported by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, which makes Testim®.