Do male hormone supplements cause erectile dysfunction?

Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, plays a much larger role in male libido than previously thought.

Lowering estrogen levels in men while treating low testosterone leads to decreased libido and increased body weight, endocrinologist Joel Finkelstein found in a study. This occurs despite the increase in testosterone levels during therapy, he notes in his publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Estrogen is not just a “female” hormone, and its balance in the male body is essential for good health. In the male metabolism, some testosterone naturally converts to estrogen, but it is unstable and breaks down if there is too little testosterone. Research proves that both sexes need the endogenous hormones of the opposite sex to maintain a normal sex life.

The study included more than 300 men aged 20 to 50 who, with the help of special therapy, interrupted the production of all sex hormones. Half of them then received a testosterone-boosting drug plus a placebo, while the other half received the same testosterone stimulant plus an estrogen-suppressing drug. The results show a significantly reduced libido in the first group and complete suppression in the second.

Finkelstein also concluded that testosterone is the primary hormone that determines active body mass and muscle strength, while estrogen causes fat storage.

The specialist warns that testosterone preparations, nutritional supplements, and ointments should not be used without the permission of a doctor. Many of these are based on synthetic hormones that cannot be fully metabolized by the body and are converted into estrogens. This leads to an imbalance in favor of testosterone, which has already been shown to reduce libido and cause erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle and bone mass, and depression.