Introduction: Relations between sexual desire and testosterone are more complex than previously thought particularly in ageing males.
Methods: A Medline search of the existing literature utilizing terms testosterone, libido, sexual desire, hypogonadism, and andropause, was performed until January 2012.
Results: Testosterone is a physiological stimulator of sexual desire. In case of complete hypogonadism, libido is very low and testosterone treatment restores sexual desire. In epidemiological studies, the relationship between testosterone and sexual desire is statistically significant but less strict because of interactions with other factors which decrease both sexual desire and testosterone levels. It is especially the case in ageing males: in addition to a possible late-onset hypogonadism, other etiological factors (health, partnership, socioeconomical and psychological factors) and other sexual dysfunctions (such as erectile dysfunction) must be taken into account.
Conclusion: The decrease of sexual desire is one of the symptoms seen in late-onset hypogonadism. The effect of testosterone replacement therapy is more obvious that testosterone is low and there are no other causes of impaired sexual desire. There is no evidence that testosterone therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia or promotes the clinical expression of subclinical prostate cancer.
Keywords: Ageing male; Désir sexuel; Hypogonadism; Hypogonadisme; Libido; Sexual desire; Testosterone; Testostérone; Âge.
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