Sex, Energy, Well-Being and Low Testosterone: An Exploratory Survey of U.S. Men's Experiences on Prescription Testosterone

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep 5;16(18):3261. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183261.


Prescription testosterone sales in the United States have skyrocketed in the last two decades due to an aging population, direct-to-consumer advertising, and prescriber views of the benefits and risks to testosterone, among other factors. However, few studies have attempted to directly examine patient experiences on prescription testosterone therapy. The present exploratory study involved an online self-report survey of U.S. testosterone patients who were at least 21 years of age. The primary focus was on patient perspectives concerning motivations leading to the initiation of testosterone therapy and the perceived effects of treatment. Responses to open-ended questions drew upon a coding scheme incorporating both inductive and deductive approaches, influenced by the clinical, male life history theory, and behavioral endocrinology literature. Results indicated that the most frequent reasons men gave for taking prescription testosterone were low testosterone (37.1%), well-being (35.2%), energy (28.7%), libido (21.9%), and social energy (19.4%); older men claimed libido as a motivation for testosterone initiation more frequently than younger men (p < 0.001). Men most frequently claimed testosterone improved their energy (52.3%), libido (41.9%), and muscle (28.5%). Results are interpreted in the context of medical, life history theoretical and behavioral endocrinology approaches, including an emphasis on sex and energy.

Keywords: energy; hypogonadism; libido; low testosterone; prescription testosterone therapy; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexuality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Testosterone