Researchers have found that testosterone gel can make erectile dysfunction drugs more effective and can also assist in maintaining the integrity of the penis' cavernosal structures. The research team involved set out to compare the effectiveness of testosterone gel (T-gel) versus placebo as a supplement used with sildenafil (marketed as Viagra) in low testotsterone men with erectile dysfunction who did not previously respond to sildenafil alone.
The study, appearing in the Journal of Urology, found that the testosterone treated subjects had a greater improvement in erectile function compared to those who received placebo. Additionally, the researchers noted that the patients reported improvements in orgasmic function and overall satisfaction.
Interestingly, an evolving concept in the field of erectile dysfunction is the relevance of androgens in general, and testosterone in particular. Experimental evidence for the crucial importance of androgens in the maintenance of the anatomical integrity of the penile cavernosal structures is overwhelming. Additionally, several clinical studies have confirmed improvement in sexual desire and erectile quality in testosterone deficient men treated with testosterone gel.
The new study indicates that testosterone deficiency interferes not only with normal function, but also with the response to treatments (in this case, sildenafil) specifically aimed at correcting the inadequate mechanisms of erection.
Based on the new findings, the researchers suggest that assessment of testosterone levels should be part of the initial assessment of men complaining of erectile dysfunction. If a testosterone deficiency is documented, it should be treated initially and may be all that is necessary. However, if the response is inadequate, the addition of a specific agent such as sildenafil may be required.
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Source: Department of Urology, Queen's University