Hormonal Balance in Men: How it Affects Sexual Health and Performance

by Glenn Larson
man and woman laying in bed

In order for our bodies to function properly, the systems must be in equilibrium. The same goes for our hormones that if we maintain a hormonal balance, then our bodies will work according to its full potential and maintain it’s well-being. And because hormones play a vital role in copulation, we must also tackle the importance of hormones in sex.

man and woman sweet morrning

To fully understand the impact of hormonal balance, we must go back to the basics and explore the importance of hormones in our bodies. When we say hormones, we are referring to chemical messengers produced from our body’s glands that act on other organs to promote growth, well-being, and aid in reproduction.

In line with reproduction, discussion about the roles of sex hormones is essential. Where testosterone and progesterone are the two main hormones that affect both men and women. If there is a decrease in the levels of testosterone in men, leading to a decrease in energy, difficulty in building and maintaining an erection, as well as a loss in libido. 

Another hormone that causes irregularities in sex is the cortisol hormone that is often released whenever you are exposed to chronic stress. This can cause a phenomenon called PREGNENOLONE STEAL – which can lower both testosterone and progesterone. Thus creating a disruption of the normal hormonal balance.

To understand the male hormones better, let us decipher how the brain affects the important roles that hormones play in sex. The base of the brain is where the pituitary gland and hypothalamus are located. They control the production of male hormones and sperm. 

  • The hypothalamus generates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) – responsible for the release of other hormones from the pituitary gland.
  • The hormones produced from the pituitary level then travel via your blood in order to make changes in the male’s testicles.

It does not matter whether you have a healthy sex drive, an elevated level of sex drive, or if you have an agonizingly low sex drive, your motivation for sex is often controlled by hormones. Although some emotional or psychological factors also affect sexual desire, they are at a minimum as compared to the general importance of hormones in sex.

For men having a diminished sex drive, hormonal imbalance is often the culprit due to increasing age and andropause. According to statistics, around 70% of problems related to low libido are caused by a disruption of the hormonal balance.

Here are the different types of hormones that have an impact on men’s sexual health and performance:

progesterone and estrogen
  1. ESTROGEN – Normally found in females, estrogen is also produced in men’s testes in tiny amounts. If they are maintained in a balance with testosterone, they can very well aid in sperm production, maintenance of erection, as well as in keeping a good level of sexual desire. Elevated levels of estrogen in men cause erectile dysfunction that will, in turn, lead to a lower libido.
  2. TESTOSTERONE – The hormone that has the biggest impact on human sexuality. A decrease in the levels of testosterone production can influence sexual drive and performance in both men and women. Men having low levels of testosterone have a negative impact on their desire to undergo intercourse. It also causes erectile dysfunction and inhibits or reduces the ability to get and maintain arousal. Having low levels of testosterone also affect the stamina or energy in both men and women. It also produces and maintains the secondary sexual characteristics in men such as enhanced musculature, more facial and body hair, thickened larynx, deepened voice, and enlargement of the genitals. It works with FSH to stimulate the production of sperm.
  3. PROGESTERONE – Even though the progesterone hormone is more prominently known in women, they also have an effect on men. Progesterone influences the generation of sperm or spermiogenesis, sperm capacitation, and they also affect testosterone biosynthesis in the Leydig cells. Although not more commonly known, progesterone’s influence on men can be observed in the central nervous system, in which it blocks gonadotropin secretion, it aids in sleep enhancement, and found to have effects on tumors in the CNS. Progestin helps in stimulating weight gain and enhancement of appetite in both men and women. If progesterone receptors are detected in males, it may be a sign of having prostate cancer.
  4. DHEA – DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone naturally produced in the adrenal glands. As a precursor to testosterone, it can have implications for sexual health. After age 30, our levels of DHEA naturally drop. DHEA is closely associated with aging, depression, obesity, and erectile dysfunction. Having an imbalance of this hormone can usually be treated with testosterone therapy.
  5. CORTISOL – As previously stated above, cortisol affects both men and women as high levels of this hormone can influence sexual behavior. Usually, those individuals who are always exposed to a stressful environment get an increase in the levels of cortisol. Too much stress can cause the adrenal glands to be in a hyper mode that an influx of cortisol begins leading to fatigue, weight gain, and impaired immunity. All these conditions also lead to a lower sex drive or general disinterest in sex.

Having a low sex drive in men is closely related to problems with sexual performance such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. All of these are caused by a disruption of hormonal balance. For men with these conditions, they also struggle with their desires or motivation to have sex.

Sexual dysfunction in men is often attributed to low testosterone levels. Since testosterone affects energy and weight management, they also have a vital role in having sexual desires, stamina, arousal, as well as sexual performance. There is no doubt that the importance of hormones in sex cannot be undermined. 

When you have low libido due to hormonal imbalance, it does not mean that you are helpless. In fact, you can take an active role in resetting your hormones to regain your sex drive back. Because nature has a way of putting things in a balance, then we must ensure to maintain that equilibrium inside our bodies to stay healthy. And since even the tiniest particles in our bodies have an impact on us as a whole, we would want to maintain that hormonal balance that we currently have while we are young.

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