Get the latest COVID-19 information: vaccines, testing, getting care and more
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Verify your medical group

Refer to your insurance card or call your insurance provider to determine your medical group.

You can also search for your primary care doctor to find the medical group you and your doctor belong to.

Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Men with ED might not need testosterone

Oct. 6, 2021

Men with ED might not need testosterone

If you are a man diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED), it is important to understand the cause of ED before considering testosterone treatment. Testosterone treatment usually isn’t helpful for ED and can expose you to many risks and side effects, according to Dr. David Hall, a Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group double board-certified internal medicine and pediatrics doctor.

“After age 50, testosterone levels in men slowly decrease, making erectile dysfunction more common,” he says. “However, erectile dysfunction by itself is not an indication for testosterone replacement. In addition, testosterone treatments don’t improve erections in men with normal testosterone levels.”

Why you should think twice about testosterone treatment for ED 
Although low testosterone may affect the desire for sex, it rarely causes ED. ED is most frequently caused by decreased blood flow to the penis due to narrowing of the blood vessels or injury to the nerves.

Certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and diabetes can lead to damage of the arteries and nerves that supply the penis. Prescription medications that specifically increase blood flow can be more helpful than testosterone in restoring normal erectile function.

According to Dr. Hall, testosterone treatment can expose you to many side effects, such as excessive fluid retention, lower fertility and increased symptoms of sleep apnea.

“While testosterone treatment can cause acne, prostate enlargement or growth of breast tissue in men, there are also more serious risks,” says Dr. Hall. “Treatments may cause an increase in red blood cells that can lead to heart disease or blood clots. In addition, testosterone therapy has been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in certain, but not all, patients.”

When to consider testosterone treatment for ED
Symptoms of low testosterone may include: 
  • Less of a sex drive 
  • Loss of body hair
  • Fatigue
  • Breast tissue growth 
  • Decrease in need to shave 
  • Drop in muscle size and strength 
  • Bones that break more easily
“Talk to your doctor if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, especially if you’ve also experienced trouble having erections for three months,” says Dr. Hall. “Your doctor may conduct tests to determine your testosterone levels, and after appropriate evaluation, your doctor may recommend testosterone treatment.”

At Sharp Rees-Stealy, we want to empower you to make well-informed choices about treatments when it comes to men’s health. That’s why we’ve made it our priority to support our doctors in helping you make smart and effective decisions by participating in Choosing Wisely®.

Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation, educates patients and doctors on selecting the most effective treatment available and avoiding unproductive, costly procedures. Sharp Rees-Stealy is the only medical group in Southern California to participate in this national campaign.

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us

Call 1-800-827-4277 or view our detailed phone directory.

For medical or psychiatric emergencies, call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process your price estimate if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.