Libido loss and testosterone deficiency is not just part of ageing

Posted by Olderiswiser Editorial

British men are more comfortable discussing difficult financial matters than loss of libido. But solutions are available if you can overcome your own embarrassment.

Libido, testosterone and coming to terms with ageing

Recent survey results have shown how men really feel when it comes to talking about sensitive topics such as their lack of desire in the bedroom. Nearly half of British men (49%) are more comfortable discussing difficult financial matters than sensitive health issues such as loss of libido.1

With only 4 in 10 (41%) regularly speaking with their partner about their physical and mental health, sensitive issues are proving to be a harder topic for today’s man to tackle.1

Highlighting the embarrassment around this subject for men, 4 in 10 (39%) say they would rather go clothes shopping with their partner than speak to their doctor about testosterone deficiency syndrome or TDS, which affects over 700,000 men aged between 50 and 79 in the UK.1,2,3 Meanwhile, nearly a third (29%) would rather file their tax returns and almost a quarter (23%) would rather go to their dentist for a painful treatment like root canal work.1

“Loss of libido is the symptom most associated with testosterone deficiency yet men often think it’s just a part of ageing. Signs and symptoms vary and can also include tiredness, depression and erectile dysfunction.2 If you find yourself living with a grumpy old man who has lost his lust for life, or think of yourself that way, there may be more to it than that. TDS can be confusing as symptoms are not all specific to low testosterone so an accurate diagnosis is essential,” commented Dr Christian Jessen.2

The new research was conducted as part of the new Talking TDS awareness campaign. The impact of TDS on self-esteem may also be a barrier to talking with their partners for many men, with 30% of men saying that they would feel less of a man if they found out they had TDS and a staggering 13% saying they would worry about their partner leaving if they had the condition.1

Worryingly, 4 in 10 men questioned (43%) either do not know or do not consider testosterone deficiency to be a medical condition.1 “TDS can impact on quality of life both emotionally and physically and can cause wider problems if left untreated, however, it can be diagnosed and managed. TDS can be a misunderstood condition, sometimes confused with ageing,” said Dr David Edwards, a GP with a special interest in male and female sexual dysfunction.4

The research also revealed that when it comes to form and function, over three quarters of men are likely to turn to their doctor if they experience erectile dysfunction (77%), yet less than half (47%) are likely to seek advice if they experience low sex drive.1


1 Edelman Berland. Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome Awareness Quantitative Survey. January 2015.

2 British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM). Guidelines on the Management of Sexual Problem in Men: The role of Androgens. 2010 (p.4A, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D, 5E, 5F, 6A, 6B)

3 Office of National Statistics. 2011 Census: Population Estimates for the United Kingdom. 2011. (p.9A, 10A)

4 Men’s Health Forum. Testosterone FAQs. 2014. Accessed February 2015 from: (p.1A, 1B)


Read more about Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome in older men.


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