This is a study that shows the links between thyroid problems, and male sexual problems. I am sure that a similar study may exist for women, showing female sexual dysfunction related to thyroid problems as well.
One of the worst tragedies of medicine today is the very poor medical treatment of thyroid problems.
Years ago, Dr. Broda Barnes treated over 3000 patients who had normal thyroid function allegedly, but he treated them based on metabolic rate, temperature, heart rate.
And he found that his patients were low in thyroid, even though they may have shown as normal thyroid to most other doctors.
Over decades, these 3000 patients experienced virtually no heart attacks and were far healthier than a similar group of patients who went through a major decade-long longitudinal study on aging.
Dr. Barnes did not to my knowledge comment on sexual function. But this study helps fill the gap.
This study will show you some surprising things about thyroid function as relates to erectile dysfunction.
The study was designed as a multicenter, prospective study of sexual symptoms and dysfunctions, specifically hypoactive sexual desire (HSD), erectile dysfunction (ED), PE, and delayed ejaculation (DE), in adult males during and after recovery from hyper- and hypothyroidism.
Let’s get some definitions here.
Hypoactive sexual desire is low desire. Or as the study says, “persistently or recurrently deficient (or absent) sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity.”
Delayed ejaculation is where the man grinds away and cannot have an orgasm, even after prolonged periods of intercourse. The study called it “slowness to ejaculate”, which I suppose is true. Although lasting a long time is a GOOD thing. Delayed ejaculation involves LOW PLEASURE and LOW SENSITIVITY during intercourse.
So first, patients who had a high thyroid, or hyperthyroid, were treated for that with various medications that I’m not crazy about, but that brought down their high thyroid levels.
And the patients with low thyroid, hypothyroid, were given T4 supplementation.
The patients averaged 43 years old but ranged from 22 to 62 years old.
Before and after treatment for thyroid, the patients were evaluated for the degree of sexual problems.
With low thyroid patients
ED almost disappeared, and patients with [low desire] found a significant improvement of symptoms while on treatment
patients with low thyroid function were much more likely to have delayed ejaculation problems.
With high (hyper) thyroid patients, the researchers found that men’s problem was often premature ejaculation.
The researchers found:
for the first time that specific sexual disorders occur frequently in males with thyroid hypo- and hyperfunction and that most of these symptoms revert promptly as euthyroidism is restored.
Low thyroid is linked to delayed ejaculation and low sex drive and difficulties getting or keeping an erection.
Hyper (too high) thyroid function is linked to premature ejaculation AND erection problems in general.
Hyperthyroid men were more likely to have HIGH estrogen levels, and 10% of them had gynecomastia (“man boobs”).
The researchers conclude
most patients with a chronic thyroid disease experience some sexual symptoms, such as PE in hyperthyroidism, Delayed ejaculation in hypothyroidism, and… ED in both conditions.
Supplementation with proper amounts of T4 and T3 thyroid may help resolve erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and low sexual desire in men.
It pays to talk to your doctor about thyroid if you suffer these problems, and if your doctor is not receptive, to try to find another doctor who is.
This may be the missing link for many men with sexual problems.
- Multicenter Study on the Prevalence of Sexual Symptoms in Male Hypo- and Hyperthyroid Patients
Thyroid disorder is one of the most overlooked problems in modern medicine, though studies abound in medical research which proves that thyroid imbalances can cause long term defects in the human body. If proper care is not taken, hyperthyroidism or too high thyroid function has been found to cause a host of health problems.
It has been found that pregnant women who are suffering from Hyperthyroidism have a high probability of giving birth to babies with birth defects. Medical studies have also shown that since Thyroid is very important in the proper development of the brain function, an imbalance in it may cause developmental issues in the babies.
Overproduction of Thyroid can cause overstimulation of the gland and inflammation, which is also known as goiter. In addition to that, the overstimulation of the thyroid gland has also been found to affect heart activity. A thyroid which is underactive can increase the possibility of heart diseases since it creates an imbalance in the cholesterol levels. An underactive thyroid increases the level of bad cholesterol which can lead to the hardening of the arteries. Whereas high thyroid function can lead to a build-up of fluid around the heart that can cause heart pumping problems.
There are also a host of mental issues that are caused by Thyroid problems. Mild hypothyroidism has been found to cause depression in individuals and if left untreated may cause it to intensify. In extreme cases where the hypothyroidism has not been detected for a long time, it can lead to a Myxedema. It is a physical disorder where the rate of metabolism falls so low that one can slip into coma.
The key to preventing these problems is to follow a monthly body health diagnosis and seek early medical help if there is an imbalance in the health functions.
2. How are hypothyroidism and erectile dysfunction related?
As surprising as it may sound, thyroid imbalance can affect the sexual drive of humans. One of the most common of the thyroid problems is hyperthyroidism, where the gland secretes more hormones than natural. But Hypothyroidism or where the secretion is low can also cause erectile dysfunction. Many research studies have shown that people who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism have been found to suffer from low sexual desire, premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation.
In most cases, lifestyle changes are the principal alternative to curing the erectile dysfunction issues that are caused by hypothyroidism. Taking initiatory steps in handling stress issues through practices like yoga, tai chi and meditation are important steps in aiding the body’s natural healing mechanisms to balance hypothyroidism. Since elevated cortisol levels ( Usually caused by stress ) can affect erectile functioning, engaging in practices like biofeedback and deep breathing exercises are a great way of balancing the body ecosystem.
In most cases, the type of sexual issues that men with hypothyroidism can face is the inability to maintain an erection and the inability to ejaculate. As overlooked as it is, the thyroid is integral to many of the body’s vital processes such as metabolic function, blood flow, and hormone balance. Because of this reduced metabolic activity which is caused by Hypothyroidism, there is the decreased production of hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen which are critical for sexual activity. Low thyroid function also lowers the T3 hormone which reduces the sex hormone levels too.
Though this is often overlooked leading to complete misdiagnosis or complete oversight, knowing the importance of thyroid health and its relation to an individual's sexual life is very important. To that note including the evaluation of sex hormone levels and thyroid panel testing in your monthly health test is very critical to maintaining a healthy body and keeping your sexual life hale and hearty.