Low testosterone levels are a serious problem among American men. Neil Howe’s reveals in his Forbes article “You’re Not the Man Your Father Was” the multitude of factors causing a precipitous decline in male testosterone. However, there was one factor he did not account for: STDs.
Natural Causes of Low Testosterone
Naturally, testosterone levels are supposed to decrease gradually in a man from the age of 30 onwards. This decline can be more significant in some men than others, with up to 39% of men suffering from low testosterone levels.
We won’t go too deep into the details of what the symptoms are. That’s information for another article. What’s more interesting is to find out what the causes of low testosterone levels are.
These can be divided into primary hypogonadism (low testosterone) and secondary hypogonadism.
Primary hypogonadism is caused by things that are pretty much beyond the power of the individual. Undescended testicles are one of these causes. If the testicles fail to descend into their natural position before birth, then the individual will suffer from low testosterone levels.
Another cause is Klinefelter’s Syndrome, where an individual is born with 3, instead of 2, sex chromosomes. Too much iron in the blood, also known as hemochromatosis, is another cause. Generally, both of these issues can be cured with therapy and testosterone boosters.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Low Testosterone
Secondary hypogonadism is caused by a variety of factors as well. Disorders in the pituitary gland, the Kallmann syndrome, and various inflammatory diseases, including tuberculosis, histiocytosis, and sarcoidosis.
But something interesting is that there is a link between STDs and low testosterone levels. The most prominent connection here is that between HIV/AIDS and low testosterone levels.
HIV is probably one of the deadliest diseases ever known to man. It acts by killing lymphocytes, which are a crucial part of the body’s defense system. As a result, the body becomes prone to a host of diseases, including certain kinds of cancer. It’s typically spread through unprotected sex.
A recent study showed that there’s a direct link between HIV and low testosterone levels in men. In fact, it has been known to lead to infertility. While lots of medicines have been developed to fight the virus, these medicines don’t kill it off completely but weaken it significantly enough that a person can live a normal life with the disease. HIV affects the functioning of the pituitary gland and leads to low testosterone levels and, eventually, infertility as well.
There are other STDs that have also been linked to low testosterone levels by studies. Consider chlamydia, for example. Men infected with chlamydia are thrice as likely as healthy men to have DNA fragmentation in their sperm. They also tend to have a higher proportion of ill-formed sperm overall.
Syphilis is known to cause gummatous lesions which, if they occur in the testicles, can inhibit their function and lead to infertility. Gonorrhea, another STD, causes blockages and permanent scars in the sperm production cycle which contributes to low testosterone and male infertility.
The New Threat Posed by STDs in 2018
STDs have always been terrifying. But with each passing year their lurking threat grows. Research has shown that the rates of infected individuals are wildly increasing. To add insult to injury, many previously curable diseases, such as gonorrhea, are now becoming immune to treatment. But this is all common knowledge. What most men do not know is that while the diseases wreck havoc, they will never experience a single symptom.
The three factors of STD rates increasing, diseases becoming incurable, and men never experiencing symptoms is not meant to cause fear. It is simply to put the situation into perspective. America’s low-t problem is already serious enough – the last thing the USA needs is a generation of infected, low-t males.
All of these STDs can be detected early using sexually transmitted disease tests, many of which you can administer at home. It’s imperative that you take tests as soon as you suspect you may have contracted the disease as it will allow you to seek treatment early enough and have a better chance of curing the disease – even HIV, which can be eradicated if treated within 72 hours.