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According to researchers led by Dr. Darius Paduch of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, issues with ejaculation affect anywhere from 10 percent to 18 percent of men.
These conditions include an inability to ejaculate, low ejaculation volumes and force, and delayed time to ejaculation, the researchers said. They added that there is currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for ejaculatory dysfunction.
Could testosterone replacement therapy help men who face these problems, and who also have low levels of testosterone?
"This is the first clinical trial examining the treatment of a very common but poorly understood condition that affects men's physical health as well as their interpersonal relationships," Paduch said in a news release from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, which published the new findings on July 9.
The study included 66 men, aged 26 and older, with low testosterone levels and a history of ejaculatory dysfunction. The men were randomly selected to receive either a 2 percent testosterone solution applied to the skin, or a "dummy" placebo.
After 16 weeks, the men who received the testosterone therapy showed little improvement in ejaculatory function compared to those in the placebo group.
One expert in men's sexual health wasn't surprised.
"Testosterone levels have long been known not to affect ejaculatory function," said Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
"Orgasm is a function of the sympathetic nervous system, which does not respond to testosterone," she explained. "Libido and sexual interest increase with testosterone, but not the ability to orgasm."
As for Paduch, he said that "although the participants in this study did not experience any significant improvement in ejaculatory function, we hope our work will spur the development of additional clinical trials to find treatments for this condition."
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCES: Elizabeth Kavaler, M.D., urology specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, news release, July 9, 2015