Defending Testosterone, Debunking the Myths

Abraham Morgentaler, MD


June 04, 2015

In This Article

Testosterone: Good Medicine for Men Who Need It

Testosterone therapy is an established, effective treatment for symptomatic men with low levels of serum testosterone. Symptoms may be sexual (reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving orgasm) or nonsexual (fatigue, loss of vitality or energy, poor motivation, depressed mood, weakness). Treatment improves symptoms in most men. Although the medical goal of testosterone therapy is to alleviate symptoms, it is increasingly recognized that general health may also be improved.

At this point, there is no credible evidence that testosterone therapy increases the risk for CV disease or prostate cancer. Known risks include erythrocytosis, gynecomastia, acne, and peripheral edema. Exogenous testosterone also reduces fertility and may reduce testicular size.

Testosterone therapy is good medicine for the appropriate patient. There is value in identifying men who are testosterone-deficient, and offering them a trial of treatment. For the good of men, it is high time to restore the primacy of science to the field of testosterone deficiency.

Abraham Morgentaler, MD, is founder and director of Men's Health Boston and associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School. His most recent book is Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex (Henry Holt, 2013). For further information, please visit For specific information on research about the testosterone controversy, see


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