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ED vs. Low T…do you know the difference?


ED (erectile dysfunction) and Low T (low testosterone) are both common issues affecting millions of men today. Even though they share similar symptoms, they are actually two separate conditions.

ED is defined by the inability of a man to attain and/or maintain an erection sufficient for intercourse. Low T means the testicles are not producing enough of the male hormone testosterone.

Here’s what causes some confusion: Low T can cause ED, and while you can have Low T, you may not always suffer from ED. And you can also suffer from ED with normal testosterone levels.

Still confused? Here are some facts about each:

ED Facts

  • There is about a 50% chance of having some degree of ED between ages 40 and 70, after 70 the odds increase
  • The most frequent cause is poor circulation of blood to the penis, suggesting that ED can be a red flag for early heart disease
  • 25% of men with high blood pressure are affected
  • 17% of men with diabetes are affected
  • Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, not smoking, avoiding drugs and alcohol, as well as medication and/or testosterone replacement therapy

Low T Facts

  • Natural testosterone production begins to decrease around age 40
  • About 10% of men ages 40 to 60 have Low T, and about 20% have it after age 60
  • Common causes include fatigue and depression
  • Low or diminished sex drive is a frequent indicator of Low T
  • Treatment usually includes testosterone replacement therapy

Along with older age, similar triggers for each ED and Low T are diabetes, depression and obesity. If you feel you are suffering from either condition, talk to your doctor because both ED and Low T can signify a more serious underlying medical condition.

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