T Nation

Why Do Decent Amount of T Doses Mess Up My Libido and Erections?

Ive spent almost 3 years on TRT now. Before TRT, my labs were

266ng/dl testosterone

Symptoms were:
Lack of energy
Shit sleep
Foggy head
Less libido than before

Physique was still good, I had ALOT of strenght, 180kg bench, 280kg deadlift, worked out naturally for 10 years.

After bullshitting with tons of different endos, I found one who finally put me on TRT.

Some crap gel, but it worked OK

Got my T up to 450ng/dl

Libido improved
Erections the same
Energy improved

Docs here dont give other than gel, so eventually I started my own TRT, I also started with testosterone cycles now, cuz I wanna continue build muscle, which is damn near impossible naturally, after 10 years of training.

For 3 years, Ive had huge ass problems with libido. Ive used doses up to 750mg of testosterone a week. With AI, with no AI, all kinds of protocols - once a week, twice a week, three times a week, EOD.

Last time with a reasonable high dose was 80mg test E, EOD, so about 280mg a week.

Libido GONE
Erections GONE

Finally, I started experimenting with small small dosages.

I did 10mg ED, and now things started happening.

For the first time in years, I finally got that “arousal feeling” back in my brain again, when I saw hot girls, this made my penor hard, however, it was still not ideal, or optimal, still struggling somewhat, so I continue to experiment.

I decided to increase to 15mg ED instead, Ive done that for the past 4 weeks.

SHIT SHIT, erections and libido gone again.

Its like my body cannot tolerate testosterone in even moderate doses, my libido dies, my erection goes to shit, I dont even think about sex, that “arousal triggering feeling” in my brain just turns off.

Soon, I will try like 8mg ED instead, or maybe even 5. I had libido on 10, best in years, I dont have libido on 15, so a very small dosage seems to be ideal for me.

Why the fuck is this? What kind of specie am I, are some people just genetically programmed not to “need” high testosterone, and when they get it, their system goes sperg mode and stop functioning?

Anyone else?

@equel I realize we have had our differences. Just a quick question:

  1. Have you ever had thyroid labs done? If so, do you have labs for them?
  2. Have you ever had insulin sensitivity looked at?
  3. Have you ever tried adding DHEA? If so, did it make things better or worse?
  4. Same question as #3 in regards to pregnenolone.
  5. No AI at the dose you’re taking? Or are you?

Answer if you’d like. If not, I’ll understand. My goal was always for you to get better.

  1. Yes, but not thruout. It was just some random doc who checked them for me when I went there complaining my hair was falling out - this was before TRT and hair is now fine, it was from stress. Thyroid back then was “fine” - according to her, I know nothing more. I have papers on the labs, some free t3 and free t4 or something, seemed to be in range, however much that says. TSH is like 1.5.

  2. Nope.

  3. Never tested DHEA, Ive tried … what is the name, pregnenolone, it just made me tired.

  4. Above.

  5. No AI, I havent taken an AI for months and months.

See if you can find the TSH and Free T3. 1.5 is decent for TSH but it would be interesting to see the Free T3.

If blood sugars are way off, it could cause a lot of these things to happen. Get that checked out. The doctor I interviewed today says that’s something that a lot of other doctors fail to do and only look at hormones.

If pregnenolone made you tired then don’t bother with it. DHEA is something you can consider trying. Start with 25mg a day and see if it has any effect, good or bad. If you see that it is helping, bump it up to 50mg a day after a few weeks. You can go as high as 100mg if you’re seeing benefits. If no benefits then stop taking it.

Right now I’d love to see thyroid and blood sugars/insulin.

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I think you should be looking at catecholamine issues. Stomach/diet actually can play a big part in that. What do you eat and drink? Ever have depression issues? Ever try 5-HTP?

Here’s are some labs

Metabolic panel (includes glucose, liver and kidney)
Lipid panel
Fasting or AM insulin
Dhea s
Estradiol (if you have not checked in a while)
Total and free t
Am cortisol
Free t3
Free t4
Thyroid antibodies

I would get labs BEFORE any changes

You went too far in the one direction, a few mg increase on a daily protocol can have big consequences. It’s seems like you are wanting high testosterone for muscle building, but also want libido and erections at the same time and clearly you cannot have both.

Some guys just aren’t programmed as you say to build tons of muscle.

This makes sense to me. Many guys on this forum probably take more than they should… But they have different goals than a trt guy who is not interested in big muscles

i have the exact same issue
TSH - 2.16 (0.32 - 4.00)
T4 - 12 (9-19)
T3 - 3.9 (2.6-5.8)
E2 - 45.2 (<44)
TT - 810 (242-830)
DHEA - 158 (<357)
I am on 20mg T Cyp ED, 15mg DHEA, no AI (for about 7wks, prior was 100mg T for 6wks, then 140mg once a week for 8wks)
Feels like I’m injecting saline, feeling no benefits whatsoever; actually worse because before TRT, ED meds worked for ED, now they don’t.
Daily preworkout is dosed with 6g of Citrulline Malate and also take L-Arginine to try to help with NO and pump. Gym and bedroom performance have not improved in the slightest in my 6 months on TRT. I realize that is not very long in the grand scheme, but is frustrating and quite frankly embarrassing when trying to date.

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Were you on the dhea the whole time? Maybe try and drop that.

What’s your BP?

Before I went on TRT, whenever I had my annual physical and they called with the lab results, they would always say my testosterone was ‘normal’. It took me a few years to learn about the ranges they use and turns out I was always just barely above the bottom of the range. After that I always asked for the exact values :^ /


@rabbit_ears, not to hijack @equel’s post or anything, but I’ve been in your shoes. Bump up to 30mg a day and report back in a few weeks as to if that has made a difference or not. You’re borderline for thyroid… Might be something to look into. Also try doubling up on the dhea to see if it makes a difference or not but try one thing at a time.

When it felt like I was taking saline, I jacked up the dose much higher to see if it had an effect. It did. Then at least I was at a point that I had something to work with.

Ill check for free t3 test tomorrow. I might consider the insulin and sugar shit, however I do think they will most likely be fine or atleast okay, err nothing that would literally kill my libido.

I have a gut feeling this is purely about hormones, as I do get better libido on lower dosages, and worse or non-existant on high ones, Its some balance in my brain that gets whacky whenever I push the T dosage high, wether it be dopamine or some other shit I dont know.

I can remember one and only one time I had amazing super libido on this journey, as strong libido as when I was 13, and that was when I had been doing 125mg a week for a while, IM. Then I read about sub Q, so I started doing 20mg EOD sub Q in my belly fat, AFTER waiting 12 days from my last 125mg IM shot.

Ofcourse, a retarded descision, as my T levels were obviously low after 12 days from an 125mg shot, and it would take a long ass time to build up new levels sub Q with the enanthate ester.

And I felt it, I felt slow, sleepy.

BUT, 2 nights in a row, about 1 week in to my sub Q 20 EOD experiment, I had SUPER MAN MEGA LIBIDO, that kind of libido I read about on juice forums, but I had every other low T symptom in the book, so I just went back to IM again with larger doses.

My bio active testosterone is high, even on 20mg test prop a day, IE 140mg a week, my bio active/free test was DOUBLE the high range, my current hypothesis is that my sky high free T just doesnt cut it with my brain, it messes with my dopamine (or something else), maybe the free e2 increase serotonine too much (e2 has great influence on serotonine) and serotonine can cause problems with libido - something which I experienced back in the day trying out that 5-HTP stuff to get more energy (this was years back when I had no low T problems).

Maybe high - or even moderate - doses just doesnt match my phenotype, even on 5mg testogel a day I had better libido than on 200mg test E a week, as an example. And 5mg testogel a day is 35mg of pure test a week, which is approx 50mg of test E a week (inlcuding ester weight).

Never had depression issues. My diet is chicken, meat, potatoes, rice, milk, eggs, typical bodybuilding diet.

Wow. Came here looking to post the same thing! 100mg/weed QD and I can’t keep my hands off my wife and she walks with a limp. 140mg/week and everything shuts down.

Sounds similar to me. With regards to sexual parameters, I have a sweet spot where libido, sensitivity, and erections are the best and it’s around 120mg/week. On higher doses it seems I can get 2 out of 3 working and it’s less stable. I was always battling the desire for higher doses mainly from preconceived notions and for a desired body aesthetic. Ultimately, I followed the breadcrumbs to a lower dose and a better outcome.

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TRT will FAIL if you have Hypothyroidism and/or adrenal insufficiency (Low cortisol).
It is inevitable because your body works as a complex unit that works in a synchronistic fashion. By elevating testosterone, your body’s other hormone systems must keep up. This is why low doses work for you, while higher doses make it seem you are injecting saline. Actually, you now notice that the higher doses are making things worse which is also why men stop TRT.

Check Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3
and 24 Hour Saliva Cortisol (Blood test for cortisol will not tell you your free cortisol levels-only bound, so it is not accurate) There will be members on here that will argue that saliva cortisol can’t diagnose adrenal insufficiency. The followup test is the ACTH stimulation test to see how poor your adrenal function is and if the adrenal glands are capable of producing cortisol given a stressful situation (or drug-cosyntropin) in this case. If the 24 Hour saliva cortisol test shows low levels throughout the day, this means on a daily basis you are not producing healthy amounts of cortisol and this will prevent thyroid hormones and androgens from working 100% on the cells/receptors.

You then need to figure out why your adrenal output is low. Severe stress, trauma, infections (bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungal overgrowth, etc) or even post antibiotic intestinal dysbiosis/SIBO will all weaken adrenal function. Check your bowel movements, if they are loose or diarrhea you likely have intestinal issues that needs to be addressed to fix the adrenals. Genova Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis will test your microbiome of the colon and also your digestion markers. Work with a Naturopathic doctor to get this ordered.

5-HTP boosts serotonin. This CAN cause a drop in dopamine, they live in balance. If you make more of one, the body essentially has to make less of the other. You need free T for both. However, it is posited that up to 90% of the catecholamines are actually produced in the stomach. So, how is your gut biome? Have you taken a lot of antibiotics in your life? Do you ever get any probiotics? Yogurt? How are your mineral levels? “Clean” eating can actually cause some deficiencies over time if you don’t supplement or vary.

Really weird how all this works, sigh

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Been on 200mg test for 2 1/2 years. Labs all “normal” for the past 2 years. Free T always around 25-30, and total 750-800. Had a very high e2 issue in the beginning which caused serious fluid retentio/weight gain, but got that under control.

Ive never experienced the “hype” that testosterone therapy is supposed to provide, especially the more energy and weight loss parts. I’m in good health, and I work out 5 days a week, although at my age (58), I do have constant tendinitis and joint pain. I do feel better overall since starting it, and the libido is “somewhat” better, but I’m not sure how long Ill continue it because the cost really isnt justifying the results.