As men age, their bodies go through changes. Specifically, once men turn 30, their testosterone levels gradually decrease. And while this might not be super noticeable at first, it becomes more noticeable the more men age.
Low testosterone is usually associated with sexual symptoms like a low sex drive (libido), sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction (ED), or infertility. However, low testosterone affects more than your sex life. It can also cause chronic fatigue, hot flashes, muscle
weakness, loss of muscle, loss of body hair, and weight gain. And it can affect
your mental health by increasing depression, anxiety, irritability, and mood
In this article, we’re going to look at ways we can counteract this natural progression of male’s sexual health — which are almost always linked back to lower testosterone levels.
Before we begin, let’s cover what we mean by sexual health so we’re on the same page.
What is a male’s sexual health?
Male sexual health is a state of wellbeing that allows them to participate
in and enjoy sexual activity. It’s usually associated with the following
Libido, or sex drive
Sperm motility, or quality
And while some of these problems can be embarrassing, it’s important to
remember that this is a natural part of life for all men. But there are some
natural ways you can increase your sexual health — including restoring
your libido, getting rid of ED problems, increasing your fertility chances
(including increasing sperm count and motility), and boosting your natural
Let’s take a closer look at each of these common problems first and then
we’ll recommend natural ways to improve your sexual health.
1. Testosterone levels
As I stated earlier in this article, almost all sexual health and performance problems can be traced back to male’s gradually declining testosterone levels. The trouble is, there’s no sudden change in men’s hormones as there is with women. Which leaves struggling men wondering about why they’re
more irritable, have more mood swings, are more susceptible to heightened
anxiety and depression, as well as all the sexual health problems associated
with declining levels of testosterone.
Men’s testosterone levels begin to decline by about 1-2% each year after they turn 30. However, testosterone levels are different for each man, which can either exacerbate or delay this decline. If you already have low
testosterone levels at a younger age, you’re likely to feel the effects of low
testosterone more and more as you age.
Some of the lesser known symptoms of low testosterone in men include:
Sleeping pattern changes
Difficulty concentrating and focusing
Lack of motivation
Decreased bone density
Increased breast size
And of course, all of the other sexual symptoms explained in the beginning
of this post.
2. Libido, or sex drive
One of the biggest signs that you’re suffering from low testosterone levels
is that your libidio, or sex drive, is gone. Despite gradually declining
testosterone levels, men can lose their sex drive rapidly if their testosterone
levels are too low.
The internet is full of anecdotal stories from men who have lost their
desire to have sex pretty rapidly due to low testosterone levels. Other men
report that they simply don’t enjoy sexual activity as much as they once
In addition to the obvious sexual problems this creates, a lowered libido
can also create some mental health problems such as depression.
Mental health problems and sexual health problems are more related than they seem. For example, excessive stress and worry can diminish the quality of your sexual life even if you have normal testosterone levels. This is why it’s so important for men to be honest with themselves about these issues.
3. Erectile function
Low testosterone levels can create a host of erectile problems. Perhaps the
most popular (and most embarrassing) is erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED can haunt men in several ways. It’s related to a lowered libido, but
they’re not necessarily related. ED is commonly referred to as the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. Having infrequent trouble isn’t a cause for much concern, but if it happens frequently it could be signaling a bigger underlying problem.
One potential symptom of improper erectile function could be having fewer
Like with a lowered libido, ED can cause serious mental anguish for men.
Suffering from ED can deteriorate your sex life and relationships — which
can lead to depression, anxiety, stress, embarrassment, and low self-esteem.
(All of which can exacerbate the problem, creating a vicious cycle.)
And, ED could mean the inability to get your partner pregnant and start a
family. Which leads me into my last point regarding sexual health..
All of the previously mentioned points can result in male infertility
— or the inability to get your partner pregnant. This is probably the
worst symptom someone can suffer because the inability to start a family can cause serious confidence and other mental health issues.
In addition to the points mentioned above, men’s sperm count and sperm
motility (quality) also reduce their fertility. This is linked back to men’s
gradually declining testosterone levels. As men age, their sperm count and
quality also decline.
Infertility is a terrible issue I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. However,
there is some good news:
There are solutions if you suffer from any of these sexual health problems.
Let’s get right down to it.
Zinc has been widely touted as a way to improve sexual health and function
in men for several reasons. Zinc deficiencies are prevalent throughout the
world, including the USA. Severe and moderate deficiency of zinc is associated with hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency) in men.
So what’s the relationship between zinc and testosterone and the bigger
problem of sexual health?
Zinc and testosterone
For starters, zinc plays an important role in producing testosterone (which
is the culprit behind many of these sexual health problems in men). A 2006 study about athletes concluded:
“Both resting and exhaustion total and free testosterone levels
following 4-week zinc supplementation were found significantly higher
than the levels (both resting and exhaustion) measured before zinc
And a 1996 study about normal healthy adults reached similar conclusions.
Since low testosterone levels are the main culprit behind many of these
sexual health issues, supplementing with zinc is a good way to boost your
overall testosterone levels, which both directly and indirectly support men’s
But how does zinc help with other sexual health problems?
Zinc and libido
Some forms of zinc — such as oyster zinc (which has the highest amount
of zinc compared to any other food) — may increase your libido.
This is for a couple of reasons:
Zinc helps with the production of your testosterone — which can help improve your sex drive.
Zinc from oysters specifically boost your dopamine levels, which is a hormone that boosts the libido of both men and women.
Zinc and ED
ED is a complex issue, which could be the result of a myriad of physical,
mental, or sexual issues. That makes it tricky to see how zinc could help with proper erectile functioning.
But some studies have suggested that zinc was effective at improving
erectile function if the cause was due to a zinc deficiency. A 2010 study
looking at the relationship between ED and chronic kidney disease concluded that:
“Oral zinc seems to increase testosterone levels and improve sexual
dysfunction, but this evidence needs to be confirmed in future larger
A 2014 study looking into this issue also concluded that a zinc deficiency could be the cause of ED in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Zinc and infertility
Zinc is essential for the formation of sperm. And there have been many
studies that have suggested a zinc deficiency could lead to low quality sperm.
A 2018 study concluded males with a zinc deficiency have been shown to have less developed testes and reduced sperm count, which seems to imply that increasing your zinc intake could improve fertility.
However, a 2020 study found that dietary supplements containing zinc and folic acid didn’t improve sperm count, sperm function, or rates of live birth.
Though, a 2019 study looking at females and zinc concluded that lower levels of zinc were associated with a longer time trying to conceive, which could explain why the 2020 study found zinc in men only didn’t increase rates of live birth.
So while zinc could help indirectly with infertility, the science seems to
suggest it doesn’t make a direct improvement on fertility. But don’t worry,
other natural products show promise for helping these issues.