Question

Endocrine System

Does testosterone cause erections?

A Answers (1)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Let me clear up the first misconception about erections: It's not testosterone that's the main driver of erection, though it does play a role. The reality is that erections happen because of many things going on in the body at once.

    The major way that the penis gets hard isn't through X-rated Internet sites, it's through receptors on cells lining our arteries that stimulate a chain reaction that ultimately relaxes the blood vessels that go to the penis. That reaction is mediated by nitric oxide, that short-lived gas floating around in your body.

    Nitric oxide is usually made by the endothelial cells that line all of our arteries. As soon as even a small amount of hardening of the walls starts with the creation of mild plaque, levels of nitric oxide plummet, so the vessel cannot dilate normally when you need a little extra blood, as when running for the bus or rummaging around in bed.
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