A survey of 28,000 users found that many Italian males started an "excessive consumption" of porn sites as early as 14 years old. After daily use in their early to mid-20s, they become inured to "even the most violent" images. The effects of developing their sexuality largely divorced from real-life relationships are gradual and devastating. "It starts with lower reactions to porn sites, then there is a general drop in libido and in the end it becomes impossible to get an erection," Carlo Foresta, head of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine (SIAMS), told reporters. However, the condition is not irreversible and a proper recovery is possible within just a few short months.
In general, Bhasin says, doctors should give more information to patients considering the treatments. For example, he says, "doctors don’t tell you that testosterone supplements may end up a long-term proposition." When men begin using a supplement, he explains, they typically lose the ability to create testosterone on their own. So if a health problem should arise that forces them to stop taking the supplements, it may take months or years to recover the ability to create adequate levels of testosterone naturally, during which time they may experience withdrawal symptoms like poor mood and low vitality.
“I find it very distressing that testosterone is used in middle-aged men — when we don’t know whether it’s even safe — for something that may be a normal physiologic adaptive mechanism to aging," he says.
Both experts agree that men with a history of heart attack or stroke should steer clear of testosterone supplements. They also agree that there are scenarios in which the benefits of testosterone therapy nearly always outweigh the risks, like hypogonadism, a disease in which the body produces little or no hormone due to poorly functioning testes or pituitary or hypothalamus glands.