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I really enjoyed the faculty at the 2024 Harvard Testosterone Therapy and Sexual Dysfunction annual meeting.

Among the faculty was Boston University Professor Emeritus Dr. Abdulmaged Traish, who is a huge advocate of testosterone therapy and who nicely documented the history of testosterone therapy.

Dr Traish presented excerpts from a 1939 paper from JAMA by August A. Werner, MD (JAMA 1939; 112:1441-1443) entitled THE MALE CLIMACTERIC. Dr. Werner was a Professor of Medicine at St. Louis University.

The first line of the abstract from Dr. Werner’s paper read: It seems reasonable to believe that many if not all men pass through a climacteric period somewhat similar to that of women, usually in a less severe but perhaps more prolonged form.

We now know that he is right. Men experience a persistent decrease in testosterone production beginning around age 30.

The first slide from Dr. Traish’s lecture described the symptoms experienced by men in Werner’s study before testosterone therapy:

“Among the more prominent symptoms may be mentioned intense subjective nervousness, definite emotional instability characterized by irritability, sudden change in mood, decreased memory and inability to for mental concentration, decreased interest in the usual activity, a desire to be left alone, and depression and crying…in addition to a markedly diminished libido and inadequate penile erection, these patients, prior to treatment with testosterone cypionate, were disturbed, anxious and broken in spirit.”

The remaining slides documented Dr. Werner’s observations in men treated with testosterone:

“Adequate treatment with testosterone propionate was causally associated with remarkable clinical improvement characterized by a marked increase in erectile capacity and sensitivity of the penis, in the strength of the sex urge and in the capacity to respond with the proper emotions not only to intercourse but also to other acts such as kissing or embracing…All patients were less broken in spirit and were more spontaneous in their interests and activity…They exhibited more rational aggressiveness and less irritability and sullen brooding. Nervousness and emotional instability were replaced by greater stability and control. Abnormal physical and mental fatigability disappeared. Energy and stamina returned.”

I love the way older research was written up. Very observational and wordy. But clearly he was expressing the fact that testosterone therapy can lead to life-changing improvements in symptomatic men. This is certainly true.