Testosterone therapy for sexual dysfunction in men with Type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

M. Algeffari, C. N. Jayasena, P. Mackeith, A. Thapar, W. S. Dhillo, Nick Oliver

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Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of testosterone therapy on a range of sexual function domains in men with Type 2 diabetes.

Method: Electronic databases were searched for studies investigating the effect of testosterone therapy on sexual function in men with Type 2 diabetes. All randomized controlled trials were considered for inclusion if they compared the efficacy of testosterone therapy with that of placebo and reported sexual function outcomes. Statistical analysis was performed using a random-effects model, and heterogeneity was expressed using the I2 statistic.

Results: A total of 611 articles were screened. Six randomized control trials, in a total of 587 men with Type 2 diabetes, were eligible for inclusion. The pooled data suggested that testosterone therapy improves sexual desire (random-effects pooled effect size 0.314; 95% CI 0.082–0.546) and erectile function (random-effects pooled effect size 0.203; 95% CI 0.007–0.399) when compared with control groups. Testosterone therapy had no significant effect on constitutional symptoms or other sexual domains compared with control groups. No studies have investigated the incidence of prostate cancer, fertility and cardiovascular disease after testosterone therapy in men with Type 2 diabetes.

Conclusion: Testosterone therapy may moderately improve sexual desire and erectile function in men with Type 2 diabetes; however, available data are limited, and the long-term risks of testosterone therapy are not known in this specific patient group. We conclude that testosterone therapy is a potential treatment for men with Type 2 diabetes non-responsive to phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. Testosterone therapy could be considered for men with Type 2 diabetes when potential risks and benefits of therapy are carefully considered and other therapeutic options are unsuitable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195–202
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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