Does Ozempic Lower Testosterone Levels?

In this article, we will closely examine Ozempic, a medication primarily used to manage type 2 diabetes, and its potential impact on testosterone levels. We will also discuss the medication's mechanism of action, side effects, and its potential role in erectile function.
Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the
University of Oxford.

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Summary

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that Ozempic, a medication primarily used to manage type 2 diabetes, directly impacts. In fact, Ozempic can improve testosterone levels and erectile function by reducing weight and metabolic symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, is a prescription medication developed by Novo Nordisk. It is a modified human glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ozempic is a formulation of semaglutide administered subcutaneously, meaning it is given as an injection under the skin. Other formulations of semaglutide, such as Rybelsus, can be taken in tablet form.

How Does Ozempic Work?

Ozempic works by lowering blood glucose levels by stimulating insulin release through stimulating GLP-1 receptors in the liver and brain. It also has the effect of lowering body weight by increasing satiety [1].

Ozempic Side Effects

As Ozempic is injected into the blood, mimics the role of GLP-1 and stimulates insulin release, it can also lead to multiple side effects including hypoglycaemia, gastrointestinal side effects, brain fog. Critically, Ozempic is unlikely to cause heart palpitations, making it safe for patients with cardiovascular conditions [2].

A common concern in people taking Ozempic is the sexual side effects of reduced erectile function or reduced testosterone. Reduced testosterone can also have a negative impact on mood, bone density and cognition [3]. Therefore, determining whether Ozempic can lower testosterone is a critical consideration to make with your healthcare provider when considering taking Ozempic.

Does Ozempic Lower Testosterone?

In brief, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not Ozempic lowers testosterone levels in men. One study looked at the effects of semaglutide on testosterone and this was in a rat model of testicular dysfunction, making the results difficult to generalise to the general population [4].

Another very recent study looked at individuals with hypogonadism, a condition characterised by reductions in the release of sex hormones. This study found that treating hypogonadal men with semaglutide increased testosterone levels and minimised ageing symptoms. However, markers of seminal fluid, sperm count and motility were unaffected. This study is promising since both diabetes and obesity, conditions for which Ozempic/semaglutide are used, can lead to hypogonadism.

Two studies have been published looking at the effect of semaglutide in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom (PCOS) [6, 7]. These studies found that taking semaglutide did reduce testosterone levels, although this is a favourable effect in women with PCOS. The conclusion of the review was that incretin mimetics, including semaglutide and liraglutide, are effective treatment strategies for women with PCOS [7].

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Does Ozempic Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Based on the available scientific articles, there is no direct evidence to suggest that Ozempic/semaglutide causes erectile dysfunction. One study found that Ozempic could actually restore erectile function in men with hypogonadism.

Erectile dysfunction can, however, be influenced by various factors, including hypertension, obesity or type 2 diabetes, which are conditions that can be medicated by Ozempic [8, 9, 10].

Summary: Ozempic Does Not Lower Testosterone

To summarise, Ozempic does not lower testosterone levels. Quite the opposite, Ozempic can restore testosterone levels, reduce signs of ageing and thereby improve erectile function in men. In women, on the other hand, semaglutide can reduce testosterone levels in individuals with PCOS, demonstrating a beneficial effect of semaglutide on women's sexual health.

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Klara Hatinova

Klara Hatinova

Klara is a postgraduate researcher in experimental psychology at the University of Oxford. She has worked across a spectrum of hot topics in neuroscience, including her current project measuring reinforcement learning strategies in Parkinson’s disease. Previously, she studied the efficacy of psilocybin as a therapy for critical mental health conditions and examined molecular circadian rhythms of migraine disorders. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and participated in a year abroad at the University of California, where she worked on a clinical trial for spinal cord injury.