Diagnosis and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency: Updated Recommendations From the Lisbon 2018 International Consultation for Sexual Medicine

Abraham Morgentaler, Abdulmaged Traish, Geoffrey Hackett, T. Hugh Jones, Ranjith Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The International Consultation for Sexual Medicine met in Lisbon in 2018 to review updated recommendations regarding testosterone deficiency (TD) and its treatment. Aim: To provide updated clinical recommendations regarding TD and its treatment. Methods: A Medline search was performed for testosterone (T) articles published since the 2015 International Consultation for Sexual Medicine report. Recommendations were presented at the Lisbon meeting, and feedback was incorporated into final recommendations. Main Outcome Measures: Selected topics for these updates included terminology, clinical diagnosis, sexual function, prostate, cardiovascular, metabolic conditions, anemia, bone health, and therapeutic options. Results: The terms “testosterone deficiency” (TD) and “testosterone therapy” (TTh) were endorsed over numerous competing terms. The wide interindividual variability of sex hormone binding globulin concentrations influences the interpretation of total T concentrations. Symptoms of T deficiency more closely follow free T than total T concentrations. Symptomatic men with total T <350 ng/dL or free T <65–100 pg/mL may reasonably undergo a trial of T therapy. An empirical 6-month trial of TTh may be considered in men with strongly suggestive symptoms and values above these thresholds. Morning blood testing is indicated in men <40 years of age. Men >40 years may undergo initial afternoon testing, as long as confirmatory morning blood tests are later obtained. High-level evidence demonstrates TTh in men with TD improves sexual desire and erectile function. The weight of evidence indicates that TTh is not associated with increased risk of prostate cancer, cardiovascular events, or worsening lower urinary tract symptoms. Bone density and anemia are improved with TTh. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with TD, and TTh provides consistent improvement in metabolic parameters. Multiple safe and effective therapeutic options are available to treat men with TD. Conclusions: Treatment of TD offers multiple benefits for sexual symptoms as well as for general health, without compelling evidence for increased risk of prostate cancer or cardiovascular events. Morgentaler A, Traish A, Hackett G, et al. Diagnosis and Treatment of Testosterone Deficiency: Updated Recommendations From the Lisbon 2018 International Consultation for Sexual Medicine. Sex Med Rev 2019;7:636–649.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-649
Number of pages14
JournalSexual Medicine Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019



  • Hypogonadism
  • Libido
  • Recommendations
  • Testosterone
  • Testosterone Deficiency
  • Testosterone Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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