Testosterone therapy is associated with reduced tactile sensitivity in human males
Responses to vibrotactile stimuli were examined in men as a function of chronic exposure to either exogenous or endogenous androgens. Psychophysical techniques were used to evaluate thresholds to stimulus detection and perceived stimulus intensities in response to mild vibration applied to either the finger or the penis. Normal men were compared to the following groups: (a) untreated hypogonadal men, (b) androgen-replaced hypogonadal men, or (c) infertile men with androgen levels in the low normal range. Among the four groups, untreated hypogonadal men perceived vibrotactile stimuli as most intense and were slightly more sensitive to touch than were men with higher levels of androgen. Chronic treatment with testosterone enanthate was associated with a decline in the perceived intensity of vibrotactile stimuli in hypogonadal men. The lowest levels of sensitivity to tactile stimuli were observed in the infertile men.