Men across the country could be facing an epidemic of faulty phalluses and shrunken testicles due to living with mould.

Experts at British online pharmacy Chemist Click said that certain types of mould that grow in water-damaged buildings, furniture, and upholstery have been shown to have oestrogen-like properties which may lower testosterone in men and women.

While normal amounts of mould are unlikely to make an impact, excess mould in homes can cause hormonal chaos.

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Abbas Kanani, an expert at Chemist Click said: “Low testosterone levels can cause erectile dysfunction in men. This can also impact testicle size, as well as cause loss of armpit and pubic hair and low or zero sperm count”.

For women, weight gain, low libido and mood swings are all triggered by low testosterone levels.

Hormonal changes put extra pressure on the adrenal glands, creating a spike in cortisol levels, which can affect how people sleep and deal with stress.

Some studies have found that over a prolonged period of time high cortisol levels can lead to a lack of sex drive, muscle weakness and cause menstrual cycles to become irregular, less frequent, or stop altogether.

A surge of recent reports around poor housing conditions across the UK have led to increased awareness about the health implications of living in housing with damp and mould.

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In England, half of all renters are facing significant problems with damp and mould.

Housing charity Citizens Advice said on its website that there can be several ways for damp and mould to grow in homes, including leaking internal pipes, broken heating systems, missing roof tiles or faulty guttering and cracked walls or rotten window frames.

Abbas recommended Brits keep humidity levels in homes as low as possible, adding that houses should have adequate air circulation to allow moisture to escape.

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