Testosterone is just one of many chemicals that your body needs to function correctly. Your body usually makes all of the testosterone that it needs to run, but this isn’t always the case.
Testosterone levels drop gradually in men as they age, similarly to how women have less estrogen as they near menopause. That drop may happen sooner than you realize considering one in four men over the age of 30 typically experience lower testosterone levels.
There are many different reasons your t-levels may drop including side effects from the medications you are on and the amount of alcohol you consume. On the more serious end of the spectrum, certain tumors, cancers and liver and kidney problems can also have a similar result. Let’s not forget about testicular injuries which can also lower testosterone production.
In addition to the above, one of the main things you may notice in yourself if you have low testosterone levels are sexual problems. These could include a low libido and erectile dysfunction. These may be the most obvious signs that you need testosterone replacement therapy. However, they're far from the only symptoms. Don't forget about:
- Muscle loss
- Increased body fat
- Decreased semen volume during ejaculation
- Hair loss, particularly on the head
- Decreased bone density*
*Decreased bone density is also a sign that's hard to see from the outside, but it impacts millions of men. An increase in breakages is a telltale sign that your body isn't making enough testosterone to keep those bones strong.
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Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy an option for you?
If you exhibit multiple of these symptoms, you may have low testosterone and be a good candidate for hormone therapy, especially if you start to notice your low-T interfering with your daily life. Of course, other factors may play a role in your sex life, and some men may not be good candidates for this type of therapy, which is why you should always get a professional opinion. The good news is that a simple blood test can reveal if you are a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, so you no longer have to suffer through the symtoms. Treatment options can be quite effective and vary with severity of the condition. The most commonly prescribed treatment options include topical gel or creams and injections. These can be conveniently self administered at home,
while some patients opt for pallets that can be inserted into the skin by a clinician in a doctors clinic.
Oral pills are also an option, but they are not usually recommended due to the risk of liver damage. All other treatment options enter into the bloodstream by bypassing the stomach and liver, which reduces the risk of side effects.
Whatever treatment option is prescribed to you, you will still be required to repeat your blood work every 3 months during the first year of the treatment , and every 6 months thereafter to ensure that your body is absorbing the right amount of testosterone from the treatment. If not, your dose may need to be adjusted.
What are the side effects of TRT?
As with any medical treatment, there can be side effects to TRT. Some of these can include:
- Acne and oily skin
- Lower sperm count
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Shrinkage of the testicles
- Larger breasts
The severity of these side effects will range depending on your overall health status. For example, those with a history of heart disease may be advised not to take TRT treatments. Feel free to discuss these side effects with your doctor and they can advise whether or not TRT is right for you based on your other health conditions.
Of course, prior to any prescribed treatment, a conversation with a healthcare professional is essential. Luckily, our licensed physicians are standing by to perform an assessment and determine if Testosterone Replacement Therapy is the right solution for you. Please stop by our website today to get started.
Through Science&Humans, you get unlimited access to our medical and pharmacy team for ongoing care and to answer your questions. Our physicians will formulate a treatment plan that is customized to your needs and the impact can be positively life changing!