Testosterone is the hormone that makes men grow hair, have a deeper voice, and have a muscular build. As men age, Low Testosterone is not unusual. However, not all males are candidates for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Consider this your guide to testosterone therapy for low T.
Not Just Sex
Yes, testosterone provides men with their sex drive and sperm production, but that’s not all. This hormone begins to increase during puberty, giving young adolescents their deep voice and increased facial and body hair. It will continue to increase into young adulthood and the results are greater bone density, muscle strength, and a healthy fat distribution. This male hormone is the cause of the development and maintenance of masculine traits.
Once a man reaches age 30 or 40, testosterone begins to decline gradually about 1% per year. It is normal, but every man is different. Certain medical conditions can exacerbate low T.
It has been shown that Type 2 diabetes, being obese, certain infections, hormonal disorders, and some chronic medical conditions can cause unnaturally low testosterone. If you have any of these issues, it would be wise to discuss low T with a specialist and how to manage these conditions.
Signs Of Low Testosterone
There are some obvious and also subtle signs you could be experiencing low T.
They include the following:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Memory loss
- Decline in muscular strength
- Reduced body and facial hair
Options If You Have Low T
Talking with your urologist is the only way to know if testosterone therapy is right for you. Once your urologist has completed tests and says you can begin therapy, there are several options.
Androgens (sex hormones) are injected into your body to increase testosterone levels to normal and treat low T. There are several ways to accomplish this.
- Transdermal patches can deliver androgens right through the skin, and is a simple way to increase testosterone.
- Muscle injections either in the upper arm or upper back side of the thigh, but they need to be done every 2 weeks.
- Gels can be applied topically once a day.
- Testopel is an in-office procedure where an implant is placed just under the skin. This would need replacement every 4 – 6 months.
Is It Right For You?
If you have heart problems, sleep apnea, or elevated red blood cell counts, urologist David Schwartzwald, MD may say you are not a candidate. There are additional reasons your physician may not recommend testosterone therapy for you. It is not for bodybuilding or performance enhancement.
If you are a candidate, you may get the beneficial effects of TRT which include increased bone density and muscle mass, better memory and mood, a restored libido, and better heart health due to increased blood flow.