Having low testosterone levels isn’t itself a medical condition unless it’s one of the reasons for an underlying medical condition. As a result, it’s not easy to replace it or treat it with the conventional forms of medical treatments.
For low T levels, doctors generally suggest testosterone replacement therapy which has its own set of benefits, risks and side effects. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult your doctor before beginning this therapy.
This article includes everything that is associated with low testosterone and its resultant testosterone replacement therapy so that our readers can get an overview of the situation and take learned decisions.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
More often than not, the symptoms of low testosterone are visible but sometimes they can be subtle. Therefore, being knowledgeable and mindful of them is necessary to take quick steps for its remedy. These include:
- Low self-esteem
- Reduced libido
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Mood swings
- Hair loss from the body and facial hair
- Difficulty to concentrate and focus
Under normal circumstances, men with low testosterone levels have not been prescribed any treatment as they are ageing. However, men with abnormally low testosterone levels are only suggested with a treatment that includes a testosterone replacement therapy dosage.
What are the benefits and risks involved in testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)?
Benefits of TRT:
After receiving one testosterone therapy dosage men have commonly reported a spike in their energy level, ability to get and maintain an erection for a long duration and increased libido. Not only that, with increased testosterone, men have also reported having increased muscle mass, insulin sensitivity and bone density.
After the therapy, some men have observed escalation in their moods and reduction in significant mood swings. Be that as it may, every man is reported to have different responses to the testosterone treatment. Therefore, it’s implausible to infer a concrete outcome or conclusion from the individual responses of people.
Risks of TRT:
Despite its positive results and long-term advantages, there are some potential risks and testosterone replacement therapy side effects that need to be considered. They include:
- Increased breast size
- Acne and oily skin
- Risk of heart attack and stroke
- Increased susceptibility of developing blood clots
- Reduction in sperm count that leads to infertility
- Reduction in the size of the testicles.
Is testosterone replacement therapy advisable even when one is suffering from an underlying medical condition?
It is not advisable to have TRT if you are suffering from prostate cancer or breast cancer as mentioned under the guidelines from the Endocrine Society. However, studies imply that men who have been successfully treated for prostate cancer can be the candidates for TRT as they are more susceptible to suffering from it. Concerning the risk and confusion related to it, doctors assess the risk of prostate cancer before they prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
However, if you have any of the below-mentioned conditions, your doctor will immediately cancel your prescription of TRT, as these conditions can be exacerbated by the treatment.
- Serious congestive heart failure
- Sleep apnea
- Urinary tract problems include enlarged prostate, urinary frequency and urgency and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Abnormal red blood cell counts
In addition to this, TRT, as mentioned above, is also not recommended by doctors to men due to their old age.
Can testosterone therapy also treat erectile dysfunction (ED)?
Low testosterone levels, as mentioned earlier, can cause a reduction in the ability to have and maintain erections for a longer duration. After the testosterone replacement therapy, one can observe healthy erections and an increase in libido.
Be that as it may, erectile dysfunction caused by other medical conditions cannot be treated with TRT alone. It is necessary to diagnose those underlying medical conditions.
What is included in testosterone replacement therapy?
Various forms of TRT can prove to be advantageous or disadvantageous to different men. Even though a specific testosterone replacement therapy cost is not mentioned along with each of them, they are not expensive when compared to other forms of medical surgeries.
You must rub the prescribed gels daily on your skin. Make sure that the applied skin area does not come in contact with anything. If it comes in contact with a person, the testosterone could get into their system. To prevent such risks, a nasal gel is available which eradicates this exposure.
Given between two to ten weeks apart, injections are relatively inexpensive when compared to other treatments. However, they do not guarantee stable benefits and your testosterone levels might plummet again.
Applying patches is the easiest testosterone therapy. But, they can also cause skin rashes as they are supposed to be applied more than once a day
4. Subcutaneous pellets:
Subcutaneous pellets are inserted by the doctor under your skin every three to six months. They ensure effective results, but they do require surgery for each insertion
5. Buccal patch:
Buccal patches are to be put on the upper gums twice a day. But be careful as they can cause gum diseases and irritation.
How to know whether testosterone therapy has worked or not?
To know whether the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has successfully achieved results or not, your doctor will schedule appointments with you by the end of the third and the sixth month. Subsequently, you’ll then be tested only once a year.
However, even after the treatment, if you’re still suffering from low T levels, your doctor might adjust the doses. In addition, after one or two years, the doctor will also check any symptoms of osteoporosis in the body by measuring your bone density.
If you’re suffering from any of the below-mentioned symptoms after receiving your testosterone replacement therapy dosage, immediately ask for an ambulance or contact the nearest hospital:
- Problem in speaking
- Facing weakness or pain in one side of the body
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
With this, the comprehensive article on testosterone replacement therapy comes to an end. Hope you found it useful enough to make some learned decisions.
Recommended reading: Don’t Know Whether You Are Suffering From Low Testosterone Levels? 7 Signs To Know