Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right For You?

male stock 3Many men experience symptoms of low testosterone, especially as they grow older. As men age, there is a natural decline in the male sex hormone testosterone circulating in the bloodstream. Low testosterone can cause symptoms including:

  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased libido (sex drive)
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Change in mental acuity or cognitive function
  • Irritability or mood change and/or depression
  • Mild anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Osteoporosis (brittle bones)

 

If low testosterone has been diagnosed based on your symptoms and results of a physical exam and blood test, your urologist will discuss Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

 

What is Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and is it Right for You?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) increases the amount of the hormone in your bloodstream and is administered in one of several ways:   

  • Testosterone gel – The gel is applied daily to either the shoulders, upper arms, thighs, underarm or intranasal area and provides a consistent dose of testosterone over a period of 24 hours.

  • Intramuscular injection – A short-acting dose of testosterone is injected every one to two weeks. A long acting dose of the hormone requires injection every 10 weeks.
  • Sub-dermal testosterone pellets – Small pellets containing testosterone are inserted beneath the skin, providing a slow release of testosterone into the body over time. This is performed in a 10-minute office procedure under local anesthesia every four to six months.

  • Testosterone skin patch – A patch containing the hormone is applied either to the scrotum or the body and delivers a consistent level of testosterone for 24 hours. The patch is changed daily.

Learn more about these treatments and side effects here.

 

Is TRT Safe?

In general, hormone replacement therapy is safe under the supervision of a physician. Because testosterone replacement therapy may stimulate prostate growth, men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are at increased risk of developing prostate cancer, should be thoroughly evaluated by a urologist to determine whether TRT is recommended. Before beginning TRT, your urologist may perform a prostate exam and give you a PSA test to ensure you are not at risk for prostate cancer. 

Every man reacts differently to testosterone replacement therapy, and symptom management and improvement varies. Your urologist will work with you to monitor the benefits versus the side effects and risks of TRT to ensure your overall good health.

Read the FDA issued statement regarding Testosterone Replacement Therapy here.

 

To learn more about Low T and Testosterone replacement therapy call Chesapeake Urology at (866) 953-3111 or visit our Men's Health website