All You Need to Know About Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT, also known as androgen replacement treatment (ART), is a drug prescribed by doctors to men with low testosterone levels and suffering from hypogonadism symptoms.
Prescription testosterone aids in the restoration of testosterone levels in the blood, curing the symptoms of low testosterone. It may increase alertness, sexual function, vitality, mood, and overall well-being in those who use it.
How to get TRT
When it comes to consultancy, you can either physically visit a doctor or use TRT online consultation services to get in touch with a physician. However, a doctor will only prescribe after obtaining a full medical history and completing physical and lab testing if a person has symptoms consistent with low testosterone levels.
Significantly, doctors frequently perform a blood test before noon on two consecutive days since hormone levels change depending on activity levels, nutrition, and day. To discover the source of low testosterone levels, they may also request imaging scans and other tests, such as luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone tests.
Benefits of Testosterone Therapy
What should you anticipate from testosterone therapy? Because every man is unique, it’s hard to predict. Many men report an increase in energy, sex drive, and erection quality. However, testosterone boosts bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in particular men.
Men frequently remark that testosterone replacement improves their mood. It is incredibly individualized whether these effects are hardly perceptible or provide a significant boost.
Subtle Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone symptoms are sometimes noticeable, but they can also be subtle. More so, men’s testosterone levels naturally fall as they become older. However, certain circumstances can result in an excessively low level. Low testosterone can cause the following symptoms:
- Low sex drive (libido)
- Low sense of well-being
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased muscle mass
- Body and facial hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue and poor energy level
A doctor may recommend treatment if a patient exhibits symptoms of low testosterone and testing reveals an abnormally low testosterone level.
Types of testosterone treatments
There are a few different ways to take testosterone:
Gels and creams are commonly used daily. Gradual absorption keeps testosterone levels in the blood steadier.
People who use topical therapies, on the other hand, must avoid skin-to-skin contact for at least 6 hours after administration. It’s critical to avoid putting the drug onto other people’s skin because it could be harmful to pregnant women and children.
Topical patches adhere to the skin and remain for 24 hours until the next dose is administered. However, patches have the disadvantage of being unsightly and frequently causing skin irritations.
Testosterone implants or pellets
Doctors insert little plastic pellets under the skin called testosterone pellets. The implant is placed in the upper hip or buttock. The pellets are slow to disintegrate and can provide TRT for 3–6 months.
Implant insertion is a straightforward outpatient procedure. A doctor makes a minor incision in the skin, then inserts the pellets beneath the skin in the fatty tissue. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
TRT using injectable testosterone is a popular and affordable option. Short-acting treatment involves a shot every 1 or 2 weeks, or long-acting treatment, which entails the second shot four weeks after the first and all subsequent shots ten weeks apart. Depending on the individual, the therapy dosage and frequency may differ.
Short-acting testosterone is injected beneath the skin or muscles, whereas long-acting testosterone is injected into the gluteal muscles.
TRT can alter energy levels, libido, mood, and the occurrence of symptoms like breast tenderness by causing testosterone levels to fluctuate.
Nasal testosterone gel is rubbed inside the nostril. Patients should do this three times a day at 6–8 hour intervals, preferably at the same times each day. However, headaches, nosebleeds, a runny nose, and nasal pain are all common side effects of this medication.
Cheek or buccal patches
A buccal patch is placed above the upper teeth and delivers testosterone over 12 hours. Patches are perhaps less harmful to the liver than oral drugs. However, these patches might induce headaches and discomfort to the gums and lips.
Oral testosterone is a less popular method of testosterone replacement therapy that is more expensive and inconvenient. Furthermore, its long-term usage may be harmful to the liver.
According to most tablets, the medication has the potential to cause hypertension and stroke. As a result, oral testosterone is used only by those who cannot use other forms of TRT.
What to expect
TRT tries to get a person’s testosterone levels back to where they should be. Within a week, the individual’s blood testosterone levels should have improved.
Other advantages may include an increase in bone density and lean body mass, increased well-being, and increased energy and libido. Positive effects can take anywhere from four weeks to many months.
TRT is usually a lifelong procedure. Once a patient begins TRT, their doctor will continue to check their progress. Also, people should have their blood testosterone levels checked every 6–12 months.
Additionally, changes in symptoms and side effects will be monitored by a doctor three and six months after the initial therapy and after that annually.
TRT expenses range from $150 to $1,500 a month, depending on a variety of factors such as:
- type of medication
- doctor and laboratory fees
- mode of administration
- insurance coverage
Are there any risks linked to TRT?
TRT increases the risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke in men. Other testosterone-related side effects include:
- rashes, itching, and acne
- liver dysfunction
- hair loss or excessive hair growth
- deep vein thrombosis
- decreased sperm production
- male pattern baldness
- bladder irritability
- high red blood cell count, which may lead to blood clots
- anger and aggressive behavior
- breast soreness or enlargement (gynecomastia)
- increase in prostate size
- high blood pressure
- worsening of prostate cancer
- shrinkage of the testes
According to current scientific evidence, TRT worsens breast and prostate cancer. On the other hand, TRT may benefit those with early-stage prostate cancer without causing cancer to relapse or develop.
TRT has been used to treat hypogonadism and other disorders that cause decreased T production. Despite the hoopla, the benefits for those without an underlying disease aren’t as evident. However, before taking any T supplements or drugs, see your doctor. They can guide you in determining whether your TRT goals are safe and achievable. It’s also crucial to have your T supplement use evaluated by a medical practitioner to note any undesired symptoms or side effects.