NOTICE: The information contained on this page is general information and is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice, or to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The FAQs contained herein are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions, and should not be used as such. Only a qualified physician can determine if you qualify for and should undertake treatment.
- What is testosterone?
- What are “normal levels” of testosterone?
- What is low testosterone treatment?
- What does Low T center do?
- How do you determine whether I might have low testosterone?
- What is hypogonadism?
- What are the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy?
- What are the risks of testosterone replacement therapy?
- What is the cost of testosterone replacement therapy at Low T Center?
- How long do appointments take?
- What are the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods such as patches or gels?
- Are there any adverse effects of intramuscular testosterone injections?
- In what cases should I avoid testosterone replacement therapy?
Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Some effects of testosterone may include:
- Growth and maturation of prostate, and other male sex organs
- Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
- Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
- Sex drive and sexual function
- Mood and energy level
- Bone strength
In healthy men, testosterone levels between 350 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL are referred to as normal. Normal physiology allows the brain and the testes to work together to keep testosterone in this range. The brain produces “signal” hormones that are responsible for stimulating testosterone production. These “signals” are periodically released, which in turn stimulates testosterone production. When levels of testosterone are in an acceptable range, the production of the “signal” hormones is slowed, which in turn allows the testosterone levels to decrease.
Low testosterone treatment is the practice of diagnosing a person with low levels of testosterone and treating with injections, gels, patches, surgically implanted pellets or through oral applications. Low T Centers, nationwide, use injection therapy to treat low testosterone in eligible men. Click here to see the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods.
Low T Center is a place where men with low testosterone (testosterone below normal levels) are diagnosed and treated by medical providers. Click here to find a location near you.
To determine testosterone levels, the medical professionals at Low T Center will perform a simple blood test, the results of which you will often know in 45 minutes or less. If your total or free testosterone are not within the normal range, you may be a candidate for treatment. Determining whether a patient is the right candidate for testosterone therapy is evaluated on a case by case basis by the medical professionals in conference with the patient.
Hypogonadism, in a male, refers to a decrease in either testosterone production, sperm production, or both. The physicians at Low T Center, address the testosterone aspect of this condition. Decreased sperm production requires a careful, thorough evaluation by a fellowship trained specialist.
Benefits of testosterone replacement therapy vary based upon the pre-therapy symptoms and other factors, but can include:
- Increased energy
- Decreased irritability and depression
- Improved muscle mass and strength
- Improved sexual desire
- Improved visuospatial cognitive function and verbal memory
- Higher motivation
- Decreased body fat (optimal results received through accompaniment of a diligent diet and exercise regimen)
- Possible improvement in erectile function
- Thicker skin
Some patients could experience one or more of the following side effects:
- Increase in red blood cells
- This can be beneficial if you have anemia. However, it can be potentially dangerous, since an increase in red blood cells can lead to blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
- Prostate effects
- If you have an enlarged prostate, testosterone may worsen your symptoms, particularly if you are more than 50 years of age. If you have a history of prostate cancer, you cannot receive testosterone therapy, without prior clearance from the urologist who is overseeing your care.
- Skin reactions
- Acne, oily skin, increased body hair and flushing have been reported. These side effects are not very common, but when/if they occur, often are transient.
- Testosterone therapy down regulates production of a man’s sperm. Ensure you are upfront with your desire for children with your medical provider, and be sure to discuss the situation with your spouse/partner if appropriate.
- Sleep apnea
- This is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, and if already present, may be worsened by the use of testosterone therapy. If you snore, or suspect you may have sleep apnea, be sure to talk to your medical provider about the situation. Considering a sleep study for further evaluation may be appropriate prior to starting therapy.
- Fluid retention
- Although uncommon, you must use caution if you have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.
Testosterone replacement therapy is $395 per month, which includes necessary office visits, laboratory work, and injection therapy. Most health insurance is accepted, in which case you are responsible for the applicable co-pay, deductible and/or co-insurance under the terms of your health insurance, subject to the terms of your policy. Some insurance companies, such as Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, require two consecutive blood tests taken before 10am indicating you have low testosterone.Click here to verify your insurance.
The Low T Center process offers a quick and easy way to diagnose and treat low testosterone. Your testosterone levels will be tested during your initial visit in our in-house laboratory. The test takes just a few minutes and will be performed by the professional medical staff dedicated to helping you get your quality of life back.
You will have your test results in 45 minutes or less. If your test indicates your testosterone levels are below clinically acceptable, the medical professionals at the Low T Center will discuss your individual treatment options.
You will then return every 7-10 days to receive your booster injection. Each subsequent visit takes about 10-15 minutes.
Click here to download our New Patient Forms and get a head start on your initial consultation. Filling out these forms ahead of time may save you some time!
What are the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods such as patches or gels?
The proper method of testosterone delivery for you is a matter for your physician to determine; however, many find that some gels tend to be messy and less convenient than other treatment modalities. In addition, there can be a risk of unintentional transmittal to children or others with whom you may have physical contact with the use of gels. Testosterone patches can create a significant rash at the site of application, or do not stick well, especially in the summer months. Experience has shown that gels and patches may require dosage adjustments to obtain medically appropriate blood concentrations and some patients may never absorb enough testosterone from gels or patches to improve symptoms. These modalities often have a higher conversion to less desirable hormones in the process of transfer through the skin. The physicians at Low T Center regularly employ intramuscular testosterone injections because of their clinical effectiveness and convenience.
Only your physician can fully answer this question; however, in general testosterone replacement therapy is not recommended and/or is prohibited for patients with:
- Breast or prostate cancer
- A palpable prostate nodule
- Untreated obstructive sleep apnea
- Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms (AUA prostate symptom score > 19)
- Uncontrolled severe heart failure
- Unexplained PSA elevation
- Severe lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Unstable severe congestive heart failure (class III or IV)
If you do not find an answer to your question above please click here to contact us and a knowledgeable member of the Low T Center staff with contact you within 24 hours.