A Basic Guide to Testosterone Replacement
Posted: October 8, 2021
You’ve likely heard of testosterone, the “male hormone,” but how much do you know about testosterone replacement? This treatment helps many men every single day improve their energy levels, mood, and sex drive. In this guide, we’ll discuss what testosterone replacement is, who it’s for, and other helpful information about low testosterone and TRT.
What is Testosterone Replacement?
Testosterone replacement is a medical treatment to help men with low testosterone levels, also known as hypogonadism. Testosterone is a hormone in your body that plays a role in many different functions, such as:
- Red blood cell production
- Sperm production
- Sex drive
- Muscle mass
- Muscle strength
- Fat distribution
- Erectile function
- Bone density
Testosterone treatment involves restoring testosterone to healthy levels to help with these elements of your health and to help relieve symptoms you may experience from testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone replacement therapy is not the same thing as illegal steroids or testosterone boosting products. Unlike these substances, testosterone medications are approved and regulated by the FDA. Also, with testosterone treatment, a healthcare professional prescribes the medication and monitors your treatment. The goal of testosterone replacement is to bring your hormone levels into healthy ranges to help promote health and wellness.
Who is Testosterone Replacement For?
Testosterone replacement is for men with low testosterone levels. Doctors prescribe testosterone replacement when the level of testosterone in your blood is much lower than average for your age group. For most adult men, this means that your blood testosterone levels are lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). The goal of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is to restore blood testosterone levels to normal ranges.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
There are many reasons your testosterone levels may be lower than normal. Issues in the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain can cause your body to produce less testosterone than average. Some health conditions can also increase your risk for low testosterone, such as obesity and diabetes. In some cases, treating these underlying conditions can help improve testosterone levels. In other cases, you may need testosterone replacement to help relieve low testosterone symptoms.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone can cause many different symptoms, including:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased muscle mass
- Body and facial hair loss
- Difficulty concentrating
If you notice these symptoms, you may have hypogonadism and might benefit from testosterone replacement. The first step toward feeling better with low testosterone is to visit one of our treatment providers who can help with diagnosis and treatment solutions.
Diagnosing Low Testosterone Levels
Many of the symptoms of low testosterone can also be caused by other conditions. Therefore, it’s important to do some tests and diagnose low testosterone. The diagnosis process may be different for each patient. However, generally it involves assessing your medical history, discussing your symptoms, and looking at blood testosterone test results. If your first test shows lower testosterone levels, our team may need to confirm them with a second blood test.
After diagnosis, our providers can discuss different treatment options. In some cases, lifestyle changes and treating underlying conditions may help your body bring testosterone levels into healthy ranges. In other cases, you may need testosterone replacement to help increase testosterone in your body, which can help relieve your symptoms.
How Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Work?
If you’ve been diagnosed with low testosterone, our providers may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. Treatment with testosterone replacement is generally customized to you based on many factors. For instance, your lifestyle, overall health, and how low your blood testosterone is. Typically, our team recommends testosterone injections once every one to two weeks to help achieve healthy testosterone levels. Results vary for each person, but many men notice gradual symptom improvement after beginning a TRT regimen.
When you’re just beginning treatment, our providers regularly check certain health markers, like blood pressure, testosterone levels, red blood cell counts, and prostate specific antigen levels. This is to help monitor and adjust your treatment as needed. Once your testosterone levels and other health markers are stable, generally you will need less frequent testing and health checkups.
Testosterone Replacement Injections
There are many different medications to choose from for testosterone replacement. Testosterone injections are an inexpensive and often fast-acting option for low testosterone treatment. Compared to gels and creams, injectable testosterone is less messy and there’s little risk of accidentally transferring the medication to others, like women and children. Testosterone replacement shots also offer easy dosage adjustment and control, which can help our providers optimize your treatment.
The Low T Center Testosterone Replacement Process
If you believe you have low testosterone, our team begins by giving you a thorough health exam. We take a holistic approach to healthcare, so we assess you for underlying conditions that could be causing your symptoms. If you’re diagnosed with low testosterone, our providers create a customized treatment plan based on your health and lifestyle. Your treatment plan may involve coming into one of our convenient locations for regular testosterone replacement injections or you may be able to start an at-home testosterone therapy program with monthly supplies shipped to your home.
Many other doctors and clinics may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy with little to no follow up. By contrast, our team offers ongoing treatment monitoring and optimization to help you feel your best. Monitoring for testosterone treatment may involve regular checkups where we draw blood and perform a physical exam as well as discussing your symptoms and any changes you notice in your health. Treatment monitoring from our team is designed to help customize your treatment and help you feel your best. Our providers may recommend adjusting your dosage and starting certain lifestyle changes to help you get results. We offer comprehensive care to help you prioritize your health.
How Long Do Men with Hypogonadism Need TRT?
You may need testosterone replacement for the rest of your life if you have low testosterone. Hypogonadism is often a chronic health condition and there is no cure that helps your body produce normal testosterone levels. However, symptom management is possible through ongoing testosterone replacement.
If you have low testosterone and stop your TRT program, in most cases your testosterone levels will return to their pre-treatment levels over time. This may bring back bothersome symptoms like low libido, fatigue, and irritability. Therefore, in most cases men choose to continue treatment to avoid symptoms that originally brought them in for testing and treatment.
If you want to stop taking testosterone, it’s important to discuss this with one of our medical providers. This can help you understand the benefits and risks and our team can help you create a plan for discontinuing treatment if you choose to do so.
Take the Next Step for Better Health at Low T Center
Our team at the Low T Center is here to help you optimize your health. We are a men’s health clinic dedicated to reinventing men’s healthcare and making it more affordable, convenient, and accessible. If you’re experiencing worrying symptoms like low sex drive, fatigue, and loss of muscle mass, we are here to help find underlying causes to your symptoms. Make an appointment today to begin your path toward feeling better.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.