Do you feel like you’ve lost your get-up-and-go? Are you constantly dragging, despite getting enough sleep? Has your sex drive taken a nosedive? You may be dealing with low testosterone. Keep reading to learn how testosterone replacement therapy can help restore your vim and vigor.
At Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers, we understand the challenges low testosterone can cause. We’ve helped thousands of men address hormone imbalances through evidence-based care. Our expert staff takes a personalized approach, evaluating your symptoms, labs, and health history.
If you’re dealing with lackluster energy, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and other hypogonadism symptoms, we can help. Read on for an inside look at testosterone replacement therapy.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) involves prescribing testosterone to treat low testosterone levels or hypogonadism in men. It aims to improve symptoms like decreased libido, fatigue, and muscle loss.
While TRT can provide benefits, it also carries risks like prostate issues and cardiovascular problems that require monitoring by a medical provider.
Administration and Dosage
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is primarily administered through intramuscular injection or topical application. Common intramuscular injection dosing regimens include:
- Initial dose of 250mg, followed by subsequent doses of 250mg every 2-3 weeks
- Initial dose of 750mg, followed by 750mg every 4 weeks, then 750mg every 10 weeks thereafter
Topical administration is usually through gel application once daily. The typical gel dose is the size of a small packet or ketchup package spread over both shoulders and upper arms.
Some doctors also recommend lower maintenance doses of 80-100 mg injected every 4-6 days.
This is referred to as microdosing where smaller, more frequent doses are given through intramuscular injection, usually starting with an initial dose followed by injections every 6 weeks.
TRT is only available through prescription from a doctor and therapeutic dosing aims to administer doses between 200-250 mg weekly to achieve health benefits without side effects.
What are the Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Potential benefits of testosterone replacement therapy include improved sexual desire, function and performance. Testosterone therapy can also increase bone mineral density, leading to improved bone health. Patients may experience improved body composition and increased muscle mass on testosterone therapy.
Other benefits include increased energy levels, improved mood and sex drive, and more muscle mass. Testosterone replacement may also provide cardiovascular benefits through improved cardiovascular and endothelial health, as well as a protective effect on myocardial ischemia throughout treatment.
What are the Risks and Side Effects of TRT?
While TRT can provide benefits for hypogonadal men, it does carry potential side effects. Some risks and side effects include worsening of sleep apnea, acne and disturbed sleep, polycythemia (increased red blood cell count), lower sperm count which can cause infertility, enlarged breasts, and prostate disorders.
Some studies have found no increased risks of heart attack or death with TRT. Common minor side effects include acne, oily skin and testicle shrinkage.
At Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers, we carefully monitor patients on TRT for any adverse effects. Your health and safety are our top concerns. We’ll work with you to maximize benefits and minimize risks of testosterone replacement therapy.
What is Male Hypogonadism and How is it Treated?
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is responsible for the development of male reproductive tissues as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle mass, growth of body hair, and deepening of the voice.
There are two main categories of male hypogonadism:
- Primary hypogonadism: This means there is a problem with the testicles themselves that results in low testosterone production. Causes can include Klinefelter syndrome, undescended testicles, infection, injury, or cancer treatment.
- Secondary hypogonadism: This is caused by a problem with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus in the brain, which are responsible for signaling the testicles to produce testosterone. Causes can include a pituitary tumor, radiation treatment, or certain medications.
Male hypogonadism is typically treated with testosterone replacement therapy to return testosterone levels to normal ranges. This can help address symptoms and signs of the condition.
The Endocrine Society has published clinical practice guidelines on testosterone therapy in men with hypogonadism which suggest that testosterone treatment was associated with a small but statistically significant improvement in libido.
In line with this, it has also published guidelines for testosterone replacement therapy in male hypogonadism in 2022. The guidelines recommend testosterone therapy for hypogonadal men to induce and maintain secondary sex characteristics and recommend monitoring therapy.
The guidelines were developed by a task force of medical experts appointed by the Society for Endocrinology. They reviewed the available evidence on treating hypogonadism in men with testosterone therapy.
Symptoms of Hypogonadism
Low testosterone levels in men can lead to a variety of symptoms that impact physical, mental, and sexual health. Common symptoms include:
- Reduced sex drive (libido) and erectile dysfunction – Men may experience less interest in sex, difficulty getting or maintaining erections, and reduced sensation.
- Loss of muscle mass and strength – Testosterone helps build and maintain muscle mass. Low levels can result in muscle wasting, especially in the arms and legs. Men may feel physically weaker.
- Increased body fat – Low testosterone promotes increased body fat, particularly around the abdomen and chest.
- Reduced energy and fatigue – Men with low testosterone often experience tiredness, lack of motivation, and reduced endurance for physical activity.
- Mood changes – Irritability, depression, and other mood disturbances can occur. Concentration and cognitive function may also be impaired.
- Hair loss and reduced body hair – Scalp hair, beard, chest hair, and pubic hair may thin.
- Hot flashes and sleep disturbances – Vacillations in temperature regulation and night sweats can happen. Sleep may be frequently interrupted.
- Breast tissue growth (gynecomastia) – The mammary glands can enlarge, causing breast fullness.
- Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) – Over time, low testosterone can lead to bone weakening.
There are several potential causes of low testosterone in men:
Testosterone levels peak during adolescence and early adulthood, then gradually decline with age.
Long-term use of corticosteroids, opioids, and other drugs may affect testosterone production. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can impair testicle function.
Injury or infection of the testicles
Trauma, orchitis, and some cancers may damage testicle tissue, lowering testosterone.
Hypothalamic or pituitary gland disorders
Tumors, infections, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, iron overload, and other conditions can impair signals from the brain to produce testosterone.
Liver and kidney disease, sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, alcoholism, obesity, and other serious conditions are associated with low testosterone. Malnutrition can also contribute.
Such as Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, or other chromosomal abnormalities impact normal hormonal function.
If low testosterone symptoms develop, it is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause through physical exam, laboratory testing, and possibly imaging studies. Low testosterone can be effectively treated in most cases.
What are the Types of Testosterone Therapy?
If you and your doctor determine TRT is right for you, there are a few administration methods to consider:
|Options include testosterone enanthate, testosterone cypionate, and testosterone undecanoate injections. These provide steady testosterone levels but must be administered regularly, usually every 1-4 weeks.
|Testosterone skin patches
|A patch containing testosterone (Androderm) applied nightly to the thighs or torso provides sustained testosterone release through the skin.
|Testosterone gel (AndroGel, Testim) applied daily to the abdomen, shoulders, or upper arms absorbs through the skin.
|Surgically implanted in the hips or abdomen every 3-6 months, pellets release testosterone over an extended period.
Want to Learn More?
We hope this article helped you better understand testosterone replacement therapy for treating male hypogonadism and low T. If you’re experiencing symptoms, don’t continue suffering in silence.
Schedule a consultation at Physician’s Rejuvenation Centers today. Our compassionate providers will listen to your concerns, thoroughly evaluate your hormone levels and health history, and determine the best treatment options for you.
Call (561) 783-5153 or request an appointment online to get started. Here’s to reclaiming your health and happiness!