Did you know that nearly 40% of men above 45 suffer from a low testosterone level? Having low testosterone is much more common than many people think and is a health condition that often requires testosterone replacement therapy.
Before you race out to get this type of therapy, it's essential to know a little bit more about testosterone replacement. After all, this isn't a therapy that's meant for everybody.
So, what is testosterone replacement therapy, and should you do it? Let's find out in this guide!
In this guide, we'll be covering the answer to your question about testosterone therapy. This guide covers the following topics:
Testosterone replacement therapy involves administering testosterone in the form of pills, injections, capsules, or another method to men with low testosterone levels.
The idea behind the therapy is that the medications will balance out the body's testosterone levels. They can provide relief from uncomfortable symptoms of low testosterone and can help men get their health back on track.
Testosterone is a male hormone that's made in the testicles. This hormone is vital for men's sexual function and development and is what helps men develop male features.
Men's testosterone levels typically drop as they get older, but sometimes they drop drastically. When men have low testosterone levels, it's called Low-T and means that the body doesn't have enough testosterone to function correctly.
Low testosterone is defined as someone who has less than 300 ng/dL of testosterone in their systems. Usually, diagnosing low testosterone requires taking blood and semen samples from men.
There are several symptoms of low testosterone that might indicate you should look into testosterone therapy. A few of these symptoms include:
There are many reasons why people develop low testosterone levels. A few of the more common causes of low testosterone include:
These are only a few of the many reasons a person might develop low testosterone. It's essential to speak with your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and figure out what's causing your symptoms.
Usually, diagnosing low testosterone requires taking blood and semen samples from men.
There are several different forms of testosterone replacement therapy, and each one comes with its own benefits. Let's take a look at some of the types of testosterone replacement therapy you can try.
Testosterone replacement gels work by rubbing them into the skin. You'll usually either apply them on the shoulder, upper arm, or inner thigh.
The body then absorbs the testosterone through the skin. Just make sure not to come into contact with anyone before the gel fully dries, or they'll also absorb the testosterone.
Another form of testosterone therapy is injection. Healthcare professionals administer these injections either under the skin or into a muscle.
Sometimes, you may feel comfortable giving yourself the injections. Just speak to a healthcare professional to see if that's an option for your particular situation.
Some people apply a patch containing testosterone to their skin. They'll either apply this to their torso or to their thighs so that the body can absorb the hormone through the skin.
You can also place a putty-substance containing testosterone between the gum and cheek. This delivers testosterone through your buccal cavity.
To take this type of testosterone, you just stick the putty to your gumline. From there, the body will absorb the T into the bloodstream.
You can get surgical testosterone pellets implanted under the skin for a more permanent solution. You'll need to get them replaced every few months.
You can pump a testosterone gel into the nostrils so that the body can absorb the hormone without making skin contact. This type of testosterone usually has to be applied three times a day, twice in each nostril.
Testosterone therapy is a treatment that can help men with low testosterone, but it's not for everyone. Consult your doctor before starting this therapy.
There are some major benefits of testosterone therapy. Men who undergo testosterone therapy report:
Although testosterone replacement therapy is generally safe, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of. That way, you can make the safest choice about getting this therapy.
For one, some men experience benign prostatic hypertrophy. Others can also develop prostate cancer.
In addition, people with sleep apnea may experience worsened conditions. Or, sleep apnea may develop in previously healthy men.
Some men also experience blood clots or congestive heart failure when taking this therapy.
So, is testosterone therapy right for you? If you have several symptoms of low testosterone and also have a clinically low testosterone reading, the answer is likely 'yes.'
Not everyone is a candidate for testosterone therapy, however. Men with prostate cancer or another type of cancer should generally avoid getting testosterone replacement therapy.
You should also steer clear of testosterone replacement therapy if you struggle with urinary tract issues. If you have sleep apnea or uncontrolled heart failure, you might not be eligible either.
Now that you know the answer to what testosterone replacement is and should you do it, you're ready to make a decision about your male health. Testosterone therapy is a treatment that can help men with low testosterone, but it's not for everyone. Consult your doctor before starting this therapy.
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