You may have seen the ads for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) and wondered if you might benefit. Testosterone, the hormone required to make sperm, is what gives men body and facial hair during adolescence, helps build their muscles, and cause their voices to lower.
When your body doesn’t make enough of it, you can have low testosterone symptoms like low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression, fatigue, and irritability. A reduction in lean muscle mass and loss and facial hair can also be symptoms.
There can be other causes of those symptoms, though, so you need to have a blood test to measure your levels of testosterone before your doctor will want to prescribe TRT.
Some estimates are that about 2 percent of men have testosterone levels below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), which is the lowest level considered normal. Certain factors make low testosterone more likely, including:
- Injury to the testicles
- Being overweight
- Having HIV or AIDS
- Use of certain medications, including some antidepressants and narcotics
- Testicular cancer or treatment for testicular cancer
- Liver or kidney disease
- Type 2 diabetes
If possible, your doctor may want to treat the underlying causes of your Low-T, for instance by encouraging weight loss or taking you off medications that could be contributing to the problem. If that’s not an option in your case, TRT may be the answer. It comes in several forms, including injections and topical gels, creams, and patches.
While there are many benefits to TRT, it does come with risks. It may increase your risk of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), prostate cancer, sleep apnea, blood clots, and congestive heart failure. Your doctor may hesitate to prescribe TRT or want to monitor you closely if you already suffer from any of those conditions.
If you have symptoms that are worrying you and want to find out if your testosterone levels are normal, we’re happy to talk with you.
Affiliated Urologists is an award-winning practice recognized both locally and nationally that has provided service to patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and surrounding communities in the Valley, for over 40 years. The physicians emphasize top-of-the-line comprehensive urological care and strive to deliver the highest outcomes for patient satisfaction. To make an appointment, call 602-264-0608 or click here.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.