Many men are looking for that fountain of youth. Advertisements would lead you to believe that testosterone replacement therapy is the answer. This article looks at the pros and cons of using testosterone replacement therapy. Consult your medical professional prior to using any of the suggestions contained in this article.
As men age, some things stop working as well. For many men, this impacts them physically, mentally and emotionally. Many men are turning to testosterone replacement therapy in an effort to regain their youth. The questions to ask are:
1. Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Work?
2. What Are the Side Effects?
3. Is It Worth The Cost?
So let’s dive into the pros and cons of testosterone replacement therapy.
What is Testosterone?
While testosterone gets a bad rap it is vital to multiple functions for both males and females. Testosterone is important for energy levels, sexual desire and bone density based on information found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Low testosterone or Low T is common in most older men. Some studies show that 1 in every 10 men suffer from low testosterone. This is what the American Urological Association says. Still simply replacing or boosting testosterone isn’t the solution to all problems.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
The thought that testosterone therapy will treat erectile dysfunction is only partially true. While it may increase a man’s sex drive it doesn’t directly treat erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction might be the result of low sex drive but more often than not, there are some physical causes.
Treating Infertility or Low Sperm Counts
Testosterone replacement therapy will have the opposite desired effective for men who want to increase their sperm count. When additional testosterone is introduced into the body, the brain tells the testes to stop producing additional sperm. While it is possible that sperm production will return to normal after the therapy stops there are no guarantees.
Testosterone replacement isn’t a treatment for prostate or male breast cancer. In fact, if you have either of those you are not a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.
Treating Low Sex Drive, Energy And Confidence Levels
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Here is where testosterone replacement can be effective. If you are experiencing decreased sexual drive, energy levels or reduced confidence than testosterone replacement therapy could work for you.
Dr. Steven Canfield, chief of urology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, lists the symptoms for low testosterone as:
- Development of breast tissue,
- The loss of body hair
- Small or shrinking testicles
- No need for shaving
- Flushing or sweats
- Bone loss
- Decrease in self-confidence
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Problems with sleeping,
- Memory problems
- Reduction in body mass
- Decrease in work performance
The best way to determine if you are experiencing low testosterone is to take a blood test.
While this typically occurs in older men, it doesn’t mean that it is a natural part of aging. Obesity and depression can both lead to low testosterone. Testicular trauma, radiation treatments, pituitary tumor and some medications can cause a drop in testosterone.
Treatments for Low Testosterone
There are multiple methods for treating low testosterone. Here are some of the most popular:
Can be used to treat infertility
Testosterone replacement, includes
- Injections – Every two weeks but the downside is more effective in the beginning and much less as time passes.
- Patches – Can offer a much longer term and steady dose of testosterone. They can however cause irritation.
- Gel – Usually absorbed withing 2 to 6 hours and offer a consistent dose of testosterone. Still you must wait for the gel to dry. The gel should not be exposed to children, women who are or could get pregnant.
- Implantable pellets – These are becoming a increasingly popular option. They last 4 months and are relatively inexpensive. They offer a steady long lasting source of testosterone.
While there are benefits there are also risks of testosterone replacement therapy. Here is a list:
- Increase in the size of the prostate
- Water retention
- Worsening sleep apnea
- Lower sperm count
- Increase in the platelet count. This could increase the risk for blood clots,
Testosterone therapy isn’t he end all to be all solution for all of a man’s health issues. You should seek the advice of your medical professional prior to using testosterone replacement therapy.