Testosterone Replacement Therapy – Possible Risks and Benefits
It is Friday. You are sitting at home and watching TV. If it would be a few yours ago you would probably go out with your friends, grab some beers and go to the clubs and dance and party all night. But let’s face it – when you are getting older, your motivation and energy to do extra activities decreases. Mainly, because testosterone levels in your body is decreasing year by year. Nowadays, there are different ways how to maintain and even increase testosterone levels in your body and increase production of testosterone. Starting from different testosterone booster supplements up to testosterone therapy. And today – let’s talk about testosterone therapy, what kind of benefits you will receive and what are the possible risks you may experience. Because it is important to know the risks before you make this therapy.
What actually is testosterone?
Before we discuss more in depth, let’s make it clear in a few sentences what actually is testosterone and why it is so important, especially for men. Well, testosterone, also known as T, is a hormone produced in the testicles. Testosterone in our bodies is responsible for:
- Bone density
- Fat distribution
- Muscle strength and mass
- Facial and body hair
- Red blood cell production
- Sex drive
- Sperm production
What happens with testosterone when you get older?
Testosterone levels start to drop when you reach the age of 32. As you get older, testosterone levels in your body decline by 1% each year. After you reach 40, this percentage goes up to %5 by each year. Important thing is to visit your doctor and check why your testosterone is declining. The least harmful reason would be simply because you are getting older. The reason why you should worry is due to a disease called hypogonadism. I believe a lot of people are asking to themselves “what the hell is hypogonadism and what that creature eats?”. Well, hypogonadism is a disease which affects your body and slows down testosterone production in your body. And if this is the case, no supplements and testosterone boosters can cure and help you, except testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement can occur in forms of injections, patches, gels or pellets.
Naturally declining testosterone and its signs
When you are getting older, you can feel and experience many symptoms. Symptoms which results in lower testosterone levels and its production in your body can include:
- Declining sexual desire: this includes low sexual function and fewer erections;
- Changes in sleep patterns: this includes unslept nights and insomnia;
- Physical changes: this includes increased body fat, reduced strength and weaker bone structure. And also one of the biggest fears for both, men and women, body hair loss. Also, less energy is one of the symptoms;
- Emotional changes: this includes increased depressions, weaker memory and decrease in self-confidence;
Of course, above mentioned symptoms can be caused by different things and factors, like side effects from different medication, depression and so on. But related to this article, there is a big possibility that these conditions are caused by low testosterone levels on your body. And if that is the case – testosterone treatment therapy can help you and increase testosterone levels in your body. And if your question is “how can I know that my testosterone levels are low?” , then I already got an answer – a blood test.
Can testosterone replacement therapy bring back vitality and youth?
Going back to already mentioned hypogonadism – testosterone therapy indeed can help improve testosterone levels in your body and reverse the effects of hypogonadism. And you are in your 40’s or 50’s and you feel energetic, your sex desire is still on point – there is no need for this therapy. You are lucky!
But, for men who are not this case, testosterone supplements and medicaments can help you to feel again young, more vigorous and energetic, like back in the old days. Studies show that testosterone therapy has positive benefits, but men experience different effects and benefits from this treatment. For example, one group of men experience increased muscle mass, but at the same time feeling no changes in their strength. The same goes with lean body mass and reduced fat. Still, it is not 100% clear why men experience different benefits from testosterone replacement therapy, but scientists and doctors believe that it simply because each of us got a different body type. Men who naturally are strong may experience increased strength. Men who naturally have a little belly fat, may not experience fat loss.
The risks of testosterone therapy
If you decide that testosterone therapy is necessary for you, be aware of various risks. For example:
- Sleep apnea: sleep disorder which blocks breathing while you sleep and effects intervals, when you inhale and exhale;
- Acne and skin reactions: testosterone replacement therapy can cause some acne or skin reactions;
- Stimulate prostate growth: rarely experienced, but some men after this replacement therapy had noncancerous growth of prostate;
- Enlarged breasts
- Effects on your testicles: limited sperm production and testicle shrinkage can be one of the possible side effects after taking testosterone replacement therapy;
Now, after reading all these possible risks, you may think that doing a testosterone replacement therapy is more harmful than just living with low testosterone levels in your body. Well, actually no. These are only possible risks. And with “only” I meant – doctors and therapists, before making any procedures, must explain to their patients all the risks, even there is a 0,00001% chance – it is still a possibility. And in this article we gathered all the risks what may occur after doing testosterone replacement therapy, so you can be aware what can happen and experience.
Discuss with your doctor if you indeed need testosterone therapy
The only and the best way how to know whether you need testosterone therapy or no is only by talking with your doctor. After measuring testosterone levels in your body, only then your doctor can give you a clear answer, whether you need it or no and what are the best options in order to increase testosterone levels in your body. And in the end, if you find out that your condition is not that bad, boosting testosterone levels in your body in a natural way is another and least harmful option. One example would be resistance training, which will help you to lose weight and increase muscle mass. So not in the all cases you must take supplements or medication. Research, talk to your doctor and only then act. Good luck!