For some men, low testosterone could be a problem leading to a significant deterioration in life quality. A decrease in a guy’s primary sex hormone will have an impact on libido, fertility, body mass and various other physiological factors. In some instances, the symptoms will be so severe that therapy will be required.
The therapy that doctors recommend is called hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It involves the administration of synthetic testosterone, enabling the maintenance of steady levels. While this may sound like a great idea, HRT comes with certain risks. Here are some of the essentials to keep in mind and discuss with your doctor before opting for the therapy.
What Can HRT Do For You?
A testosterone therapy will in essence replace the depleted levels of your natural testosterone. This means that it can be used to overcome all of the side effects that stem from a rapid decline in testosterone (caused either by aging or by a medical condition).
For a start, low testosterone is almost always linked to sexual difficulties. These can impact one’s relationship, confidence and self-perception. HRT can bring back a healthy sex drive and deliver the energy/stamina required for a good sexual performance every single time.
Many men start a hormone therapy precisely because of the sexual difficulties that result from hormone alterations. Some of the other effects of low testosterone aren’t going to be experienced so profoundly. Low testosterone, however, can have a negative effect on health. If low t is expected to contribute to serious problems, HRT will be suggested by a physician. In that instance, the benefits will far outweigh the risks.
You should always talk to a doctor prior to starting a treatment. Remember that a low libido doesn’t have to necessarily be caused by a testosterone problem. A blood test will be sufficient to figure out whether hormones are falling within the normal range and if they’re leading to health issues.
While HRT may eventually improve health in a number of important ways, it can also contribute to serious problems. A few of the most important risks linked to this kind of therapy include the following:
- Blood clot formation: both men and women who are undergoing a hormone replacement therapy are at a risk of blood clot formation and a potentially serious condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a potentially life-threatening condition and HRT products all come with a warning label about the issue.
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy: testosterone naturally causes an increase in the size of the prostate. Thus, men who are on a hormone-based therapy are likely to experience BPH. BPH is characterized by a range of symptoms including urination difficulties, having to get up to urinate during the night and sexual dysfunctions.
- Congestive heart failure: testosterone replacement therapy isn’t suitable for men who already suffer from a serious heart problem because it can eventually cause aggravation.
- Prostate cancer: men who already have prostate cancer and the ones who are predisposed to it will experience health deterioration as a result of starting HRT. Thus, physicians will recommend prostate cancer screening prior to administering a hormone-based treatment to their patients.
Expectations: Are They Realistic?
One more important thing that many men don’t understand about HRT is that it can only do so much. Unrealistic expectations are dangerous because they’ll make some men accept the therapy while being completely misguided about what it could actually do.
Many men believe that the administration of synthetic testosterone injections will make them feel much more youthful and bring back the body that they enjoyed in their 20s and 30s. Unfortunately, HRT doesn’t work this way.
Testosterone therapy is also not the answer for problems like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. Testosterone regulates libido and fertility. The erectile response is much more complex and it involves both the reproductive and the cardiovascular systems.
Talk with your urologist and ask questions to figure out whether HRT can deliver the health improvements you’re looking for. If you have realistic information and knowledge about what could be accomplished, you’ll find it a whole lot easier to make a good decision.
A Few Additional Considerations
Even if you’re a suitable candidate for HRT, you’ll need to keep a couple of additional factors in mind prior to jumping onboard.
Acquainting yourself with the different kinds of testosterone products is very important. Each one of those comes with its specific advantages and shortcomings.
Testosterone injections are the most common form of treatment. This is the most inexpensive therapeutic form but it comes with a major shortcoming – testosterone levels will reach their peak when the injection is administered and they’ll decrease after. Thus, men will have to administer such injections frequently enough to maintain their hormone levels high.
Patches are an alternative. These are placed on the skin and they release testosterone gradually over a certain period of time. Patches, however, are more expensive than testosterone injections. They may cause some skin irritation and on occasions, up to two patches will have to be used per day to maintain testosterone levels.
Testosterone gels come with much simpler administration – they’re simply rubbed into the skin. There will be no skin irritation but some men will be incapable of absorbing the testosterone that’s administered this way. Such products are also quite expensive in comparison to injections.
Are There Alternatives?
Doctors usually recommend lifestyle changes and general health improvements before men opt for testosterone replacement therapy. The risks of synthetic hormone administration are numerous and it will be suitable solely in highly specific cases.
There are numerous things that guys can do to boost their testosterone levels naturally. Reaching a healthy weight, working out and getting a sufficient number of sleep hours rank among the most important possibilities.
The selection of a high quality testosterone booster is another good idea. These are natural supplements that stimulate the natural testosterone production mechanisms in the body. As a result, synthetic hormones don’t have to be administered and there will be no side effects.
Testosterone boosters make use of a wide array of ingredients. Because of these differences in products, some of them happen to be more efficient than others. TestRX is one such product. It relies on extracts that have been clinically studies for effectiveness. You can find out more about the supplement in the following TestRX review.
HRT is a serious, invasive treatment. It comes with side effects, health risks and limited effectiveness. This is why you should consider other options first. Natural strategies can be effective for the management of common testosterone symptoms. If you don’t know how to choose such products and get started on the journey to recovery, you should definitely consider talking to your doctor about it.