If you have symptoms of low testosterone that affect your day-to-day life in addition to having low blood levels of testosterone, then perhaps testosterone replacement therapy may be for you. A medical decision of this nature should be discussed with your doctor and a specialist who will help you to decide whether this treatment is right for you. As with many treatment options, there are risks as well as rewards that should be fully discussed with your physician prior to treatment. Should your doctor prescribe treatment to boost your testosterone levels most studies show improvement with erectile dysfunction, sex drive, muscle strength, and bone density. These effects vary from one patient to the next, some men also cite an improvement in mental acuity and focus with improved mood. Remember testosterone replacement therapy is not for every male patient. Symptoms of low testosterone by themselves without the blood tests to corroborate low testosterone are generally not enough to prescribe this treatment option.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
There are a group of blood tests that your doctor can order to find out if you have a testosterone discrepancy in your blood. There can be a variety of reasons why low testosterone may occur including hypogonadism. Symptoms of low testosterone can include depression, difficulty concentrating, irritability, fatigue, poor libido, body, and facial hair loss. Other symptoms may include a lack of sexual drive and/or concentration in addition to possible erectile dysfunction.
Risks of Replacement Therapy
Testosterone supplementation also has risks. One of the potential side effects is a rash or itching irritation where the testosterone gel or cream is administered. More serious side effects can include increased risk of elevated Hematocrit level, heart attack, and/or stroke. There are also a few health conditions that experts believe can be made worse testosterone treatment such as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (Accelerated prostate enlargement), Sleep Apnea, worsening Prostate Cancer, and Blood Clots.
Benefits of Therapy
Every man is different and it is impossible to predict specific benefits for each individual. That being stated, many male patients report noticeable improvements in their day-to-day lives. The most frequent benefits are an improved energy level, sex drive, erection quality, muscle mass, bone density and insulin sensitivity. Men generally report an improvement in mood associated with testosterone replacement. The majority of patients list improvements in most, if not all of these categories. However, the degree to which some patients rate the improvement is widely varied.