Many of you are unfamiliar with the truth behind low testosterone. You’ve seen commercials with a senior-age couple walking along the beach with a voiceover basically hinting at how they could be happier, if only the man would take testosterone replacement therapy to help him maintain his erection. But, that is not the whole story. In fact, that is not even half the story. Testosterone is a hormone responsible for much more than sexual function in males.

The lowdown on low testosterone

Aging is a primary cause for low testosterone. Although men see a steady decline by 1% a year beginning in their 30s, testosterone levels can also decrease due to factors such as:

  • Chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • High cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Injury or infection to the testicles
  • Chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV
  • Alcohol/Opioid abuse
  • Obesity

What does testosterone do?

Low testosterone, or male hypogonadism, is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone. Testosterone is a key hormone in masculine development and helps to maintain ongoing male health. In terms of sexual function, the hormone contributes to arousal, erection, and ejaculation. Should low levels of testosterone occur, erectile dysfunction may begin.

What else?

Another major role that testosterone plays in the body is its contribution to red blood cell production (think iron deficiency), muscle mass, and bone strength (think osteoporosis). The hormone affects mood, clarity of thought and concentration. In adult males, hypogonadism may alter certain physical characteristics and impair normal reproductive function. Low testosterone may also cause mental and emotional changes.

What about testosterone replacement therapy?

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a hormone replacement therapy prescribed to counter the effects of male hypogonadism or low testosterone reproduction. Helping regain sexual function and support overall health, mood, mental function, and energy levels, TRT is a great option prescribed by your doctor to boost testosterone levels.

Taken through direct injection (subcutaneous) or absorbed through the skin (transdermal or topical), TRT has a plethora of benefits. Some include:

  • Increase libido
  • Increase in fat-free mass
  • Improve focus, memory and cognitive skills
  • Prevention of osteoporosis
  • Decline in symptoms of fatigue and depression

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you feel anything shift in your body. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on, but you know your body, and you know when something just just doesn’t feel right anymore. That’s when it’s time to check in with your doctor or a sexual wellness specialist about your testosterone levels so you can restore your sexual function, and much more.

Dr. Steinberg

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