TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), is a hormone replacement therapy often prescribed to counter the effects of male hypogonadism, or low testosterone production.
Testosterone plays a key role in masculine development and ongoing health. Men suffering from low testosterone or male hypogonadism, do not produce enough testosterone. In adult males, hypogonadism may alter certain masculine physical characteristics and impair normal reproductive function. Low testosterone can also cause mental and emotional changes. As testosterone decreases, some men may experience symptoms similar to those of menopause in women.
Low testosterone levels inhibit more than sexual function. Testosterone contributes to red blood cell production, muscle mass and bone strength. It is a factor in mood, clarity of thought and concentration.
TRT can help men with low testosterone regain sexual function, support overall health and energy levels, as well as mood and mental function.
How Does the Testosterone Therapy Work?
When the body no longer produces sufficient amounts of testosterone, replacement therapy is an option.
The testosterone replacement is achieved by absorption through the skin (transdermal or topical) or direct injection (subcutaneous) into the muscle mass or under the skin.
Hormone delivery options include:
- Skin patch (transdermal): A skin patch is similar to a nicotine patch. It’s worn on the arm or upper body, and is changed every day. The patch continually distributes testosterone in a controlled release through the day.
- Mouth patch (transdermal): This “patch” is actually more of a tablet. It sticks to the upper gums near the incisor. The tablet slowly dissolves and must be replaced during the course of the day. Testosterone is delivered continuously to gum tissue.
- Gels (topical): There are several brands of gels that may have different application methods. Testosterone is absorbed directly through the skin by applying the clear gel on your skin once a day, either the body or in the nose. Gels can also be applied using a pump that that dispenses testosterone in the amount prescribed by your doctor.
- Injections and implants (Subcutaneous): Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles, or implanted as pellets under the skin. The pellets slowly dissolve, releasing the hormone into the bloodstream.
The delivery method will be selected by the physician and patient.
The ideal outcome from TRT is to regain sexual function, energy and clarity of mind. Some men experience a strong change. Others get limited benefits.
Many men report improvement in energy level, sex drive, and quality of erections. Testosterone also increases bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in some men.
Men also often report an improvement in mood from testosterone replacement. They may be able to focus better, and see improvements in memory and cognitive skills.
Other benefits include:
- Increase in libido
- Increase in fat-free mass
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Decline in symptoms of fatigue and depression
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Risks
Testosterone therapy can raise a man’s risk for blood clots and stroke. Uncommon side effects include sleep apnea, acne, and breast enlargement. All such side effects go away if treatment is stopped.
Men who use a testosterone gel should wash their hands thoroughly after applying a dose and make sure that no one else touches the spots where they medicate. If a woman or a child come into contact with testosterone gels, it can cause side effects in them – although this is a very rare occurrence.
To continue to benefit, a man with low testosterone must remain on it, and this poses some risk because the very long-term impacts are not fully known. Research over the past few decades has shown little evidence of a link between testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer. However, the question has not been entirely laid to rest.F
Typically, men can start to feel a boost in mood, sexual function and energy levels within a month of treatment. Regaining muscle mass and strength may take longer, depending on your commitment to exercise.
We don’t recommend TRT for people with the following conditions:
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy
- Sleep apnea
- Congestive heart disease
- Prostate cancer or elevated prostate specific antigen
- Severe urinary conditions
- Studies have shown that testosterone replacement can worsen these conditions.
- TRT can only benefit those who have low testosterone.
There is insufficient research to fully understand the long-term effects of TRT. Low level side effects can include rash or itching where a gel or patch is applied. There are some concerns related to heart attack and stroke.
Though not empirically proven, there is concern that TRT might stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Medical providers agree that monitoring patients is an essential element of a responsible treatment plan.
No. TRT is a clinical treatment for a medical condition. Individuals receiving TRT should not be taking any steroids or other muscle enhancers. Please make sure your doctor is aware of all your prescription medications and over the counter supplements.
Testosterone is classified as an androgen hormone. Declining testosterone levels are sometimes referred to an andropause. Like menopause in women, when men move past middle age, there are undeniable changes in their bodies and minds.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone (Low-T)
Low-T can cause a breakdown in emotional, physical, sexual and mental health. Signs are often subtle, so it is important to recognize the changes caused by low-T as soon as possible.
Difficulty with concentration
Low sexual desire
Sexual Function Changes
Fewer erections (can lead up to Erectile Disfunction)
Low production of sperm (can lead up to infertility)
Lack of energy / fatigue
Increased body fat
Decrease in strength and muscle mass
Shift in regular sleep patterns
Gynecomastia (development of male breasts)
Mental and emotional health can be key factors in sexual wellness. Stress, anxiety or depression can impact libido, and a man or woman’s ability to engage with their partner. Seeking assistance from a mental health professional may help alleviate the underlying causes of the condition. The Elna Sexual Wellness Center offers sex therapy services.
P-SHOT PRP THERAPY
The use of a man’s own blood factors to boost sexual response carries no heart-related risks. The injection floods the penis with regeneration cells that immediately begin revitalizing muscle, tissue and nerves.
The therapy is non-invasive, with no side effects.
MEN’S SHOCKWAVE THERAPY
Erectile dysfunction can be treated with low intensity shockwaves that open constricted blood vessels in the penis. The treatment restores the blood flow that allows for spontaneous erection upon arousal, with no drugs or side effects. Shockwave therapy is now available for ED.
Circumcision is a simple procedure in which the foreskin that covers the head of the penis is removed. Circumcision can be performed on men of any age. Some men choose circumcision based on religious or culture beliefs, while for others, it is a solution to health conditions or cosmetic concerns.