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What Issues Can Testosterone Therapy Help Treat?
Considering undergoing testosterone therapy? Read on to learn more about what issues can be treated with this type of therapy. Testosterone is an important hormone for both males and females. Having low levels of this hormone can have a wide variety of detrimental effects. There are a number of issues that testosterone replacement can help treat.
What is testosterone therapy?
Testosterone therapy, also called testosterone replacement, is a form of hormone therapy in which the patient is given supplements to treat low testosterone levels. Testosterone, which is a male hormone that is primarily produced in the testicles, helps males maintain bone density, muscle strength and mass, facial hair, and body hair. Perhaps more notably, healthy testosterone levels are important for male sex drive and sperm production. Testosterone therapy may be prescribed in several forms, including injections, patches, and pills.
Conditions that affect testosterone levels
Aging is a big factor in low testosterone levels. The hormone reaches its peak by puberty or early adulthood, and most men begin to lose around 1% of it every year starting in their 30s (Cleveland Clinic). Other factors that can speed up this decline include:
- High levels of estrogen
- Corticosteroids and medications that treat prostate cancer
- Chronic illness
- Infection or injury
Issues that testosterone therapy may help treat
There are numerous symptoms that indicate that someone may be low in testosterone. Common ones include depressed mood, fatigue, low sex drive, concentration difficulties, irritability, infertility, weight gain, body hair loss, and loss of muscle strength. Testosterone therapy may occur via injections, skin patches, pellets, and gels. Using testosterone replacement methods is more common in males, as the hormone plays a more major role for them than it does for females.
One condition that testosterone helps treat is hypogonadism. This is when the sex glands do not produce enough (if any) sexual development hormones. This results in reproduction problems such as infertility. Hypogonadism may develop later in life due to an infection or injury, or it may be present at birth.
Testosterone therapy is generally the first step in treating this condition. However, there may be additional treatments recommended as well.
Declining physical performance
Because low energy and muscle strength loss are two of the symptoms of low testosterone, a therapy regimen can help increase overall physical performance. Testosterone therapy is common in bodybuilders and athletes, as it not only builds muscle but also improves recovery time and endurance. Testosterone also helps one lose body fat.
Testosterone is commonly used to help improve sexual function. Not only does it help increase sex drive, but it also may help with erectile dysfunction.
Mental health issues
Low levels of testosterone can result in a variety of mental health symptoms, including a depressed mood, memory issues, decreased motivation, and low self-confidence. Using testosterone therapy has been shown to increase mental clarity, improve alertness, increase happiness, and decrease anxiety.
Frequently asked questions about testosterone therapy
The following are several common questions that physicians receive about testosterone therapy. This information, along with a more direct discussion with a testosterone therapy provider, can help you decide whether treatment is right for you.
Which type of testosterone therapy is best for me?
There are several ways in which testosterone therapy can be administered. Most notably, testosterone can be given to patients via injections, topical gels that are applied to the wrist, pellet insertions, and pill form. It is important to discuss the safety and efficacy of all available options with your physician.
What are the benefits of testosterone therapy?
The benefits of testosterone therapy largely depend upon the specific purpose of the treatment. In general, and as has been discussed, testosterone therapy helps maintain healthy levels of testosterone in the body, which can improve the patient’s sex drive and sperm production, improve their physical performance, and give them higher levels of energy each day.
The bottom line
Testosterone plays a big role in normal function and development. Proper levels are necessary for a wide variety of things, including sexual function, emotional health, and physical health. Hormone levels drop due to numerous factors, and a variety of conditions can result. Testosterone therapy may be the right treatment if blood tests reveal low levels, and the individual is experiencing specific signs and symptoms.
Low testosterone levels affect many men and even women. If you have symptoms of low testosterone, contact our office for a consultation to see if testosterone therapy is an effective treatment plan for you.
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