What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Men and Who Needs One?
Have You Heard of Male Menopause?
You may have heard of “viropause” which is actually the same thing that men go through although with more gradual symptoms. Not all men would however agree to experiencing deficiency in androgen which characterizes this period in their life. A decreased sexual appetite, increased fatigue, erectile deficiency—all these are caused by low testerone. However, such denial leaves them helpless and unable to get the benefit of getting a testosterone replacement therapy.
Men who are experiencing the said symptoms rarely talk about it even with their fellow men mainly because they are men and male pride bars them from sharing their “inadequacies” particularly male hormones.
What is HRT?
Men should get to know this hormone produced by their testicles called testosterone as it is their lifeline when it comes to male sexual characteristics including muscle bulk, sperm production and sexual function. While erectile dysfunction is not generally caused by low testerone, you may need HRT to improve on ED that’s caused by low testerone.
Low testerone levels, also known as hypogonadism, can be treated with testerone injections, gels or patches. A person’s testosterone level is gradually reduced by one percent every year after you reach the age of 30.
If you feel two or more of the following then you may be experiencing the symptoms of low testerone:
1.reduced desire for sex
2.changing sleep patterns
3.reduction in muscle bulk
4.increase in body fat
8.changes in emotions
While these signs are almost part and parcel of the aging process, there are other underlying conditions that can result to these symptoms. It is thus important to get a test for thyroid and a blood test for testerone levels. Your doctor may require several testerone measurements to make sure about your testerone levels which are incidentally at its highest levels in the morning.
Who needs Androgen replacement therapy?
Men over 30 years old who have abnormally low testerone levels and are experiencing the symptoms would benefit from androgen replacement therapy. Other conditions which are potential causes of deficiency in male hormones including infection in the testicles, hemochromatosis and pituitary gland dysfunction may also improve with testerone injections subject to medical recommendations.
Testosterone replacement therapy should however be done under the close supervision of your doctor as it can adversely affect patients who have prostate cancer and breast cancer.
If you’re planning to go for hormone therapy then you can opt for testerone injections once every two or three weeks or the testosterone gels that are directly applied to the abdomen, upper arms or shoulders. You can also go for the daily patches which are worn on the scrotum, abdomen, arms, buttocks and back.
Each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages so make sure you choose the method which is more convenient for you given your lifestyle and physical condition. Hormone therapy pills are not yet available in the United States and are to be avoided when they become available since they can result to abnormalities in the liver.