Men may not bring up declining testosterone and its side effects in their everyday conversations with friends but it is more common than many people think. Many men are impacted by testosterone deficiency as they age but fortunately they can receive testosterone replacement therapy from a qualified and experienced doctor. Harvard Prostate Knowledge elaborates on just how common testosterone deficiency is, “It could be said that testosterone is what makes men, men. It gives them their characteristic deep voices, large muscles, and facial and body hair, distinguishing them from women. It stimulates the growth of the genitals at puberty, plays a role in sperm production, fuels libido, and contributes to normal erections. It also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, and aids cognition. Over time, the testicular “machinery” that makes testosterone gradually becomes less effective, and testosterone levels start to fall, by about 1% a year, beginning in the 40s. As men get into their 50s, 60s, and beyond, they may start to have signs and symptoms of low testosterone such as lower sex drive and sense of vitality, erectile dysfunction, decreased energy, reduced muscle mass and bone density, and anemia. Taken together, these signs and symptoms are often called hypogonadism (“hypo” meaning low functioning and “gonadism” referring to the testicles). Researchers estimate that the condition affects anywhere from two to six million men in the United States. Yet it is an underdiagnosed problem, with only about 5% of those affected receiving treatment…The benefits of testosterone-replacement therapy often go way beyond erectile dysfunction. That may be what brought the patient into the office originally, but then he comes back saying how much better he feels in general, how much more energetic and motivated he is, how his drives on the golf course seem to be going farther, and how his mood is better.” There are many advantages to testosterone replacement therapy, but like any treatment, it is important to arm yourself with knowledge before beginning a new protocol. Below are 5 things to know before staring testosterone replacement therapy.
5 Things to Know Before Starting Testosterone Replacement Therapy
1. You Will Need Bloodwork
Testosterone replacement therapy is not something that a doctor will prescribe a patient unless adequate testing for testosterone deficiency has been conducted. That means that you will need bloodwork before beginning your treatment so be ready for some labs ahead of time.
2. There are Side Effects
Like just about any medical treatment there are many advantages and some side effects. Testosterone replacement therapy may cause weight gain, acne, fluid retention, breast enlargement, increased aggression/mood swings, and more.
3. There are Risks
Though the risks are still being studied and may not be significant, it is important to understand that there are risks associated with testosterone replacement therapy which is why it is important to see if you are a good candidate for treatment before beginning. Those risks include blood clots, infertility, testicle shrinkage, possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke, increased risk of prostate cancer, increased red blood cell count, and more.
4. Testosterone Replacement Therapy May Improve/Boost Orgasms
If orgasms have become elusive or lackluster, testosterone replacement therapy may add a significant boost to your orgasms. Many patients report increased frequency of orgasm as well as experiencing stronger or improved orgasms.
5. You May Experience Renewed Interest In Sex
If you have experienced sexual dysfunction as a result of aging and testosterone deficiency, testosterone replacement therapy may give you a renewed interest in sex. Not only will it enhance spontaneous erection but it will improve mood and energy so that you experience an improved interest in sex.