TRT emerges as a beacon of hope in the world of men’s health, where whispers of vitality and vigor echo. However, Is testosterone replacement therapy safe?
While testosterone replacement therapy offers several benefits – improved libido, muscle mass, energy, etc., you must not ignore the potential risks. So, read the article and determine if TRT is safe and suitable for you.
What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a treatment for men with low testosterone levels that aims to restore their testosterone levels to the normal range.
Testosterone is a crucial hormone produced mainly in the testicles. It plays a significant role in bodily functions, such as maintaining muscle mass and bone density, improving libido, and boosting energy levels.
However, as you age, testosterone production declines affecting your regular life. Testosterone deficiency can also result from certain medical conditions like hypogonadism or injuries.
The goal of TRT is to restore testosterone levels to the normal range, alleviating symptoms and improving overall well-being.
Why Do You Need Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Low testosterone production can cause several symptoms and TRT can help manage conditions such as hypogonadism, Klinefelter syndrome, or testicular injury. Major symptoms include-
- Low sex drive
- erectile dysfunction.
- Loss of muscle mass and strength.
- Increased body fat and weight gain.
- Reduction in bone density.
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Difficulties with concentration and memory.
- Loss of body and facial hair.
- Hot flashes and sweats
- sleep disturbances.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Methods of Administration
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) dosage and frequency can vary depending on the chosen method and your needs.
Some common administration methods include-
- Transdermal patches: involves applying one 4 mg/day patch every 24 hours on the back, abdomen, upper arms, or thighs for continuous release of testosterone.
- Topical gel: Apply daily in the morning with caution. Avoid close skin contact, especially with women, for a few hours after application.
- Injections: every 1-2 weeks or every 4-10 weeks for short or long-acting treatment, typically in the buttocks.
- Testosterone pellets: Implanted testosterone pellets release testosterone over several months through a minor surgical procedure.
- Oral testosterone: twice daily, however not recommended due to first-pass metabolism.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is generally considered safe for the purpose of treating hypogonadism. It may also benefit men’s libido, energy levels, and muscle mass. However, it comes with risks and side effects such as polycythemia, edema, and increased risk of prostate cancer.
Limited evidence indicates that TRT may initially worsen obstructive sleep apnea in some men, but this effect is not long-standing. Also, research indicates it does not increase heart attack or stroke risk.
But there’s not enough research on the harmful effects of long-term testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). So, consult with a healthcare professional before starting TRT to determine if it is the right treatment option.
Book an appointment with Dr. David Nazarian to get the best Testosterone Replacement Therapy in LA.
The Long-Term Effects Of TRT: Is Testosterone Safe Long Term?
The safety of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in the long term is still a topic of discussion for researchers. TRT is likely safe for men with hypogonadism in the short to medium term, but long-term use may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease-related deaths.
Long-term TRT may also cause side effects such as acne, sleep apnea, breast tenderness, ankle swelling, and increased risk of clotting due to elevated red blood cell counts.
More studies are necessary to determine the safety of TRT over longer periods to understand the potential effects of TRT in the long run.
Benefits Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone Replacement Therapy offers several health benefits.
Improved Libido and Sexual Function
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) may help with low testosterone levels to improve your libido and sexual function. It may increase sexual desire, improve erectile function, and enhance overall sexual experience.
Besides, TRT can improve the physical ability to perform sexually and enhance genitourinary system functioning.
Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
Also, some studies report an increase in lean body mass without a change in physical function, while others show improvements in specific strength measures.
Enhanced Mood, Energy, And Quality Of Life
Low free testosterone levels in men over 50 can cause a poor quality of life. Symptoms of this condition include loss of libido, fatigue, irritability, and dysphoria, which can overlap with signs of major depression.
Testosterone replacement reversed depressive symptoms, highlighting TRT’s potential impact on mental well-being. Also, studies suggest that testosterone replacement improves mood and well-being in hypogonadal men.
TRT emerges as a promising solution for major depression, either as an antidepressant or augmentation to existing therapies.
Improved Cognitive Function
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can improve cognitive function by restoring testosterone levels.
Testosterone can affect cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and spatial abilities by acting on androgen receptors in the brain. Besides, it may have a protective effect on cognitive function, slowing down the rate of cognitive decline.
In a study, patients who received TRT showed significantly better scores regarding spatial memory, constructional abilities, and verbal memory than those in the placebo group.
Improved Bone Density
Do you know the prevalence of osteoporosis in men with testosterone deficiency is double that of those with normal testosterone levels? It’s true.
TRT may increase bone mineral density (BMD) in hypogonadal men of all ages by boosting bone-forming activity and reducing bone-resorbing activity through aromatization to estrogen. It also helps maintain strong bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Some research has suggested that TRT may alleviate myocardial ischemia in men with coronary artery disease (CAD) and increase exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).
Besides, some studies have indicated that higher endogenous testosterone concentrations can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, the overall impact of TRT on cardiovascular health is still under investigation.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Side Effects
Here are the potential side effects of TRT.
Skin Irritation and Acne
TRT is often given through gels or patches, which can cause skin irritation, rash, itching, or redness at the application site. Another potential side effect of TRT is acne, as testosterone can increase sebum production, which may cause breakouts.
Risk Of Polycythemia
High testosterone levels stimulate the production of red blood cells, leading to elevated hemoglobin. Studies have shown that high doses of testosterone lead to an increase in erythrocytosis, which is often associated with problematic polycythemia.
TRT may increase the risk of sleep apnea by changing the airway size or the epiglottis, making it easier to become obstructed during sleep. It can lead to structural and neuromuscular changes in the airway, such as increased upper airway dilation. It may worsen Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Besides, TRT can also make OSA worse by affecting the body’s response to low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels.
Increased Risk of Infertility
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) can potentially increase the risk of infertility by inhibiting the production of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. It may also cause hormonal imbalances, which can negatively impact sperm production and overall fertility.
TRT can cause a rise in estradiol levels, which can contribute to the development of gynecomastia or enlargement of male breast tissue. Also, it may cause obesity which can worsen the issue.
However rare, research has found a connection between TRT and breast cancer in men with hypogonadism.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Some studies have suggested that TRT may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as stroke and heart attack.
Testosterone replacement therapy can cause liver problems such as benign and malignant hepatic tumors, intrahepatic cholestasis, hepatotoxicity, and liver failure. So doctors don’t recommend using oral testosterone, except for testosterone undecanoate, as it may cause adverse effects.
Once You Start Testosterone Therapy, Can You Stop?
Yes, you can stop Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) but consult your doctor before stopping it. Abrupt cessation of TRT may cause withdrawal symptoms and side effects such as moodiness, decreased motivation, slower libido, increased recovery time after exercise, and reduced spermatogenesis.
To minimize these side effects, gradually reduce your testosterone intake over several weeks. Your doctor can help you slowly lower the dose or stop or consider other treatments.
What Age Is Good For Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
There is no fixed age that is considered the best to start Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). This decision depends on various factors such as your symptoms, existing health conditions, and personal preferences.
However, most men who seek TRT are usually over 40 years old, as symptoms of low testosterone may begin to show up as early as in their 30s.
What Is The Effects Of TRT On Women?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is mainly used to treat low testosterone levels in men. It is not usually prescribed for women with normal testosterone levels.
some potential effects of TRT on women include-
- Irregular menstruation for hormonal imbalance
- Increased facial hair growth
- Deepening of voice
- Increased muscle mass and strength
Testosterone Replacement Therapy Cost
The cost of TRT can vary depending on the form of treatment, location, and insurance coverage. Here are some general cost estimates for different TRT forms.
- Testosterone injections: With insurance, the monthly cost for self-administered testosterone injections can range from $105 to $155. Without insurance, the cost per injection can range from $40 to $735.
- Testosterone pellets: Pellets are typically $500 per month.
- Gels, creams, and patches: between $30 and $100 per month, depending on the specific product.
Is testosterone replacement therapy safe? Generally, TRT is mostly safe for people with low testosterone levels. However, you should not overlook the potential risks and side effects associated with the treatment.
Contact Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA, for a personalized and expert administration of TRT to get your valor and vitality with 100% safety.