Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a medication prescribed by a doctor to treat low testosterone levels in men.
TRT in Brief
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is a medicine to treat the symptoms of testosterone deficiency (low testosterone levels), a condition called hypogonadism.
TRT is not the same as anabolic steroids or performance-enhancing steroids, which are unregulated. Long-term use of these steroids can cause harm.
In some men with low testosterone, TRT can improve mood, energy, wellbeing, libido, and sexual function.
Symptoms of Testosterone imbalance
Testosterone decreases naturally with age. It is important to receive tests to determine whether any imbalances are due to an active condition.
High or low levels of testosterone can lead to dysfunction in the parts of the body normally regulated by the hormone.
When a man has low testosterone or hypogonadism, he may experience:
- reduced sex drive;
- erectile dysfunction;
- low sperm count;
- enlarged or swollen breast tissue.
What is testosterone replacement therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is testosterone given as a medicine prescribed by a doctor to treat the symptoms of low testosterone levels. It comes as a patch (Androderm), injection (Depo-Testosterone, Sustanon 250, Reandron), or capsules (Andriol).
TRT is not for everyone. You will need to have blood tests and a full discussion with your doctor to see if it is right for you.
What is the difference between TRT and anabolic steroids?
TRT is a medicine prescribed by a doctor to treat testosterone deficiency and reach physiologic (natural) levels of the hormone in your blood. Anabolic steroids or performance-enhancing steroids are unregulated products that contain testosterone or chemicals that act like testosterone.
Anabolics are sometimes used by bodybuilders and athletes. They contain these substances in higher doses and these are often combined with other chemicals that boost the overall muscle-building (anabolic) effect.
Long-term use of anabolic steroids or performance-enhancing steroids can cause harmful effects.
Different TRT Options
First approved in 1979, Depo-Testosterone is one of the older drugs of its kind on the market. It’s a liquid and is designed for injection deep into the gluteal muscle. The active ingredient, testosterone cypionate, is a white or creamy white powder mixed with other ingredients to make a solution. The drug is available in two strengths, 100 mg, and 200 mg.
Testosterone gel is a prescription medication applied directly to a man’s skin — on the shoulders and upper arms and/or abdomen, depending on the brand. Testosterone gel can inadvertently transfer from your body to others and can lead to serious health reactions.
To avoid such contact, apply testosterone gel to clean, dry, intact skin that will be covered by clothing. Wash your hands right away with soap and water after applying. Once the gel has dried, cover the area with clothing and keep it covered until you have washed the area well or have showered.
Testosterone transdermal patches, including Androderm, come as patches to apply to the skin. Patches work best when applied around the same time each night and are left in place for 24 hours. Testosterone patches are meant to be worn at all times until replaced with new patches.
Androderm patches should be changed every 24 hours. The old patch should be removed before applying the new one. You should apply the patches to different spots each night and wait at least seven days before re-using a spot.
The testosterone capsules Methyltestosterone and Android have been discontinued but have been used in men and boys to treat conditions caused by lack of the hormone, such as delayed puberty, and in women to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
Methyltestosterone is a man-made form of testosterone. It can affect bone growth in boys who are treated for delayed puberty.
Manufacturers of testosterone boosters like Testofen have touted their products as means to increase muscle mass, strength, and sex drive in men. Among the most popular testosterone boosters are products that contain some combination of Tribulus Terrestris, DHEA, zinc, and d-aspartic acid.
These ingredients have been associated with a number of side effects, including aggressiveness, breast enlargement, cholesterol changes, prostate problems, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
When is TRT used?
TRT is used to treat testosterone deficiency (low testosterone) in some men. A natural low testosterone level that comes with age doesn’t need treatment.
Only men with symptoms of low testosterone (hypogonadism) and blood tests that confirm this diagnosis should consider testosterone replacement. Men with testosterone levels in the bottom of the normal range (ie, still normal) are generally not treated with TRT.
What are the benefits of TRT?
The benefits of testosterone treatment can include improved mood, such as feeling less depressed, an overall feeling of energy and wellbeing, and improved libido and sexual function. TRT can also change your body composition, eg, give you more muscle mass and less abdominal fat.
When is TRT not suitable?
TRT is should not be used if you have:
- known or suspected breast or prostate cancer;
- liver tumors;
- high calcium levels (hypercalcemia);
- severe heart or kidney disease;
- untreated sleep apnea.
To avoid the risks, please consider the contra-indications and discuss them with a doctor.
Be sure to contact our medical expert to learn anything you want to know about testosterone replacement treatment or ask any other questions during your personal free consultation.