It’s natural for testosterone to decline in our bodies with age, and a simple blood test can determine this. However, over the last decade its popularity has soared, thanks to millions of older men turning to testosterone replacement. This is a therapy more commonly referred to as TRT, which is commonly used to regain lost energy and sex drive. However, there are things that you need to consider before embarking upon this type of treatment, which your doctor will no doubt discuss with you, so that you’re able to make an informed decision. In the meantime, here are 6 important things you should know about TRT.
1. How do I know if TRT is right for me?
You won’t know, but your doctor will after talking to you and taking some blood to be tested. This is needed to determine your current levels of testosterone before deciding the best course of action and is a simple test, according to this trt clinic in Atlanta. Although it’s possible to have low testosterone, without the key symptoms of fatigue and sexual dysfunction, it’s unlikely that you’ll be put on a course of TRT.
Due to the side effects, doctors will more than likely want to eliminate any other reason for your low testosterone. By dealing with the condition, rather than the symptoms, it could return your testosterone levels back to what it was before the condition presented itself. For instance, being obese can lead to low testosterone levels, so if a diet helped to lose excess weight, testosterone levels may get back to what they were.
Other symptoms of having low testosterone include: depression, anxiety, a loss of energy, reduced muscle mass, weight gain, anaemia, and hot flashes.
2. How is TRT administered?
This really depends on your needs, taking into account any medical needs, and what’s available where you are. Some methods require a daily application, whereas some only on a monthly basis. For instance, you can use patches, which you’ll need to apply at least once a day. But these can cause rashes in some users, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your skin.
Another daily option is using gel. This TRT treatment requires you to rub it into your skin. The only thing with this method is you have to avoid contact of the gelled area with anyone, in case they get some testosterone in their system. However, a nasal gel is now stopping that problem from occurring.
More long term treatment includes an injection which is administered between 2 and 10 weeks apart. Although this may be more cost-effective than other treatments, the downside of it is that your testosterone may dip between doses. This means that they may not be as consistent as others. Alternatively, you could opt for subcutaneous pellets that are placed under your skin. However, minor surgery is required for each new dose.
3. How much does TRT cost?
The costs for TRT will vary according to what treatment you are going to have. Costs may also vary according to where you are. As a rough guide, you could be paying anything between $20 and $1,000 per month, depending on your location, type of medication and how it’ll be administered, and as we previously mentioned, whether there’s a generic version available.
If you’re using healthcare to pay for TRT to treat an underlying condition, it’ll be unlikely that you’ll be paying the full cost. However, it’s worth noting that TRT isn’t a cure. It’ll only keep your testosterone at the right level for you. As it won’t treat the underlying cause of your low testosterone, you could be using TRT indefinitely.
4. When will TRT start Working?
This varies from person to person, so there’s no set time limit. Typically, it can take between three and six months to work. This means you’ll have to be patient to see any results, and not give up and stop your TRT before it’s had a chance to work. Of course, some men may notice results sooner, but it’s generally not something that happens overnight. Studies have shown results can be seen within 3 weeks of starting treatment, particularly concerning men’s libido and depression.
You may need long-term administration of TRT at regular intervals to keep your testosterone at normal levels. It’s important to note that TRT is a treatment and not a cure. If you stop using it, the chances of your testosterone returning to its previously low levels are high. This means you’ll be back where you were before you started using this therapy.
5. What are the Advantages of taking TRT?
The advantages of taking TRT include: having a healthy heart that effectively pumps blood around your body, increased muscle mass and increased muscle size and strength whilst reducing fat, stronger bones, which will help support your muscles and internal organs, improved mood for some, a better libido and sexual performance, and improved verbal memory, spatial awareness, and mathematical reasoning. TRT can also reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Are there any risks taking TRT?
There is much debate about whether there are any risks taking TRT. Research that has previously been done has been considered as too limited. One particular issue is that some studies have concluded that TRT can cause cancer, whereas others disagree. There is also an opinion that negative media coverage has influenced opinions, more in America than anywhere else.
The truth is that there are side effects with taking TRT, just as there are when you take most medicines. However, if you have any of these conditions, or at risk from having them, you’ll need to disclose them to your doctor before you start any TRT.
Potential side effects and risks include: chest pain, difficulty breathing, speech difficulties, low sperm count, low quality semen, polycythaemia vera, lowered HDL, heart attack, hands or legs swelling, stroke, enlarged prostate, sleep apnoea, acne, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
As with most medical treatments, there is some element of risk you take when you decide to start a course of medicinal therapy. TRT is no different. This is why you need to make an informed decision about whether you want to take it. Your doctor will talk through any concerns you have, and be prepared to answer any questions as well. If you do have any questions, make sure you have them stored somewhere, either on your phone or on a notepad, so you can go through each one with your doctor. By doing this, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether TRT is right for you.