Testosterone Replacement Therapy Pros and Cons

You may be eligible for testosterone replacement therapy as last resort when your body fails to produce enough testosterone.

First things first you will have to take a blood test and check your free/total testosterone levels.

If your T is under the minimum of the normal range you will need further investigation.

The doctor will do a simple background medical check on you to see if you had late mumps or some other testicle pathology like varicocele or hypogonadism.

If it results that your testicles don't work properly he will suggest you to start a testosterone replacement therapy.

Testosterone replacement therapy

This chart shows how injections give you an initial boost and then testosterone levels drop gradually, while patches or gels are applied daily and keep the levels constant

 

Which Forms of Testosterone Replacement Therapy Are Available?

There are currently four options of hormone replacement therapy that you can choose from:

  1. Injections
  2. Pills
  3. Gel
  4. Patches

All of them are equally effective, they DO work, but they act in different ways and have some pros and cons that you may want to consider.


Injections

Testosterone injections would be my favorite choice if I ever needed testosterone replacement.

You need to do injections once every 2 weeks in most cases, sometimes every 3 weeks depending on the dose you need.

People are shown and taught how to do it and then they usually inject themselves. I know people that inject in the leg and the needle has to enter your skin with a 90 degrees angle.

It's a pretty easy solution, the only negative aspect is that you feel great benefits at the beginning (first days after the shot) and then they decrease leaving you kinda low when it's time to get the next one.

+ Pros

  • Very effective
  • No side effects for your body
  • Only twice a month

- Cons

  • Big "rush" during the first days and then you feel low towards the end of the two weeks
  • Most people don't like shots

Pills

Pills exist, or existed. I don't know anybody that has taken pills and maybe they're not in commerce any more.

Anyway, I would NOT take them, ever. They would be bad for your liver giving you more side effects than benefits.

Testosterone Pills

+ Pros

  • Easy to take

- Cons

  • Potentially dangerous on the liver
  • Must be taken every day

Gel

The gel solution could be interesting, it's not invasive like a shot and doesn't affect your liver like pills.

The only thing is that you have to be careful not to touch anybody with the part where you apply it because you can transfer it to others.

Gel is usually applied in the morning and on shoulders, you might get tired of this after a while.

Andro Gel

+ Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Not invasive

- Cons

  • Must be applied every day
  • Extra care not touching other with the part of your body where it is applied
  • You might get tired or forget to apply it every day

Patches

Patches are my second favorite testosterone replacement therapy. You just put them on and change them when it's time.

Patches

+ Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Not invasive

- Cons

  • Can leave you bruises in the area where you apply them

Any Hormone Replacement Side Effects?

Ok let's make it clear: you should do testosterone replacement therapy only if your testicles don't produce enough.

The reason is that when you take testosterone from outside your body, your testicle will stop producing it simply because they don't need to.

This will cause the well know testicle shrinkage side effect. Your testicles will become smaller and smaller, and eventually will stop working.

When that happens they're so small that even after interrupting the therapy the won't work again.

What if My Testicles Fail to Produce Testosterone?

In this case what damage can you do? They already don't work, right? So testosterone replacement therapy won't do any harm to you.

You can just enjoy the benefits at that point.

But if your testicles still work, maybe not 100% but they still work, don't do any therapy. Prefer some other ways that help to increase testosterone naturally!

The most common side effects of high testosterone after a testosterone replacement therapy may be:

  • Some form of acne
  • Hair loss
  • Body hair growth
  • Testicles shrinkage
  • Infertility
  • Aggressiveness
  • Gynecomastia (man boobs)

Gynecomastia happens when your body has too much testosterone and starts converting it into estrogen, which is a female hormone with obvious consequences.

Therapy Advantages

There are several reasons why people do testosterone replacement therapy:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Fat loss
  • Increased sex drive or libido
  • Increased bone health (bone density)
  • Sense of well being

They're pretty good huh? But don't abuse of testosterone, keep it in the range to enjoy the greatest benefits!

 

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