TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Testosterone is a hormone that is made by a man's testicles.
Many men discover that by the time they are in their late 30's or early 40's that they have less energy, are often tired, are slower physically and mentally, are often grumpy, and have lost a lot of the sex drive that they had when they were younger.
A normal part of the aging process? - maybe. Or maybe it is caused by a low testosterone level.
Testosterone is responsible for the proper development of a man's secondary sexual characteristics like the growth of his penis, muscle mass, facial and body hair and a deeper voice. Most men have a normal amount of testosterone as a teenager and they develop normally because of this.
Testosterone is also responsible for the maintenance of a man's muscles, his libido or sexual desire, keeping red blood cells and bones healthy and in general plays a large part in a man's sense of well-being.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY
Decreased libido or sex drive
Decrease in muscle mass
Increase in body fat
Decrease in body hair
Decreased energy level
Less effective at work
Decreased semen volume
Decreased orgasm intensity
Decreased sense of well-being
As a man ages his testosterone level gradually decreases. This usually begins at around age 30. Other causes of testosterone deficiency include:
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF TESTOSTERONE DEFICIENCY
Testicular injury or infection
Chemotherapy for cancer
Radiation for cancer
Genetic & congenital conditions
A simple blood test will determine if a man has a normal level of testosterone. This test is more accurate if the blood is drawn in the early morning hours.
OPTIONS FOR TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
BENEFITS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
Increased sense of well-being
Increased muscle mass
Decreased body fat
Increased sex drive
Higher energy level
More productive at work
Happier in general
Increased semen volume
Increased orgasm intensity
Testosterone replacement therapy has been and remains controversial because of the possible side effects of its use and because the long-term effects of testosterone replacement are largely unknown.
Testosterone supplementation or therapy should not be confused with the super-physiologic and large doses of testosterone and other anabolic steroids that have been abused by some bodybuilders and athletes. These large doses of steroids are almost always not needed or indicated in the first place, are often unmonitored by a physician and are dangerous and unwise.
The goal of physician directed testosterone replacement therapy is to bring a man who has a low or borderline testosterone level into the middle of the normal therapeutic range.
Before a man is started on testosterone replacement therapy it is important that his physician check the baseline status of many laboratory tests, perform a thorough physical exam and examine his prostate. Men using testosterone replacement need to be monitored at regular intervals by both blood tests and physical exams to make sure that there are no adverse effects of the testosterone therapy. Notwithstanding any physician's best efforts to prevent side effects of testosterone replacement therapy, there are occasionally side effects, including:
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF TESTOSTERONE REPLACEMENT
Acne or oily skin
Increased red blood cell count
Increase in size of prostate
Increase in PSA
Decreased sperm count
High blood pressure
Increased lipid levels
Some men should not use testosterone therapy. They include men who have or who have ever had prostate or breast cancer, men who have an enlarged prostate or a high PSA.
All men get tired occasionally, but prolonged fatigue is not normal at any age.
We do not offer testosterone replacement therapy in our practice. If we determine that you may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy, you will be referred to an endocrinologist for this treatment.
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