With the increase in testosterone replacement therapy in men over 40 (it’s tripled over the past ten years alone!), many men are beginning to ask the question, “is it safe?” It’ a really good question but there are no simple answers.
What is the reason for the significant increase? A substantial number of men are displaying the symptoms of low testosterone, or Low-T. It comes as no surprise, because as men age, their testosterone reserves start to drop, and men begin to show symptoms.
Know the symptoms
The key symptoms include decreased libido or sex drove and erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms can include fatigue, increased body fat, decreased bone mass, mood changes, and more. If you have one or more of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to have a talk with your doctor or healthcare professional, and possibly have a blood test to determine your exact testosterone level.
If you do have a Low-T, ask your doctor if anything else could be causing your symptoms. If not, it’s time to ask about testosterone replacement therapy for men. But here’s the problem, the question of, “is it safe?” can be answered in a variety of ways. Doctors and scientists can’t agree, so how are you supposed to understand what is the right way to go in terms of safety?
Some studies question the safety of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), claiming it poses some risks, including heart attacks. But many other studies conclude that there are no risks, and in fact, TRT may even protect the heart. One study of 25,000 men that was funded by the National Institutes of Health found no increase risk of heart attack risks linked to TRT.
The illegal and unsupervised administration of testosterone is entirely another story. It is dangerous, and has been linked to heart and prostate conditions. The simple truth is that TRT is safe if it is administered and monitored by a qualified physician who has your safety and well-being in mind.
How does the process work?
First, you’ll provide a thorough medical history to your doctor, and you’ll have blood tests to determine your exact testosterone levels as well as your PSA levels. Your healthcare provider will also measure your estrogen levels, as high levels can cause a wide array of conditions including mood swings, erectile dysfunction and breast enlargement.
If your doctor finds that you’re a good candidate for TRT, he or she will develop a treatment program that’s designed for you – based on an analysis of your lab results and a review of your symptoms and your medical history. Just remember that you’re never too old for TRT – men produce testosterone their entire lives, and men of every age can benefit from TRT if it’s recommended.
What you can expect
Recent studies show that medically supervised TRT can produce many positive effects that include improved sex drive, increased ability to achieve and maintain an erection, enhanced mood, increased muscle mass and bone density and enhanced red blood cell production.
Here’s the bottom line – if you have symptoms or questions, see your doctor. Testosterone replacement therapy is in fact relatively safe, and help is available to you if you have Low-T.