Reclaiming Vitality: Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for You?

Posted on: June 23, 2023

Testosterone is an essential hormone that plays an active role in both male and female bodies. You may have been told that testosterone is only important for sexual health, but that is not at all the case! Testosterone is necessary for numerous bodily functions, including the maintenance of muscle mass and bone density. 

Deficiencies in testosterone levels can significantly impact your quality of life, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, brain fog, and depression to name a few. Fortunately, there are several ways to naturally improve testosterone levels, such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, getting 7 hours of quality sleep, and managing stress

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), though not suitable for everyone, is another safe and effective way to alleviate symptoms in patients with certain medical conditions or patients who are otherwise struggling to maintain testosterone levels.

testosterone therapy for men, mens wakling in the farm

What is TRT therapy?

Testosterone replacement therapy is a medical treatment that involves restoring low levels of testosterone to alleviate the symptoms and complications associated with testosterone deficiencies. The best kind of TRT uses bioidentical testosterone, a synthetic hormone that is identical in molecular structure to the testosterone naturally produced by our bodies, and that therefore has fewer risks and side effects. Testosterone can be compounded in many forms, including injections, creams, gels, and patches to cater to the varying symptoms and conditions associated with testosterone deficiency.

Is TRT the same as steroids?

TRT and steroids are not the same. Bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy is a medically supervised treatment that uses a natural hormone to restore testosterone levels to a normal range in individuals who have a deficiency. Steroids, on the other hand, are substances that are often used in much higher doses and without medical supervision to enhance athletic performance.

Myth: Testosterone replacement therapy is only used to boost sex drive. Truth: Improved sexual function is just one of many potential benefits of TRT, and sometimes isn’t the treatment focus at all.

Benefits of testosterone therapy

Testosterone replacement therapy is still largely misunderstood by many, and widespread misconceptions have led people to believe that it is nothing more than a dangerous method of male enhancement. But I can tell you that when conducted by a qualified medical professional, testosterone replacement therapy has the potential to improve so many aspects of a patient’s health.

 By helping to restore normal hormone levels, testosterone replacement therapy can help to address many of the issues caused by a testosterone deficiency and support improved wellness overall. Here are some of the primary testosterone therapy benefits I see with my patients:

Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Balanced energy 

Deficient testosterone can cause fatigue and sluggishness which can have a significant impact on daily life. By helping to restore normal hormone levels, TRT has helped so many of my patients regain their energy, making it easier to stay active and engaged. Testosterone replacement therapy can also help to improve sleep, which is a huge factor in maintaining balanced energy.

Myth: Testosterone replacement therapy will make you angry and violent.

Truth: Testosterone replacement therapy has not been proven to increase the risk of anger or violence, and in fact, for many patients, it helps to improve mood.

Don’t let myths about TRT keep you from getting the help you need. Schedule a consultation with me to learn if this could be a safe option for treating your low-T symptoms!

Book Now
what is trt therapy, a girl is doing yoga

Improved mood

Testosterone plays a key role in mood regulation, and when levels are low, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders are common. Improved emotional wellbeing and mood stability are often the most immediately noticeable improvements in my patients receiving testosterone replacement therapy.

Sexual health 

While you may know it as a male sex hormone, testosterone is a key factor in the sexual health of both men and women. Testosterone replacement therapy can not only improve sexual function, including erectile function, but it can also increase libido and enhance sexual pleasure.

testosterone therapy benefits, couple sharing a good bond

Bone Health 

Testosterone helps our bodies maintain bone density, which is crucial to the health and strength of our bones. By ensuring sufficient levels of testosterone with TRT, we can reduce our risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. This is particularly important for women, whose risk of osteoporosis already increases significantly with menopausal estrogen decline.

Strengthened Immune function

Low testosterone levels have been linked to an increased risk of infection and other immune health problems. For this reason, replacement therapy has been particularly beneficial for my immunocompromised patients experiencing testosterone deficiency.

Muscle-building and fat-burning support

Testosterone is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass and burning fat. For patients with low testosterone levels, testosterone replacement therapy can support muscle growth and fat loss, control weight, and increase energy levels.

Cognitive health 

Low testosterone levels have been linked to cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia. This is because testosterone is an important player in cognitive function, contributing to memory, concentration, and mental clarity. For this reason, maintaining sufficient testosterone levels becomes especially critical as we age and face an increasing risk of cognitive decline.

Skin Health 

Testosterone helps to promote collagen production, which supports skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, so deficiencies in testosterone can result in premature aging of the skin. Even when treating other symptoms, my TRT patients often notice the added benefit of healthier, more youthful-looking skin.

Testosterone therapy for men

Testosterone levels gradually decline with age, typically dropping about 1% each year after age 30 or 40. While age is the most common reason for low testosterone levels, there are many factors that can contribute, including hypogonadism, other conditions like cancer or injuries to the testicles, medications (statins), and lifestyle factors such as stress, poor sleep, and obesity

Testosterone plays an important role in the physical and mental wellbeing of men, and low levels of the hormone can have a range of negative effects. Fortunately, testosterone replacement provides an effective treatment that can mitigate many of these complications.

hrt for men, a man with his kid waking at the sea shore

Role of Testosterone in Men’s Health

As you have already learned by now, testosterone is a vital hormone for men, supporting a range of essential bodily functions, from building muscle mass to maintaining bone density and a healthy sex drive. It can even affect immune function, influence skin health, and provide cardiovascular protection. 

Because testosterone is such a core player in men’s health, deficiencies can result in a wide range of symptoms and long-term complications. Some of the most common symptoms I see among patients include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Increased body fat
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased motivation and self-confidence
  • Mood changes, such as depression, anxiety, or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Side effects of testosterone therapy in men

Testosterone replacement therapy can have side effects and comes with some mild and long-term health risks. That’s why it’s so important that TRT be carefully considered with a medical professional who understands the risks and who is prepared to monitor and modify therapy to minimize side effects and maximize benefits. 

You shouldn’t have to push through a TRT regimen that isn’t feeling good—if it’s the right option for you, the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy will outweigh the risks.

Some of the possible side effects you should be aware of include: 

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Swelling or tenderness of the breasts
  • Fluid retention
  • Hair loss
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in cholesterol levels
  • Reduction in sperm count, which may adversely impact fertility
  • Worsening symptoms of sleep apnea
  • Increased red blood cell production (CBC should be monitored)

Testosterone therapy for women

Myth: Testosterone replacement therapy is HRT for men: it is only used by men and bodybuilders.

Truth: Testosterone is an important hormone for the female body, and when levels are low, testosterone replacement therapy can be an effective way to restore balance.

Testosterone deficiencies in women are more common than you may realize. Women naturally experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels, particularly during and after menopause

Because women’s testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, women who have had their ovaries surgically removed and those with adrenal gland issues can experience low levels of testosterone too. Medications, such as birth control pills, antidepressants, steroids, and statins can also contribute to a testosterone deficiency in women.

The symptoms of low testosterone in women can easily be attributed to other issues, often leaving testosterone deficiencies unaddressed. This is why it’s so important to me that you become educated about what is and could be happening in your body. 

While low testosterone levels can often be improved through lifestyle modifications and other root cause treatments, testosterone replacement therapy can help women who continue to struggle with low testosterone related symptoms.

Are you struggling with symptoms like these? Schedule an appointment with me to learn if low-T could be the culprit and to discuss treatment options for you.

Schedule a Consultation
testosterone therapy for women , a woman smiling

Role of Testosterone in Women’s health 

Testosterone is a critical hormone for women’s health, aiding mood regulation, energy production and utilization, and sustained sex drive. Testosterone helps to support the healthy growth of bone tissue, as well as maintain muscle mass and decrease fat storage—particularly in post-menopausal women. 

The symptoms of testosterone deficiency can significantly impact a woman’s daily life in a number of ways. I’ve seen my low-T patients experience: 

  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Depression
  • Lowered motivation
  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of bone density
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased sexual satisfaction
  • Problems with memory and cognition

As I mentioned earlier, these symptoms in women are often overlooked or attributed to something else, which is why it’s so important that you understand the role of testosterone in your body and get your hormone levels checked regularly.

Side effects of testosterone therapy in women

In the same way that testosterone replacement therapy might not be the first line of treatment for men, it should not be the first means of addressing testosterone-related symptoms in women either. While TRT can be highly effective in treating low testosterone levels in women, it can come with potential side effects. 

Some of the possible side effects include: 

  • Acne
  • Fluid retention
  • Mood swings
  • Enlargement of the breasts 
  • Hair loss

When is it a good idea to get testosterone replacement therapy?

I always encourage my patients to begin with lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, diet, and supplementation before considering testosterone replacement therapy. Once these avenues have been explored—and once we’ve done accurate diagnostic testing to confirm that low-T could be the culprit of your symptoms—then we can consider testosterone replacement therapy.

Is taking testosterone safe?

It’s worth repeating that while TRT is a safe and effective treatment option, because of the potential side effects, it should not be the first line of treatment—especially before a root cause has been identified. 

It’s also important to note, however, that many of the side effects and long-term health risks associated with testosterone replacement therapy result from heightened testosterone levels, which are the result of poor therapy management or insufficient monitoring. 

The goal of TRT should never be to achieve high levels of testosterone! This too is unhealthy for both men and women; the goal should be to achieve normal, balanced hormone levels. 

Even when well managed, testosterone replacement therapy does come with some risks which should be seriously considered by you and your doctor. This is something I always carefully consider and discuss with my patients before prescribing TRT.

  • Testosterone therapy can worsen sleep apnea and increase red blood cell production, hypothetically increasing risk of stroke. 
  • Testosterone therapy is contraindicated in people with prostate cancer, as it can stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. 
  • Testosterone therapy can suppress the body’s ability to naturally produce testosterone.

How long does it take to feel the benefits of testosterone therapy?

The length of time it takes to feel the benefits of bioidentical testosterone replacement therapy can vary from person to person. Some of my patients report feeling the effects within hours of the initial dose, while others notice changes after a few weeks. Factors that typically impact this include age, overall health, and the severity of their testosterone deficiency. 

What happens if you take testosterone and then stop?

Myth: Testosterone replacement therapy is an irreversible process and linear experience that you have to be on for life.

Truth: The length of time someone stays on TRT depends on their individual needs and goals, and it is possible to start and stop treatment as needed.
Even if TRT is not working, stopping treatment abruptly is not a good idea. This is because, when you stop taking testosterone, your body returns to its pretreatment state, often resulting in the same symptoms you experienced prior to treatment. I always check in with my patients after starting treatment; if it’s not working, we can almost always correct with just a couple of adjustments. If not, we can wean off gradually and with the support of other treatments.

How to get TRT

Obtaining testosterone replacement therapy is a process that should be approached with care and consideration. Many primary care physicians are not familiar with hormone replacement therapy, so it’s crucial that you work with a doctor who has had special training in the field

I have extensive training in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and at my clinic I take a comprehensive approach to treating patients experiencing testosterone deficiency. Using thorough evaluations and personalized treatment plans, I safely and effectively treat your symptoms, starting at the root cause. 

Take the first step toward revitalizing your life, and book your appointment with me today.

Ebook Cover

Enjoying this article?
Subscribe + don’t miss the next one!

We’ll also send you our e-book: Live Younger 25 Ways to Age Gracefully—Starting Now.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Hit enter to search or ESC to close