Testosterone Replacement Therapy
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. Some effects of testosterone may include:
Growth and maturation of prostate, and other male sex organs
Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
Sex drive and sexual function
Mood and energy level
What are “normal levels” of testosterone?
In healthy men, testosterone levels between 350 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL are referred to as normal. Normal physiology allows the brain and the testes to work together to keep testosterone in this range. The brain produces “signal” hormones that are responsible for stimulating testosterone production. These “signals” are periodically released, which in turn stimulates testosterone production. When levels of testosterone are in an acceptable range, the production of the “signal” hormones is slowed, which in turn allows the testosterone levels to decrease.
What is low testosterone treatment?
Low testosterone treatment is the practice of diagnosing a person with low levels of testosterone and treating with injections, gels, patches, surgically implanted pellets or through oral applications. Low T Centers, nationwide, use injection therapy to treat low testosterone in eligible men. Click here to see the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods.
What does Body RX do?
Body RX is a place where men with low testosterone (testosterone below normal levels) are diagnosed and treated by medical providers. Click here to find a location near you.
How do you determine whether I might have low testosterone?
To determine testosterone levels, the medical professionals at Body RX will perform a simple blood test. If your total or free testosterone are not within the normal range, you may be a candidate for treatment. Determining whether a patient is the right candidate for testosterone therapy is evaluated on a case by case basis by the medical professionals in conference with the patient.
What is hypogonadism?
Hypogonadism, in a male, refers to a decrease in either testosterone production, sperm production, or both. The physicians at Low T Center, address the testosterone aspect of this condition. Decreased sperm production requires a careful, thorough evaluation by a fellowship trained specialist.
What are the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy?
Benefits of testosterone replacement therapy vary based upon the pre-therapy symptoms and other factors, but can include:
Decreased irritability and depression
Improved muscle mass and strength
Improved sexual desire
Improved visuospatial cognitive function and verbal memory
Decreased body fat (optimal results received through accompaniment of a diligent diet and exercise regimen)
Possible improvement in erectile function
What are the risks of testosterone replacement therapy?
Some patients could experience one or more of the following side effects:
Increase in red blood cells
This can be beneficial if you have anemia. However, it can be potentially dangerous, since an increase in red blood cells can lead to blood clots, heart attack, or stroke.
If you have an enlarged prostate, testosterone may worsen your symptoms, particularly if you are more than 50 years of age. If you have a history of prostate cancer, you cannot receive testosterone therapy, without prior clearance from the urologist who is overseeing your care.
Acne, oily skin, increased body hair and flushing have been reported. These side effects are not very common, but when/if they occur, often are transient.
Testosterone therapy down regulates production of a man’s sperm. Ensure you are upfront with your desire for children with your medical provider, and be sure to discuss the situation with your spouse/partner if appropriate.
This is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep, and if already present, may be worsened by the use of testosterone therapy. If you snore, or suspect you may have sleep apnea, be sure to talk to your medical provider about the situation. Considering a sleep study for further evaluation may be appropriate prior to starting therapy.
Although uncommon, you must use caution if you have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.
What is the cost of testosterone replacement therapy at BodyRX?
Most health insurance is accepted, in which case you are responsible for any applicable deductibles or co-pays under the terms of your health insurance policy. Some insurance companies, such as Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, require two consecutive blood tests taken before 10am indicating you have low testosterone. For patients choosing a self-pay option, testosterone replacement therapy costs are reasonably priced, which includes necessary office visits, initial laboratory work, and injection therapy.
How long do appointments take?
The Body RX process offers a quick and easy way to diagnose and treat low testosterone. Your testosterone levels will be tested via an outside lab after your initial visit.
If your test indicates your testosterone levels are below clinically acceptable, the medical professionals at Body RX will discuss your individual treatment options.
You will then return every 7-10 days to receive your booster injection. Each subsequent visit takes 20 minutes.
What are the advantages of testosterone injections versus other replacement methods such as patches or gels?
The proper method of testosterone delivery for you is a matter for your physician to determine; however, many find that some gels tend to be messy and less convenient than other treatment modalities. In addition, there can be a risk of unintentional transmittal to children or others with whom you may have physical contact with the use of gels. Testosterone patches can create a significant rash at the site of application, or do not stick well, especially in the summer months. Experience has shown that gels and patches may require dosage adjustments to obtain medically appropriate blood concentrations and some patients may never absorb enough testosterone from gels or patches to improve symptoms. These modalities often have a higher conversion to less desirable hormones in the process of transfer through the skin. We regularly employ intramuscular testosterone injections because of their clinical effectiveness and convenience.
In what cases should I avoid testosterone replacement therapy?
Only your physician can fully answer this question; however, in general testosterone replacement therapy is not recommended and/or is prohibited for patients with:
Breast or prostate cancer
A palpable prostate nodule
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea
Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms (AUA prostate symptom score > 19)
Uncontrolled severe heart failure
Unexplained PSA elevation
Severe lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy
Unstable severe congestive heart failure (class III or IV)