Are Testosterone Shots Riskier Than Topical Testosterone Gel
Short-acting testosterone shots are associated with more risks for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, hospitalizations, and even death compared to testosterone gels. This could be related to the spike in blood testosterone levels that occurs with injections. Most people who chose testosterone injections see faster physical changes.
When Should You Consider Testosterone Treatment For Ed
If youve had trouble having erections for three months, talk to your doctor. He or she will ask about all your symptoms and give you a physical exam. Symptoms of low testosterone can include less of a sex drive, loss of body hair, breast growth, needing to shave less often, a drop in muscle size and strength, and bones that break more easily.
If you have some of these symptoms, your doctor may have you get a blood test to measure your testosterone levels. The blood test should be done more than once. It is best to do it in the morning when testosterone levels are highest.
If the tests show that you have low testosterone levels, your doctor should look for possible causes. For example, the low levels might be caused by a problem in the pituitary glands.
If no other cause is found, you can try testosterone treatment.
This report is for you to use when talking with your health-care provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
How Is Testosterone Administered
As youve probably learned, there are different ways to deliver supplemental testosterone. But do you know which form is most effective? What about the side effects of each form? These are important to understand before you begin your TRT so you can be sure you are receiving the ideal treatment for you.
Drawbacks Of Other Forms Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Other forms of testosterone replacement therapy can also work to improve testosterone levels for those suffering from low T. However, they also come with several drawbacks. Therefore, our providers offer testosterone injections to help minimize these disadvantages so your treatment plan is convenient, affordable, and adjustable to your specific needs. Here are some issues with other types of testosterone replacement therapy:
How Quickly Does Testosterone Gel Work
Results. Sexual interest begins to increase after three weeks, plateauing at six weeks, with no further increases projected through 12 weeks. It may take up to 6 months for an erection/ejaculation to change. Within three to four weeks, the effects on quality of life appear, but it takes longer for the full effects to occur.
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Libido And Erectile Function
A common indication for testosterone therapy is treatment of decreased sexual desire or erectile dysfunction. A systematic review found 23 randomized trials of testosterone therapy’s effects on libido 13 trials showed some benefit, eight showed no benefit, and two had mixed results.12
Although evidence regarding erectile dysfunction is mixed, young men with hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction appear to benefit from testosterone therapy.13 Some studies have shown improvement in erectile dysfunction in older men and men with comorbid conditions,14,15 whereas others have not.12,16,17 Moreover, even in positive studies, the effect of testosterone has been smaller than the effect traditionally reported with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors,14 suggesting that testosterone should not be first-line treatment for erectile dysfunction. There is some evidence supporting the use of testosterone therapy as second-line therapy in men with low testosterone when phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors are ineffective.18,19 There is no evidence that testosterone improves erectile function in men with normal testosterone levels. As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the American Urological Association says physicians should not prescribe testosterone therapy for men with erectile dysfunction and normal testosterone levels.20
Benefits Of Testosterone Therapy
What can you expect from testosterone treatment? It’s impossible to predict, because every man is different. Many men report improvement in energy level, sex drive, and quality of erections. Testosterone also increases bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in some men.
Men also often report an improvement in mood from testosterone replacement. Whether these effects are barely noticeable, or a major boost, is highly individualized.
Karen Herbst, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist at University of California-San Diego, specializes in testosterone deficiency. She estimates about one in 10 men are “ecstatic” about their response to testosterone therapy, while about the same number “don’t notice much.” The majority have generally positive, but varying responses to testosterone replacement.
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Testosterone Replacement: Options For Treatment Have Gotten Better
The first thing to understand about testosterone replacement is that oral testosterone doesnt really work because it is broken down so quickly by the liver. The solution to this problem involves patches, gels, shots, and even nasal sprays. Here are your options, with some new players in the game.
What Are The Risks Of Testosterone Therapy
A relatively small number of men experience immediate side effects of testosterone treatment, such as acne, disturbed breathing while sleeping, breast swelling or tenderness, or swelling in the ankles. Doctors also watch out for high red blood cell counts, which could increase the risk of clotting.
Men on long-term using forms of testosterone therapy long term appear to have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks, strokes, and deaths from heart disease. For example, in 2010, researchers halted the Testosterone in Older Men study when early results showed that men on testosterone replacement therapy had noticeably more heart problems. “In older men, theoretical cardiac side effects become a little more immediate,” Dr. Pallais says.
Some physicians also have a lingering concern that testosterone therapy could stimulate the growth of prostate cancer cells. As with the hypothetical cardiac risks, the evidence is mixed. But because prostate cancer is so common, doctors tend to be leery of prescribing testosterone to men who may be at risk.
So, keep risks in mind when considering testosterone therapy or other therapies . “I frequently discourage it, particularly if the man has borderline levels,” Dr. Pallais says.
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Benefits Of Testosterone Creams Or Gels
- Extremely easy to use. No need to inject yourself every day–you simply wipe on a cream and the testosterone goes to work immediately.
- Convenient. Perfect for people who travel a lot, testosterone cream is highly convenient for most busy lifestyles and easy to travel with.
- Non-invasive. If you hate needles and want to avoid an even minimally-invasive treatment, this is the testosterone therapy option for you.
- Provides daily stability of levels with little movement. As soon as you apply your cream, the testosterone is absorbed and your levels adjust. As long as you continue to apply the product every day, your levels should remain stable and your symptoms will alleviate.
Should Older Men Take Testosterone Supplements
As men get older, the levels of testosterone in their blood often drop. This drop in testosterone has been hypothesized to lead to various things, such as decreased sexual function, anemia, and bone breaks.
Testosterone supplementation is used by some healthcare providers to help with such bodily issues. In recent years, there has been increased interest in the clinical utility of testosterone supplementation in older men.
However, large, long-term studies have not been performed to figure out whether testosterone treatment actually helps with such conditions. In 2003, an Institute of Medicine panel concluded there was insufficient evidence supporting the benefits of testosterone in older men and recommended further research.
Consequently, in 2010, the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health , launched the Testosterone Trials to see whether testosterone can help with symptoms associated with low levels of testosterone secondary to older age .
The T Trials were intended to serve as a prelude to lengthier and more robust trials in the future. Results from the T Trials have been coming in and overall results are mixed, with testosterone replacement associated with some benefits and some risks.
More research needs to be done to figure out the balance of these potential benefits and risks as well as the precise clinical utility of testosterone treatment.
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Treating Low Testosterone Levels In Males
Doctors may recommend testosterone injections to treat males with low testosterone levels. Low testosterone production by the testicles is called hypogonadism.
Low testosterone can have negative effects. The symptoms of low testosterone in males include a lower sperm count, a decrease in bone or muscle mass, increased body fat, and erectile dysfunction. Normal total testosterone levels in the bloodstream in healthy adult males are 2801,100 nanograms per deciliter .
When treating hypogonadism, testosterone therapy can have the
- increased lean muscle mass and strength
- improved mood
Types Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Over the years, medical professionals have developed many different ways to administer testosterone replacement therapy. Some common forms of testosterone include:
- Testosterone patches
Testosterone replacement therapy may also come in synthetic or bioidentical forms. Synthetic testosterone may have more side effects because its chemically different from the testosterone your body naturally produces. These versions are man-made in a lab to mimic testosterone. By contrast, bioidentical testosterone is made from plants like soy or yams to be identical to testosterone molecules that you naturally find in the human body.
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Diseases And Conditions That Affect Testosterone
Men can experience a drop in testosterone due to conditions or diseases affecting the:
- Testes direct injury, castration, infection, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, tumors
- Pituitary and hypothalamus glands tumors, medications , HIV/AIDS, certain infections and autoimmune conditions
Genetic diseases, such as and hemochromatosis can also affect testosterone.
Women may have a testosterone deficiency due to diseases of the pituitary, hypothalamus or adrenal glands, in addition to removal of the ovaries. Estrogen therapy increases sex hormone binding globulin and, like aging men, this reduces the amount of free, active testosterone in the body.
What Does Testosterone Gel Do
Testosterone is a component of this medicated gel. For men suffering from low testosterone levels, it is used to replace their hormones. In the case of hypogonadism, for example. The medication is absorbed through the skin and enters your bloodstream to help you reach a healthy level of testosterone.
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Benefits Of Injectable Testosterone
- Convenient. You can inject yourself in the comfort of your own home. Most people, even those squeamish about needles, find this is much easier than they thought it would be once they learn the proper injection method.
- Direct absorption. You will be injecting testosterone directly into the bloodstream, so you can guarantee 100% absorption of your specific dose.
- Easy to adjust and monitor. Injectable testosterone makes it very easy to control your levels. Adjustments can be made quickly and as often as needed during your treatment program.
- Alleviates symptoms quickly and effectively. This method is fast acting and you will start to feel better almost immediately. In addition, your levels should correct quickly, making this an efficient, powerful and trusted method for hormone restoration.
Testosterone Replacement Vs Performance
Isn’t taking testosterone replacement basically the same as taking steroids, like athletes that “dope”? It’s true that anabolic steroids used by some bodybuilders and athletes contain testosterone or chemicals that act like testosterone.
The difference is that doses used in testosterone replacement only achieve physiologic levels of hormone in the blood. The testosterone forms some athletes use illegally are in much higher doses, and often combined with other substances that boost the overall muscle-building effect.
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Treating Low T With Testosterone Replacement Injections
Our physicians use injectable testosterone replacement therapy for many reasons. Generally, this involves an injection once every seven days to help bring your testosterone up to baseline levels. Testosterone injections are effective and fast-acting, as theyre given straight to your muscle tissues. This means your blood stream can absorb your testosterone replacement therapy quickly. This may lead to you feeling the benefits of your testosterone replacement therapy faster.
Also, testosterone replacement injections have no risk of spreading testosterone to those around you. While testosterone helps treat symptoms for low T, it can also cause complications if someone accidentally comes into contact with it. This is especially true for women and children. Other forms like gels or creams stay on your skin and can transfer testosterone to others. This can lead to negative health consequences for other people. By contrast, injections leave no residue that could be potentially harmful to those who touch you.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy At The Biostation Discover The Difference
At the biostation, our hormone therapy programs are overseen by Medical Director, , a Cardiologist with over 40 years of experience. You can be confident that our treatments are safe, natural and holistic, and designed with the health of your entire body in mind. Our program also includes robust testing with in-depth 90 minute doctor consultations, regular follow ups and patient monitoring, to ensure your treatments are working and that your symptoms are alleviating. The benefits of a comprehensive treatment plan for hormone balance extends well beyond addressing symptoms. Our goal is to help you get your body back in balance and operating at peak performance, so you can feel better than you ever thought possible at any age. Learn more about our comprehensive, customized program.
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Alternative Ways To Increase Testosterone
There are many testosterone supplements available to buy over the counter that purport to increase a persons testosterone. However, there is typically little evidence to demonstrate their effectiveness.
Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, improving diet, and reducing excess weight may have a more significant impact than taking these supplements.
These choices should occur after a discussion with a doctor, so that the best approach is made for the individual in view of their personal medical history.
Diagnosis Of Male Hypogonadism
According to guidelines from the Endocrine Society, male hypogonadism should be diagnosed only if there are signs or symptoms of hypogonadism and total serum testosterone levels are low on at least two occasions.9 When diagnosing hypogonadism, physicians should not rely solely on questionnaires such as Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males or Aging Males’ Symptoms because of their low sensitivity and specific-ity.9,10 Two editorials published previously in American Family Physician discuss the pros and cons of screening for testosterone deficiency .
Because of circadian variations in testosterone levels, serum testosterone measurement should occur in the morning, or within two hours of awakening in shift workers . Although there is no universal laboratory definition of hypogonadism, in most laboratory reference ranges, the lower limit of normal is between 250 and 350 ng per dL . In men with borderline total testosterone levels, measurement of free testosterone and sex hormonebinding globulin levels should be considered, especially in the presence of conditions that affect sex hormonebinding globulin levels . If low testosterone is confirmed, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels should be measured to categorize the deficiency as primary or secondary.9,11 A prolactin measurement should be considered to rule out pituitary adenoma, especially if luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone levels are low.
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Study Finds Testosterone Gels And Patches Safer Than Injections
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that injectable testosterone results in fewer cardiovascular adverse events than gel- or patch-based formulations, offering hope that new forms of drug delivery can rekindle a once-hot market that’s been stalled by the FDA’s safety concerns.
“There’s a large spike of serum testosterone that happens after an injection, so the injections may carry a slightly higher cardiovascular risk,” lead author Dr. J. Bradley Layton, of the University of North Carolina, told Medscape, adding that the “The US Food and Drug Administration has just ruled that testosterone is really indicated and approved only for men with very specific endocrine disorders and not just general age-related decreases in testosterone.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Margaret Wierman, from the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center wrote in an accompanying editorial that the results favor guidelines restricting testosterone therapy to men who have hypogonadism, not just low testosterone levels, or “low T” as the industry prefers to call it in their promotions.
The one-year risk of heart attack or stroke, hospitalization or death was 1.16%-1.34% among testosterone injection users, compared to rates between 1.02%-1.1% among patch users.
What To Expect From Testosterone Therapy
Its impossible to predict what to expect from TRT since every man is different. Many report improved sex drive, energy level, quality of erections, and mood. The strength of these improvements varies. In addition, it is essential to note that the treatment doesnt cure the cause of low testosterone it just returns testosterone levels to a healthy range. TRT can be a lifelong treatment.
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Research Shows That Injectable Testosterone Replacement Therapy Offers Other Benefits
Studies also show that injectable testosterone replacement therapy may have additional benefits. One study found that testosterone injections may help maximize musculoskeletal benefits for those on TRT compared to other forms. Additionally, there may be fewer cardiovascular risks with injectable testosterone compared to oral or transdermal testosterone.
Another study found that testosterone replacement injections offered higher free and total testosterone levels compared to other forms. Researchers also found that injectable testosterone replacement therapy offered higher increases in hemoglobin, hemocrit, and estradiol. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. Hemocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in your blood. Increases in estradiol may help with erectile function, sex drive, fat distribution, and other factors of your overall health. Therefore, testosterone injections may offer many benefits for men suffering from hypogonadism.