Unless you’re a nursing or med student, it’s not likely you’re going to be quizzed on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) anytime soon. However, if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who suffer from low testosterone—commonly called “Low T”—it might help to have a quick reference guide to review on TRT before heading to the doctor.
Facts About “Low T”
- The result of low testosterone levels is a condition known as “Low T.”
- Both men and women can suffer from Low T.
- For men, the causes of Low T can include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
- Heart failure
- Metabolic disorders
- Testicular cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain drugs such as alcohol, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, and opioids
- For women, the causes of Low T can include:
- Early menopause
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Surgical removal of the ovaries
- Oral estrogen therapy
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a life-changing course of treatment for the condition known as Low T.
Symptoms of Low T
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s important for you to share this information with your medical provider:
- Men with Low T may experience:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low semen volume
- Hair loss
- Persistent fatigue
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Decreased bone mass
- Mood changes
- Enlarged breasts
- Sleep disturbances
- Brain fog
- Women with Low T may experience:
- Diminished sexual desire
- Affected sexual satisfaction
- Muscle weakness
Diagnosing Low T
Your medical professional will perform the following to determine if you are suffering from low testosterone:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests to determine hormone levels
- Medical history review
- Consideration of any issues with sex, including decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or diminished sexual satisfaction
- Review of past illnesses
- Questions regarding family genetic conditions
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Low T
For those suffering from Low T, Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) has produced the following results:
- Improved and more balanced mood
- Increased sex drive
- More energy
- Greater lean muscle mass
- Faster recovery after exercise
- Greater ability to focus
- Stronger bones
- Decreased body fat
- Improved memory
- Thicker hair
- Lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels
- Better sleep
Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Low T
As with any medical procedure, there are benefits as well as risks. For both men and women, TRT can produce some side effects and pose some risks.
Potential risks of TRT for men include:
- Breast enlargement
- Nipple tenderness
- Water retention
Additional risks that rare, but more serious include
- Sleep apnea
- Blood clots
Potential risks of TRT for women include:
- Increase in oily skin or acne
- Fluid retention
- Male pattern hair loss
- Increased facial hair
- Deepening of the voice
- Menstrual cycle changes
Additional risks that are rare, but more serious include:
- Increased risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of blood clots
For these reasons, it is crucial that you provide your physician with a complete medical history or any genetic conditions that may be present in your family.
Questions to Ask Before Beginning TRT
Questions to ask yourself:
- What impact has Low T had on the quality of my life?
- Has Low T impacted my relationships in a negative way?
- Am I open to discussing TRT with a medical professional regarding the risks, benefits, and most effective and affordable way to administer it?
- Will the benefits of TRT significantly improve my life?
Questions to ask your medical professional:
- Given my symptoms, what form of TRT therapy do you feel is most effective?
- What are the pros and cons of each form?
- If I experience side effects, how will they be managed?
- How will you monitor my progress after beginning TRT?
- What is my target testosterone level?
- How long will it be before I start experiencing results?
Print This Cheat Sheet & Bring It with You
Once you’ve had a chance to review all the facts on this cheat sheet, bring it with you to your medical exam. Include any additional questions you may have for your health care provider and write down their answers. Being fully informed on your condition, as well as on treatment options for your low testosterone, is one of the most important steps to improving your health and your life.